Retail Sector to Lead Global Artificial Intelligence Spending This Year: IDC Report


Global spending on artificial intelligence will reach $35.8 billion in 2019, a 44 per cent increase over 2018, according to International Data Corporation.

Retail, banking, discrete manufacturing, healthcare, and process manufacturing will be the top five industries competing for artificial intelligence (AI) systems spending this year, according to a new forecast from the International Data Corporation (IDC).

The report estimated that global spending on AI systems will grow at 44 per cent to $35.8 billion in 2019.

Spending on AI systems is expected to be more than double to $79.2 billion in 2022 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.0 percent over the 2018-2022 forecast period.

The U.S. will account for nearly two-thirds of all AI spending in 2019, the report said.

Retail sector is expected to lead global spending on AI systems this year, with the category projected to invest $5.9 billion on solutions like automated customer service agents, shopping advisers and product recommendation platforms.

This will be followed by banking industry, which is estimated to invest $5.6 billion in AI, including automated threat intelligence & prevention systems and fraud analysis & investigation systems.

Fastest growth in AI systems spending

The industries that will experience the fastest growth in AI systems spending over the 2018-2022 forecast are federal/central government (44.3 per cent CAGR), personal and consumer services (43.3 per cent CAGR), and education (42.9 per cent CAGR).

The report noted that enterprises will be spending $4.5 billion on automated customer service agents, $2.7 billion on sales process recommendation and automation, and $2.7 billion on automated threat intelligence and prevention systems.

Five other use cases will see spending levels greater than $2 billion this year: automated preventative maintenance, diagnosis and treatment systems, fraud analysis and investigation, intelligent process automation, and programme advisors and recommendation systems.

Software will be the largest area of AI systems spending in 2019 with nearly $13.5 billion going toward AI applications and AI software platforms, it said.

AI applications is slated to be the fastest growing category of AI spending with a five-year CAGR of 47.3 percent.