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Cognitive and AI Systems Revenue will Reach $57.6B

What if the employees in your organization had access to intelligent automation that augmented their own skills and abilities? What if the routine processes and repetitive tasks could be executed by a trained computing system? Given that scenario, how might your organization improve employee productivity and enhance their job satisfaction?

That's the promise of cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It's becoming a new reality, as numerous organizations across the globe start to embrace these trained computing systems.

Cognitive and AI Market Development

Worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems is forecast to reach $57.6 billion in 2021, according to the latest global market study by International Data Corporation (IDC).

With many industries investing in cognitive and AI solutions, spending is expected to achieve a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50.1 percent over the 2016-2021 forecast period.

Worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems will total $12.0 billion in 2017, an increase of 59.1 percent over 2016.

"Cognitive and artificial intelligence solutions continue to proliferate across all industries resulting in significant growth opportunities," said Marianne Daquila, research manager at IDC. "Some of the use cases are very industry specific, such as diagnosis and treatment in healthcare, and in others they are common across multiple industries such as automated customer service agents."

The retail and banking industries are forecast to spend the most on cognitive and AI systems in 2017 with investments of $1.74 billion and $1.72 billion, respectively. The discrete manufacturing, healthcare, and process manufacturing industries are also forecast to spend more than $1 billion each this year.

These five industries will continue to be the industries with the largest spending amounts throughout the five-year forecast and, by 2021, their combined investments will represent nearly 55 percent of all worldwide spending.

In addition to spending the most on cognitive and AI systems, retail will also deliver the fastest spending growth with a 2016-2021 CAGR of 58.8 percent. Six other industries will see CAGRs greater than 50 percent over the forecast period.

Overall, the cognitive and AI use cases that will see the largest amount of spending in 2017 will be automated customer service agents ($1.5 billion) and diagnostic and treatment systems ($1.1 billion). These will remain the largest use cases in terms of spending throughout the forecast period.

Meanwhile, the fifth largest use case in 2017 – intelligent processing automation – will see enough investment growth over the forecast period to become the third largest use case in 2021. Moreover, automated preventative maintenance will see its spending levels fall from third largest in 2017 to fifth largest in 2021, despite a CAGR of 40.1 percent.

The use cases that will see the fastest spending growth over the 2016-2021 forecast are expert shopping advisors and product recommendations (96.6 percent CAGR), public safety and emergency response (96.2 percent CAGR), and intelligent processing automation (69.9 percent CAGR).

Outlook for Hardware, Software & Services

About half of all spending on cognitive and AI technology will go to software -- including cognitive applications and cognitive platforms -- over the course of the forecast period. Although software spending growth is expected to slow somewhat after 2019, services spending will experience steady growth throughout the forecast, achieving a five-year CAGR of 53.7 percent.

In contrast, cognitive and AI computing hardware will be the smallest and slowest growing area of spending, despite a robust CAGR of 40.4 percent.

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