Cognitive systems and artificial intelligence market growth revealed

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The revenue size of the cognitive systems and artificial intelligence (AI) will grow nearly $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020 – with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55.1 percent, said IDC.

Software developers and end user organizations have already begun the process of embedding and deploying cognitive / artificial intelligence into almost every kind of enterprise application or process.

“Recent announcements by several large technology vendors and the booming venture capital market for AI startups illustrate the need for organizations to be planning and undertaking strategies that incorporate these wide-ranging technologies,” said David Schubmehl, research director, Cognitive Systems and Content Analytics at IDC.

The ability to recognize and respond to data flows using algorithms and rule-based logic enables cognitive/AI systems to automate a broad range of functions across many industries.

The use cases that are attracting the most investment in 2016 are automated customer service agents, quality management investigation and recommendation systems, diagnosis and treatment systems, and fraud analysis and investigation.

The use cases that will experience the fastest revenue growth over the next five years are public safety and emergency response, pharmaceutical research and discovery, diagnosis and treatment systems, supply and logistics, quality management investigation and recommendation systems, and fleet management.

Near-term opportunities for cognitive systems are in industries such as banking, securities and investments, and manufacturing.

IDC says cognitive technologies are being used in the banking industry to detect and combat fraud. In manufacturing, executives cite improving product quality as a top initiative. In this case, cognitive systems recognize and know how to respond to dynamic fluctuations in product specs by adapting the production to stay within quality targets.”

The industries that will invest the most in cognitive/AI systems in 2016 are banking and retail, followed by healthcare and discrete manufacturing. Combined, these four industries will generate more than half of all worldwide cognitive/AI revenues in 2016, with banking and retail each delivering nearly $1.5 billion.

Healthcare and discrete manufacturing will deliver the greatest revenue growth over the 2016-2020 forecast period, with CAGRs of 69.3 percent and 61.4 percent, respectively. Education and process manufacturing will also experience significant growth over the forecast period.

Nearly half of all cognitive/AI revenue throughout the forecast will go to software, which includes both cognitive applications (i.e., text and rich media analytics, tagging, searching, machine learning, categorization, clustering, hypothesis generation, question answering, visualization, filtering, alerting, and navigation) and cognitive software platforms, which facilitate the development of intelligent, advisory, and cognitively enabled solutions.

As both the largest and fastest-growing category, cognitive applications spending is forecast to reach $18.2 billion in 2020. Cognitive/AI-related services (business services and IT consulting) represent the second largest revenue category while hardware revenues (primarily from dedicated purchases of servers and storage) will grow nearly as fast as software with five-year CAGRs of more than 60 percent.

North America (the United States and Canada) is by far the largest region for cognitive/AI spending with 2016 revenues approaching $6.2 billion. Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) will remain the second largest region throughout the forecast, but cognitive/AI revenues from Asia/Pacific including Japan will nearly close the gap with EMEA by 2020.

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