It's a great time to be an AI consultant due to a lack of enterprise expertise.
According to IDC, global spending on artificial intelligence systems is expected to hit $97.9 billion in 2023, up from $37.5 billion in 2019. Spending on AI systems will see a compound annual growth rate of 28.4% from 2018 to 2023.
More interesting are some of the takeaways from IDC's data. AI and machine learning projects have moved beyond prototyping to implementation with banking, retail and manufacturing sectors leading the AI charge. Banking will use AI for threat prevention and fraud analysis. Media, which will use AI for content management and recommendations, will spend at a five year compound annual growth rate of 33.7%. Government will also be a big spender with about the same growth rate.
Primers: What is AI? | What is machine learning? | What is deep learning? | What is artificial general intelligence?
The real catch here is that the largest share of AI spending in 2019 will go to IT services "as firms seek outside expertise." Hardware spending for now is larger than software spending in 2019, but over time applications will garner the most investment. AI will touch everything from enterprise resource planning to customer service apps to healthcare systems.
According to IDC, the United States will account for more than 50% of all AI spending over 5 years with Western Europe in second. China and Japan will show the strongest spending growth over 5 years.
Use cases vary, but the largest AI uses in 2019 revolve around automated customer service agents, threat intelligence and prevention systems and sales process recommendation. Over five years, automated human resources and pharmaceutical research and development will grow the fastest.