APAC AI spending to hit $15bn by 2022

IDC report finds that spending in the APAC region is set to grow at a CAGR of 50% between 2018–22, as retail leads the way and China dominates


Spending on AI systems in APAC is set to reach $5.5bn in 2019, an increase of almost 80% on 2018, before swelling to $15bn in 2022, the latest Worldwide Semiannual Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide from the IDC has forecasted. The growth will be reflected in a CAGR of 50% during the forecast period of 2018–22.

"AI is changing the world as we speak," remarked Swati Chaturvedi, senior market analyst at IDC APAC. "In fact, APAC is quickly driving the growth in adoption of artificial intelligence because of its fertile and nascent digital ecosystem.

"Countries are developing economically with the help of technological advancements, increasing talent pool of millennials and growing number of tech-savvy businesses, to stay in this competitive market."

Leading the way in terms of regional market spending is the retail industry, with IDC noting that around 70% the sector is currently investing in AI solutions. Common uses of the technology in retail include automated customer service agents, expert shopping and advisory recommendations, merchandising, and supply and logistics. This is followed by banking, with AI's use in areas such as fraud analysis and investigation resulting in increased investment.

However, IDC has discovered that the industries set to see the fastest growth will be healthcare and process manufacturing, with growth of 60.2% and 60.1% CAGR, respectively.

While there will be increased spending across APAC, IDC has found that China is set to dominate the market, delivering nearly two-thirds of the APAC region excluding Japan (APEJ) regional spending on AI systems throughout the entire forecast period. This will once again be led by retail and professional services, but there will also be significant government investment.

The report concluded that the AI use cases that will see the most investment in 2019 will be automated customer service agents, which will see spending of almost $700m. Sales process recommendation will come in second with spending of more than $450m and intelligent process automation seeing $350m in investment across the year.

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