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AI: from the lab to your home
Artificial intelligence: From expert-only to everywhere
Deloitte Global predicts that in 2019, businesses will accelerate usage of cloud-based artificial intelligence (AI) software and services. While companies are taking varied paths to AI, two of the most popular methods will continue to advance: Among companies adopting artificial intelligence, more than 70 percent will obtain AI capabilities through enterprise software with integrated AI, and 65 percent will create AI applications using cloud-based development platforms. Deloitte Global also predicts that by 2020, penetration rates for software with integrated AI and cloud-based development services for AI will reach 87 and 83 percent, respectively. Using cloud-based AI software and services has several advantages, including driving more full-scale AI implementations, better return on investment (ROI), and higher AI spending.
AI’s initial benefits have accrued mainly to players with the technical expertise, strong IT infrastructure, and deep pockets to acquire scarce and costly data science skills—most notably the global tech giants. The tech giants, along with software firms and start-ups, are now making it easier for companies will less expertise to take advantage of AI by offering enterprise software with AI “baked in” and cloud-based AI services.
As Deloitte’s global survey of AI early adopters shows, companies are taking advantage of these easy paths to AI adoption. Today, 58 percent of respondents are using enterprise software with integrated AI, which is typically accessed via either public or private cloud. And 50 percent of early adopters are accelerating the development of customized AI solutions by using cloud-based services. We predict that cloud-based AI will democratize AI capabilities—and benefits—until recently available only to those with deep pockets and strong technical expertise.
The report concludes by looking at four strategies companies can implement to emulate the success of AI early adopters.
Smart Speakers: Growth at a discount
Deloitte Global predicts that the smart speaker industry —internet-connected speakers with integrated digital assistants—will be worth US$7 billion in 2019. That translates to 164 million units at an average selling price of US$43. We expect 2018 sales of 98 million units at an average of US$44 each, for a total industry revenue of US$4.3 billion. This 63 percent growth rate would make smart speakers the fastest-growing connected device category worldwide in 2019, and lead to an installed base of more than 250 million units by year end.
Smart speakers have, literally, a world of opportunity for growth in non-English-speaking countries. At the end of 2017, 95 percent of sales were to English-speaking markets, specifically the United States and the United Kingdom. By early 2019, however, these speakers will be spreading their linguistic wings to customers speaking Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Japanese.
But that’s not the whole story. In the US and around the world, in many workplaces, including hospitals, theaters, factories, chemical labs, and restaurant kitchens, smart speakers could make operations safer and more precise. Deloitte Global believes that in the long term, the number of smart speakers in the workplace might exceed that in homes, and the value of the tasks they do may be orders of magnitude greater than playing music or checking the weather.
The report looks at factors influencing demand, including price promotion, frequency of use, adoption of voice recognition, and range of applications.