AI is more than a trend in investment activity. Uniquely, AI is a sub-sector of technology which is set for a development surge as technologies associated with AI advance and the reliance on AI products for businesses across all sectors to stay competitive grows.
This is already happening according to Forbes. A Narrative Science survey found last year that 38% of enterprises are already using AI, growing to 62% by 2018. Forrester Research predicted a greater than 300% increase in investment in artificial intelligence in 2017 compared with 2016. IDC estimated that the AI market will grow from $8 billion in 2016 to more than $47 billion in 2020.
AI technologies are still in their early stages of development. According to a Forrester report ‘Artificial Intelligence Technologies, Q1 2017’, AI Technologies Will Augment Your Enterprise Applications, Amplify Your Intelligence, And Unburden Your Employees. The report analyses the technologies businesses should consider adopting.
The top 10 of these are:
- Natural Language Generation
- Speech Recognition
- Virtual Agents
- Machine Learning Platforms
- AI-optimized Hardware
- Decision Management
- Deep Learning Platforms
- Robotic Process Automation
- Text Analytics and NLP
UK startups operating in these areas will attract the interest of VC firms. They will also attract the interest of large global corporates such as IBM, Google, Yahoo, Intel, Apple, Salesforce and Samsung who are all competing for private AI companies.
In the Tech Nation 2017 report from Tech City, Google’s Eric Schmidt said that machine learning will be the basis of ‘every huge IPO in the next five years’.
‘The most important thing for an AI startup is being clear what real world problem they are solving and for which market. Just having cool tech is not enough. However, the opportunities are endless. We see AI and machine learning companies disrupting every sector, from fintech to manufacturing.’