Spending on artificial intelligence (AI) systems is expected to surpass the US$6 billion mark in Asia Pacific during 2019, reflecting an increase of almost 54 per cent.
According to IDC findings, investments on AI systems is expected to increase to $21.4 billion by 2023, driven by “aggressive” market spending at customer-level.
“AI is having an impact across many industries with widespread utilisation but is still at a nascent stage in Asia Pacific,” said Ritika Srivastava, associate market analyst, IDC. “From providing chat bots for better customer service to improve the efficiency of operations and tasks for their business models, industries like banking, retail and professional services are spending in this technology at scale.”
According to IDC, regional spending on AI systems will be driven by banking with 10.7 per cent share, slightly ahead of retail with 10.2 per cent.
“Banking will predominantly use AI and cognitive systems for fraud analysis and investigation, as well as automated customer service agents,” IDC stated.
“Close behind is retail in terms of investments in AI-enabled solutions with use cases such as expert shopping advisors and product recommendations and merchandising for omni-channel operations - shaping the industry, representing 45.1 per cent of the overall retail industry spend in 2019.”
More broadly speaking, the industries expected to experience the fastest growth rate during the next five years include telecommunications (56.6 per cent) and process manufacturing (47.1 per cent).
The AI use cases that will have "significant investment" in 2019 will be automated customer service agents ($758.4 million) followed by sales process recommendation and automation ($529.1 million).
Of note to the channel, hardware spending in infrastructure “largely supports” AI development, according to IDC.
Hardware will be the largest area of AI systems spending in 2019 with nearly $4 billion allocated to server and storage, while software will be the fastest growing category for regional AI spending.
Companies will also invest in IT services to help with the development and implementation of AI systems and business services, such as consulting and horizontal business process outsourcing related to these systems.
“Although experimentation is common, enterprise deployment of AI is still relatively rare, and much remains to be done if Asia Pacific companies hope to compete with major players in China and the US,” added Dr. Christopher Marshall, associate vice president of Asia Pacific, IDC.