Artificial intelligence spending to surge in 2017, hit $46 billion by 2020

Quality management and diagnosis and treatment systems are among top use cases for AI and cognitive computing, IDC report says.
By Tom Sullivan
11:18 AM

IDC predicted that worldwide spending on artificial intelligence and cognitive computing technologies will leap by 60 percent to $12.5 billion this year — and then escalate to $46 billion by 2020.

The IT consultancy’s estimates span several vertical industries, healthcare included, and suggest that businesses and consumers will spend the most on cognitive applications, AI platforms, cognitive-related services, as well as dedicated storage and servers, respectively.

IDC distinguishes between cognitive applications and platforms as such: apps contain features and functionalities capable of learning and discovery to ultimately make recommendations, while platforms provide tools for accessing and analyzing both structured and unstructured data.

[Also: Half of hospitals to adopt artificial intelligence within 5 years]

"Intelligent applications based on cognitive computing, artificial intelligence, and deep learning are the next wave of technology transforming how consumers and enterprises work, learn, and play," IDC research director David Schubmehl said.

Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics published survey results just last week that found approximately one-third of hospitals intend to deploy AI technologies within two years and more than half plan to do so within five years.

Healthcare professionals expect that AI will have the greatest immediate impact on population health management programs, patient diagnosis, clinical decision support and precision medicine.

[Also: AI, machine learning will shatter Moore's Law in rapid-fire pace of innovation]

IDC’s report, the Worldwide Semiannual Cognitive/Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide, which looks at banking, retail and manufacturing in addition to healthcare, ranks the top AI uses cases for 2017 as: quality management investigation and recommendation systems, diagnosis and treatment systems, automated customer service agents, automated threat intelligence and prevention systems and fraud analysis tools.

“Cognitive and AI systems are quickly becoming a key part of IT infrastructure, and all enterprises need to understand and plan for the adoption and use of these technologies," Schubmehl said.

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