As the years go by, the race to develop and apply artificial intelligence intensifies in all fields. From advanced to emerging economies, every country wants a piece of what AI can offer. And it can offer plenty! From diagnosis and drug discovery in healthcare and AI-powered cities and infrastructures to driverless cars and better control of climate change, AI is the gift that keeps on giving. Furthermore, the use of AI can encourage GDP growth. In other words, no one is actually surprised by the current growth of investment in AI software, especially if we take a look at the United States and China, two countries that dominate the AI landscape and are in continuous competition to reach new milestones.
China vs. the United States – the continuous race for AI supremacy
China is undoubtedly the most ambitious country when it comes to AI investments. Chinese AI companies have managed to raise a total of 37.1 billion in the first half of 2018. This number is even more impressive when you consider that the global total was $43.5 billion. The Chinese government bets a lot on the power of AI technology to bring society into the new era of AI software and has the full support of Chinese tech industry giants and the venture capital community.
The United States thrives when it comes to privately-held AI companies. According to the numbers estimated at the end of 2019, the US dominates the world’s investment market in private AI organizations that managed to attract nearly $40 billion globally. According to the new Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, the United States is expected to deliver half of global AI spending, taking the lead, especially in the Retail and Banking industries. Moreover, it estimates the global spending on AI systems will increase dramatically from the 85.3 billion in 2021 to more than $204 billion in 2025.
Western Europe joins the race and claims its place on the podium
A big slice of the estimated AI pie will be savored by Western Europe, forecasted to be the second-largest geographic region in terms of AI investments, due to its increased interest in AI-powered Banking, Retail, and Discrete Manufacturing. China will come in third imbuing fields like State/Local Government, Banking, and Process Manufacturing with everything AI has to offer.
The five-year forecast points to Western Europe and Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan and China) for the most significant investment growth. The European Union is already allocating colossal amounts of money to AI research and software. The Human Brain Project received $1.2 billion for the research of human brain replication in machines. However, China will not slow down and looks determined to take us into the era of autonomous driving and AI-powered healthcare. According to McKinsey, we can expect that in 2030, 15% of the vehicles sold to be autonomous.
When it comes to AI in healthcare, the past years have proved that AI can play a major role in the well-being of society. Telehealth has been vital for the care of numerous patients during the pandemic and allowed healthcare professionals to focus their attention on critical patients who needed in-person care. AI has been involved in the discovery of COVID-19 vaccines and is already making an impact in diagnosis and clinical trials. It is estimated that by 2025, AI investments in healthcare will rise from $1 billion in 2017 to $28 billion.
Investment is at an all-time high – the revenues make it all worth it
While many believed the crisis around the COVID-19 pandemic will slow down investments in AI, for numerous enterprises this proved to be just a small bump in the road. According to a study, almost one-fourth of businesses and IT professionals increased their AI investment as a result of COVID-19. Moreover, 88% of businesses with over 500 employees added their AI projects during the pandemic and contributed to increased growth of investment in AI software.
AI technology promises not only accelerated innovation but also increased revenues. It is estimated that AI solutions will generate over 100 billion dollars in revenue by 2025. With the increasing commercial uses for artificial intelligence, businesses and organizations consider AI to be essential for greater employee efficiency and improved customer insight. AI creates impact and opportunities.
Following the example of giant organizations like Soft Bank and Microsoft that have put aside massive funds exclusively for AI investments, smaller organizations and even start-ups are convinced the time has come to entrust our future into the precise hands of artificial intelligence. Soft Banks has launched a $100 billion fund for the development of artificial intelligence, while Microsoft has pledged $1 billion to the OpenAI project.
If there is one certainty about the AI market is that it is a global wave that will engulf numerous countries. The United States and China might fight over supremacy but the world is not standing still looking at their showdown. Many European countries, India, Singapore, Israel, and Japan are willing to spend a lot of money on AI research and solutions and bring the planet into an era where artificial intelligence speeds up processes to help us slow down and enjoy the views.