IDC’s research director of artificial brains David Schubmehl, said: “Interest and awareness of AI are at fever pitch. Every industry and every organisation should be evaluating AI to see how it will affect their business processes and go-to-market efficiencies.”
Retail firms will invest $3.4 billion this year on AI, including automated customer service agents, expert shopping advisors and product recommendations, and merchandising for omnichannel operations.
Banking, meanwhile, will spend $3.3 billion mostly on automated threat intelligence and prevention systems, fraud analysis and investigation, and programme advisors and recommendation systems.
Discrete manufacturing and health are the third and fourth-largest industries for AI spend.
IDC forecasts that across verticals, investment in AI will continue to grow, with 40 percent of digital transformation initiatives using AI services by 2019 and 75 percent of enterprise applications using AI by 2021.
The US will deliver more than three-quarters of all spending on cognitive and AI systems in 2018, with western Europe being the second-largest region.
IDC predicts that Japan will see the most vigorous spending growth over the next five years at 73.5 percent followed by China on 68.2 percent.