Gartner Expects the AI Business Market to Grow 70% This Year

The EU wants to invest 20 billion euros in research by 2020

The global business value derived from AI is expected to increase to $1.2 trillion this year, up 70 percent from last year. Getty Images
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While it seems like everybody and their cyborg seems to be thinking about artificial intelligence, a report seems to show there is real business value in the AI market.

According to a report released today by the research firm Gartner, the global business value derived from AI is expected to increase to $1.2 trillion this year, up 70 percent from last year. That’s expected to continue to grow over the next few years; AI-derived business value in 2022 could be as high as $3.9 trillion.

Sources for the business value came from three areas: customer experience capabilities, new revenue from current and future products and services, and cost reductions from producing and delivering products and services.

According to Gartner, customer experience is a “necessary precondition” for widespread adoption of AI—both in terms of its potential capabilities and the value it enables—having either a positive or negative effect on indirect costs to businesses. (And that seems to be true—considering how many industries are experimenting with AI in the form of chatbots and voice assistants.

“AI promises to be the most disruptive class of technologies during the next 10 years due to advances in computational power, volume, velocity and variety of data, as well as advances in deep neural networks (DNNs),” John-David Lovelock, research vice president at Gartner, said in a statement. “One of the biggest aggregate sources for AI-enhanced products and services acquired by enterprises between 2017 and 2022 will be niche solutions that address one need very well. Business executives will drive investment in these products, sourced from thousands of narrowly focused, specialist suppliers with specific AI-enhanced applications.”

The Gartner report shows AI business value growth following the “typical S-shaped curve” that often accompanies emerging tech industries. While growth is rapid this year and next year, it’s expected to slow after that—growing just 39 percent in 2020 and 26 percent in 2021.

Meanwhile, the European Commission today announced it’s hoping to inject 20 billion euros in investment for AI research between 2018 and 2020 to boost R&D for businesses and government. EU officials say the injection of cash—which will help Europe better compete with the U.S. and China—will come from both public and private funding and support industries such as health care, transportation and manufacturing.

“Just as the steam engine and electricity did in the past, AI is transforming our world,” European Commission vice president Adrus Ansip said in a statement. “It presents new challenges that Europe should meet together in order for AI to succeed and work for everyone.”

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.