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Enterprise machine learning will double and jump start business growth and adoption, Deloitte predicts

One in four Canadians who have internet will have wireless only home internet; Canadians are much less likely to be heavy adblockers than Americans

Toronto, December 12, 2017 – Machine learning will intensify amongst medium and large-sized enterprises, doubling the number of implementations and pilot projects using machine learning technology in 2018 compared to last year, and then doubling again by 2020. According to Deloitte’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions, advancements in machine learning technology include data science automation and a reduced need for training data as well as new chips in both data centres and mobile devices. The advancements will help establish the foundation, which will over the near term make machine learning mainstream across industries where organizations have limited talent, infrastructure and data to train models.

Machine learning is an artificial intelligence (AI), or cognitive technology that enables systems to learn and improve from experience – by exposure to data – without being programmed explicitly. Deloitte predicts that by the end of 2018, more than 25 per cent of all chips used to accelerate machine learning in a data centre will be field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). These chips, in addition to graphics processing units chips (GPUs) that were the main choice in the past will dramatically increase the use of machine learning, enabling applications to consume less power while being more responsive, flexible and capable.

“Over the coming year, machine learning will be more commonly used by businesses to improve existing technology and augment services for customers, but it’s not yet ubiquitous,” said Anders McKenzie, Managing Partner for Technology, Media & Telecommunications at Deloitte Canada. “This year is a tipping point where adoption of machine learning by enterprises is poised to accelerate and help businesses boost its operations by working faster and with more flexibility, rather than replace employees.”

Mobile only: wireless home broadband Internet

Deloitte predicts that 25 per cent of Canadians with internet access will get all of their home data access from cellular mobile networks in 2018, compared to only 20 per cent of Americans. By 2022, North Americans who obtain internet through wireless data at home could reach 30-40 per cent, largely through new mmWave 5G wireless technologies. Younger Canadians, as well as those with lower incomes are much more likely to rely on wireless only data at home.

“Varying broadband speeds and monthly caps on data, as well as location, will affect each individual’s mobile internet experience,” said Duncan Stewart, Director of Research at Deloitte Canada. “But those who are mobile-only are much more likely to be ‘sipping through a straw’ when it comes to internet access at home. As e-commerce amongst retailers grows, and online financial services firms and online education become more common, regulators will consider programs, initiatives and incentives that aim to provide better internet access to as much of the population as possible, with a focus on rural and lower-income households. Given Canada’s size and low population, the rural areas are likely to be a bigger challenge than in other countries.”

Adblocking: millennials most prone to “adlergic” reactions

Deloitte predicts that 10 per cent of Americans will be “adlergic,” blocking more than four or more types of traditional and digital channels, but in Canada only six per cent of adults do so. Canadian millennials 18-34 years old will be the most prone to adlergic behaviour with 11 per cent being adlergic.

The popularity of subscription video on demand (SVOD), personal video recorders (PVRs) and adblocking software has enabled individuals to block ads more effectively, but low tech adblocking (such as changing the TV channel during commercial breaks) are also widely used. Higher education levels, employment and income also lead to stronger adlergic behaviour meaning that advertisers will focus on platforms that are more difficult to block and skip ads in order to reach severely adlergic target markets.

Now in its 17th year, Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions provides an outlook on key trends over the course of the next five years in the technology, media and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide. Deloitte’s TMT Predictions are based on global research including in-depth interviews with clients, industry analysts, global industry leaders and Deloitte member-firm TMT practitioners. Last year, Deloitte was more than 85 per cent accurate with its TMT predictions. Deloitte’s Canadian TMT Predictions road show kicks off on January 11th in Toronto, followed by stops in Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Ottawa and other Canadian cities.

The most significant TMT predictions to impact the Canadian marketplace in 2018 include:

  • Machine learning: things are getting intense – In 2018, the number of machine learning technology implementations and pilot projects by medium and large-sized enterprises will double compared with 2017, and double again by 2020.
  • Hitting the accelerator: the next generation of machine-learning chips – By the end of 2018, over 25 per cent of all chips used to accelerate machine learning in the data centre will be FPGAs and ASICs. The new semiconductor chips, in addition to GPU chips that were the main choice in the past, will increase the use of machine learning and enable applications to use less power, yet still be more responsive, flexible and capable.
  • Mobile only wireless home internet – Twenty-five per cent of Canadians with internet will get all of their internet data access via cellular mobile networks in 2018.
  • Is there an #adlergic epidemic? Adblocking across media – Seventy-four per cent of Canadians engage in at least one form of regular adblocking, but only about six per cent block four or more ads – the “adlergic” population. Individuals who are young, highly educated, employed, and earn higher incomes are more likely to be heavy adblockers.
  • Live thrives in an online world – Live broadcast and events will generate over US$545 billion in direct revenues in 2018 globally and C$17.5 billion in Canada. Despite consumers’ capability to consume content on demand or attend events remotely, live consumption is thriving and can be made more productive and profitable by digital.
  • Smartphones are useful, but they can be distracting – By the end of 2023, more than 90 per cent of Canadian adults will have a smartphone, with ownership among 55-75 year-olds reaching 85 per cent. Owners will interact with their phones on average 65 times per day in 2023, a 20 per cent increase on 2018. However, 39 per cent of Canadian adult smartphone users and 65 per cent of 18-24 year olds will worry that they use their phones too much for certain activities and will try to limit their usage in 2018.
  • Digital media: well worth paying for – By 2020, there will be over 680 million digital subscriptions, with consumers increasingly willing to pay for content.
  • Augmented reality on the cusp of reality – Over a billion smartphone users will create augmented reality (AR) content at least once in 2018, with at least 300 million doing so monthly, and tens of millions weekly. This translates to about 15 million Canadians using AR.
  • The future of the smartphone: the era of invisible innovation – Smartphone sales will reach 1.85 billion units per year by 2023, equivalent to over five million units sold per day. The smartphone’s success over the next five years is likely to be the introduction of innovations that are largely invisible to its users.
  • TV viewing by 18-24 year olds: stable declines, but no tipping point – Deloitte predicts that traditional TV viewing by 18-24 year-olds will decline by about 10 per cent per year in Canada in 2018 and 2019. This rate of decline is a similar rate to the prior seven years and is not getting worse. Many forces that distracted young people away from traditional TV, such as smartphones, social media, and video piracy, are reaching saturation.
  • In flight connectivity takes off – One billion passenger journeys, or one quarter of all passengers, will be on planes fitted with in-flight connectivity (IFC) in 2018, an estimated 20 per cent increase from projected 2017 totals, generating IFC revenue close to US$1 billion for 2018.
About Deloitte

Deloitte provides audit & assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 264,000 professionals—9,400 of whom are based in Canada—make an impact that matters, please connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

Deloitte LLP, an Ontario limited liability partnership, is the Canadian member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited. Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee, and its network of member firms, each of which is a legally separate and independent entity. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited and its member firms.


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