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Deloitte Global TMT Predictions: Artificial intelligence (AI) to support business growth as digital content elevates the entertainment industry

  • Enterprise machine learning pilots and deployments predicted to double this year, powered by new chips and better software tools
  • By 2020, there will likely be over 680 million digital subscriptions, with consumers increasingly willing to pay for content
  • Smartphone sales expected to reach 1.85 billion per year by 2023, equivalent to over five million units sold per day
  • Smartphone owners will likely interact with their phone on average 65 times per day in 2023, a 20 percent increase on 2018
  • China will likely remain the largest market for live streaming at $4.4 billion in 2018, an 86 percent increase from 2016

Published: 13 December 2017

Deloitte Global forecasts major strides in machine learning for the enterprise, a worldwide appetite for digital subscriptions among consumers, and ongoing smartphone dominance—along with eight additional predictions—as part of the 17th edition of the "Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Predictions."

Among the findings pertaining to the enterprise, this year’s report indicates that business organizations will likely double their use of machine learning technology by the end of 2018. TMT Predictions highlights five key areas that Deloitte Global believes will unlock more intensive use of machine learning in the enterprise by making it easier, cheaper and faster.

The most important key area is the growth in new semiconductor chips that will increase the use of machine learning, enabling applications to use less power, and at the same time become more responsive, flexible and capable.

"We have reached the tipping point where adoption of machine learning in the enterprise is poised to accelerate," said Paul Sallomi, Deloitte Global Technology, Media & Entertainment, and Telecommunications, Industry leader.

Live content in an online world and digital media worth paying for

TMT Predictions includes a number of consumer forecasts as well. Deloitte Global predicts that live broadcast and events will generate over $545 billion in direct revenues in 2018. Despite consumers’ capability to consume content on demand or attend events remotely, live consumption is thriving. And in many cases, live content’s performance has been made more productive and profitable by digital.

Indicating an increasing willingness from consumers to pay for digital content, Deloitte Global also predicts that by the end of 2018, 50 percent of adults in developed countries will have at least two online-only media subscriptions, and by the end of 2020, the average will have doubled to four.

"Payment for digital content could increase considerably over the next few years, with the Chinese market offering significant potential," said Roger Chung, Senior Manager, Deloitte Research in China. "Demand for entertainment industry in China is seeing a strong growth."

"Digital’s rise has augmented not dented the public’s appetite for media, which in 2018 will likely include over half a trillion dollars’ worth of all forms of live content," said Mark Casey, Deloitte Global Media & Entertainment Sector leader.

Unveiling the heart of robotics: AI permeates multiple arenas

According to Deloitte, AI could pose significant impacts on smartphones, autonomous vehicles, manufacturing industry, wealth management and the financial services sector.

Roger Chung, Senior Manager, Deloitte Research in China, said, "In the near future, AI will become the new normal as the technological foundation of various products. Enterprises that refuse to embrace AI will face elimination, while those that are able to obtain more diversified and contextualized data, as well as innovate more intelligent calculation methods will give themselves a significant competitive edge in the market."

The future of the smartphone

Smartphone adoption continues to grow. By the end of 2023, more than 90 percent of adults in developed countries are expected to have a smartphone, with ownership among 55-75 year-olds reaching 85 percent. And Deloitte Global predicts that owners will interact with their phones on average 65 times per day in 2023, a 20 percent increase on 2018.

"As smartphones continue to be a big part of our professional and personal lives, we are finding more of a balance and etiquette, especially in our personal lives, even as we continue to experience more opportunities in this exciting mobile ecosystem," said Craig Wigginton, Deloitte Global Telecommunications Sector leader.

William Chou, Deloitte China Technology, Media and Telecommunication Industry Managing Partner, also commented, "The 2023 smartphone should offer superior performance across a range of business and consumer applications, thanks to enhanced connectivity, processors, sensors, software, artificial intelligence and memory enabled by 5G networks. Over a billion 5G users are forecast for China alone by 2023."

Additional topics from Deloitte Global’s 2018 TMT Predictions include:

  • Augmented reality on the cusp of reality – Over a billion smartphone users will likely create augmented reality (AR) content at least once in 2018, with at least 300 million doing so monthly, and tens of millions weekly, according to Deloitte Global. 
  • In flight connectivity takes off – One billion passenger journeys, or one quarter of all passengers, are expected to be on planes fitted with in-flight connectivity (IFC) in 2018, according to Deloitte Global. This is an estimated 20 percent increase from projected 2017 totals, generating IFC revenue close to $1 billion for 2018. 

The Deloitte Global TMT Predicts annual report has been published for 16 times. Now in its 17th year, Deloitte Global’s annual TMT Predictions provide an outlook on key trends over the course of the next 1-5 years in the technology, media and telecommunications industry sectors worldwide.

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