AI At Retail: Chatbots Continue Marching In

Retail will invest $4.5 billion in automated customer service this year
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Retail will lead the way in spending on artificial intelligence systems, according to IDC, investing $5.9 billion worldwide this year in chatbots, automated purchase advisors and product recommendations.

Overall spending on AI systems is projected to reach $35.8 billion in 2019, up 44 percent over last year, and will more than double to $79.2 billion in 2022. The U.S. will deliver nearly two-thirds of that spending.

The AI use cases that will see the most investment this year are automated customer service agents ($4.5 billion), sales process recommendation and automation ($2.7 billion), and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems ($2.7 billion), said IDC.

Watch: What You Need To Know About AI

"Significant worldwide artificial intelligence systems spend can now be seen within every industry as AI initiatives continue to optimize operations, transform the customer experience, and create new products and services," said IDC’s Marianne Daquila, research manager, customer insights and analysis.

See also: The Robots Are Coming To Retail … Eventually

"IDC is seeing that spending on both AI software platforms, and AI applications are continuing to trend upwards and the types and varieties of use cases are also expanding," said David Schubmehl, research director, cognitive/artificial intelligence systems. 

"While organizations see continuing challenges with staffing, data and other issues deploying AI solutions, they are finding that they can help to significantly improve the bottom line of their enterprises by reducing costs, improving revenue, and providing better, faster access to information, thereby improving decision making," added Schubmehl.

See also: LG Calls AI ‘Opportunity Of Our Lifetime’

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