Spend on AI systems set to rise 40% this year

Analyst house IDC says Western European revenues for cognitive and artificial intelligence (AI) systems will reach $1.5bn in 2017, an increase of 40% over 2016.

IDC says Western European spending on cognitive and AI solutions will continue to see significant investment over the next several years too, achieving a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.5% through to 2020, when revenues will be more than $4.3bn.

"IDC is seeing huge interest in cognitive applications and AI across Europe from different industry sectors, healthcare and government," said Philip Carnelley, research director for enterprise software at IDC Europe and leader of IDC's European AI Practice.

"Although only a minority of European organisations have deployed AI solutions today, a large majority are either planning to deploy or evaluating its potential.

"They are looking at use cases with clear ROI, such as predictive maintenance, fraud prevention, customer service and sales recommendation."

The three largest Western European industries to invest in cognitive and artificial intelligence systems are banking, retail and discrete manufacturing, although cross-industry applications have the largest share across all industries.

By 2020, these industries - including cross-industry applications - will account for almost half of all IT spending on cognitive and artificial intelligence systems.

The total finance sector (banking, insurance and securities) will account for 22% of cognitive spending in 2020. However, the fastest growing sectors to 2020 will be distribution and services (professional services, retail and transportation) with a CAGR of 60.8% to 2020, the public sector (education, government and healthcare providers) with a CAGR of 60.8%, and infrastructure (telecommunications and utilities) with a CAGR of 60.1%.

From a technology perspective, said IDC, the largest area of spending in Western Europe in 2017 will be cognitive applications ($516m), which includes cognitively-enabled process and industry applications that automatically learn, discover and make recommendations or predictions.

The cognitive/AI use cases that will see the greatest levels of investment in Western Europe this year are: sales process recommendation and automation systems, fraud analysis and investigation, quality management investigation and recommendation systems, automated threat intelligence and prevention, and IT automation systems.

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