Cognitive technologies and Artificial Intelligence: key figures
The International Data Corporation (IDC) reported on investments in cognitive technologies and artificial intelligence reaching 19 billion dollars in 2018, 54.2% more than the amount invested in the previous year. It is estimated that by 2021, expenditure on AI will be over 52 billion dollars, due to year-on-year growth of 46.2% since 2016.
The main sectors boosting this are banking, retail and the manufacturing industry, which jointly account for 42% of the total expenditure.
Nevertheless, the areas of business where there is increased investment growth are research and discovery of pharmaceutical products (46.8% CAGR), procurement and product recommendation expert consultants (46.5% CAGR), digital assistants for workers who provide support for business knowledge (45.1% CAGR) and process automation (43.6% CAGR).
For example, the interest in AI by the retail trade focuses on improving customer service through learning programs that understand consumers’ needs and allow companies to reduce their labour costs, whilst at the same time providing buyers with online support. In this sense, it is worth emphasising the deployment of personalised virtual assistants, chatbots, etc.
In the case of banking, use cases are mainly centred on analysing fraud and automating processes, in addition to aspects related to the customers’ experience and purchase recommendations (not surprisingly since the abandonment rate according to Statista is 80% with digital financial services).
Investments in the finance sector are considerable since AI allows companies to detect illegal acts in customers’ accounts and differentiate genuine transactions from fraudulent transactions, meaning they avoid damage to their reputations and economic losses.
Banking and the retail trade are the two industries where most investment in cognitive systems / AI has taken place. Banks commit more than half of their expenditure on automated intelligence and threat prevention systems and on fraud analysis and investigation, whereas the retail trade focuses more on automated customer service agents and expert purchasing advisers and product recommendations.
From a geographical point of view, USA accounts for 60% of the expenditure, followed by Western Europe and China. Attention must be brought to Japan, where growth of 62.4% will continue to take place during the next five years, and the Asia Pacific region, with an increase in expenditure over the same period of 43.8%.