Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently called artificial intelligence “the holy grail that anyone in computer science has been thinking about” during Vox Media’s Code Conference. Gates discussed the rapid progress of speech recognition and computer vision technologies over the past five years, and noted that “the dream is finally arriving.”
If that dream arrives, tech investors should recognize the major trends and players in this market. To get started, let’s examine 10 fascinating facts about the AI industry.
1. $5.05 billion market by 2020
Research firm Markets and Markets estimates that the AI market will grow from $420 million in 2014 to $5.05 billion by 2020, thanks to the rising adoption of machine learning and natural language processing technologies in the media, advertising, retail, finance, and healthcare industries.
2. 6 billion devices will request AI support
Gartner estimates that 6 billion connected “things” will be actively requesting support from AI platforms by 2018. These devices will likely include many connected appliances, cars, wearables, and other gadgets included in the broader Internet of Things market.
3. $5.4 billion invested in AI start-ups
There are currently 1,031 AI start-ups listed on AngelList, with an average valuation of $5.2 million — which equals nearly $5.4 billion in venture capital investments. The three most-followed companies on that list are robotics company Autonomous, team productivity software maker Crux, and AI social news aggregator Zero Slant.
4. 80% of executives believe AI boosts productivity
A recent study by AI language company Narrative Science found that 80% of executives believed that AI solutions boosted worker performance and created new jobs. Thirty-two percent said voice recognition technologies were the most widely used AI technology in their businesses — which is good news for companies like Nuance.