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AI: Show me the Money

Which sectors will make a killing in AI Forecast 2017 – 2023

“Huge sums have been invested in AI with the upward trend still accelerating through 2018. Global Venture Capital (VC) based investments alone have risen from $3.2 billion in 2014 to $12 billion in 2017 while the number of funding rounds per year for AI startups doubled to around 1,300 over that period. The total invested globally in AI during 2018 alone amount to over $100 billion taking account of money spent by governments and big corporations as well as VC funding of start-ups”

The AI bubble is due to burst after several years of sustained hype have generated unrealistic expectations that cannot be met and excessive investments that cannot possibly be paid back. This will clear the air for sustained growth in key sectors

This report finds the AI market will only reach $39 billion globally by the end of 2023, considerably less than most previous forecasts. The shortfall is explained by the fact that in some sectors, AI will flop dismally over the forecast period, while thriving in others.

A massive cull of VC backed start-ups in the AI marketplace is expected during 2019 and 2020, but for most this is a good thing. In the aftermath, there will be a clear pattern of AI survivors in key vertical (and horizontal) sectors. This is a predictable repeat of earlier famous bubble bursting’s, such as the dotcom collapse of 2001 which lost investors billions of dollars, but from whose ashes great tech giants such as Google and Amazon emerged.

The report identifies key industrial sectors in AI which will make an impact and it forecasts sector by sector growth to 2023. The report dissects the technology, the markets and the major players with indications of which will succeed.

Vertical sectors where AI will do well over the next five years are cybersecurity, automotive, healthcare manufacturing and finance and insurance – with the verticals market reaching $24.8 billion by 2023. Two major horizontals – machine vision and natural language processing – will reach $14.1 billion and $15.0 billion respectively, totalling $29 billion between them. But about half of the horizontal AI market overlaps with the vertical market because both machine vision and natural language, for example, are part of the overall AI being delivered. The report explains why the AI bubble will inevitably burst.

This is more than double the expected annual return from AI even by 2023 and so there is no way this is going to generate a return on investment over the forecast period “Investors will begin rolling up start-ups which fail to generate revenues into others which show promise during 2019” – Philip Hunter.

The only way AI start-ups have made money so far is from being acquired rather than selling their products or services. Valuations have been based purely on the assessment of the people working for the company, often at as much as $10 million ahead. This dangerous method of valuing startups is insane – key people can leave after an acquisition – unless golden handcuffs tied them to the deal, and even that can lead to disenchantment on both sides. After the bubble bursts more realistic and sustainable valuations will be placed both on AI companies and their engineers.

Companies mentioned in this report:

AEye, Affirm,  Agrobot, Ai Build, AIBrain, AiCure, Alibaba, Alphabet, Amazon, Anki,  Apple, Appthority, Arterys, Atlantic Bridge Ventures, Avison Takt, Babylon, Baidu, Banjo, Beijing Genomics Institute, Berkshire Hathaway, Black Knight, Blackwood Seven, Brain corporation, ByteDance, C3 IoT, Clearcover, CognitiveScale,, CropX, CrowdStrike, Cybereason, Darktrace, Deep Instinct,, Facebook, FogHorn, General Electric, GlaxoSmithKline, Google, GV, Hanson Robotics, Harman International Industries, Heavy Water, IBM, iCarbonX, Indix,, Intel, Johnson&Johnson, JPMorgan Chase, Kasisto, Kindred Systems, Kinema systems, Kuka,, LG, Luminance, Microsoft, Mighty AI, Mobvoi, Mythic, Nauto, Nutonomy, Nvidia, Oracle, PerimeterX, Pfizer, Ping An Technology, Preferred Networks, Redline Capital, Roche, Salesforce, SambaNova Systems, Samsung, SAP, SDL, Shape Security, Shift Technology, Siemens, Sight Machine, Soft Bank, Starbucks, Tencent, Toyota, Twitter, UB Tech, Uber, UBtech Robotics, Ultromics, Volkswagen, Walden International, Waymo, Zebra Medical Vision.

For more information contact:

Chloe Spring (Marketing Manager): [email protected]

Office Phone: +44 (0)1179 257019

Download Executive Summary:

Download a copy of the executive summary

Introduction, 4

Forecast, 5

Agriculture, 7

Healthcare, 8

Automotive, 12

Manufacturing, 14

Cybersecurity, 17

Finance and Insurance, 19

Algorithmic Trading, 20

Fraud Detection, 20

Portfolio Management, 21

Underwriting, 21

Customer Support and personalization, 21

Sentiment Analysis, 22

Other sectors, 23

Robotics, 23

News and Media, 24

Risk and Compliance Management, 26

Software engineering and debugging, 26

Hardware and chip design, 27

Internet of Things, 28

Total Market, 30

Horizontal Sectors, 32

CRM, 32

Marketing and Advertising, 32

Sales, 34

eCommerce, 34

Vision and Language Forecast, 35

NLP (Speech), 36

Methodology for this report, 37

AI—Separating the Hype from the Promises, 38

What is AI?, 39

Why all the Hype now, 40

Debunking Complexity – An AI Primer, 42

The Big Players, 46

Google, 46

Microsoft, 47

Amazon, 49

IBM, 50

Apple, 51

Nvidia, 51

China’s Big three (Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent), 53

Start Ups—Top 5 per sector, 54

Healthcare: iCarbonX, Zebra Medical, AiCure, Arterys, Babylon Health, 54

Automotive: Nutonomy, AEye,, Mighty AI, Nauto, 57

Manufacturing: C3 IoT, Sight Machine, FogHorn,, Kinema, 60

Finance and Insurance: Ping An, Heavy Water, Affirm, ClearCover, ShiftTech, 62

Robotics: Anki, Brain Corp, Kindred, UB Tech, Preferred Networks, 64

Cybersecyurity: CrowsStrike, Cybereason, Darktrace, Shape, PerimiterX, 66

About Rethink Technology Research 68



AI Agriculture Projects, 8

AI Healthcare Spend, 9

AI in Automotive 12 AI in Manufacturing, 16

AI in Cybersecurity 18 AI in Finance and Insurance, 22

Other AI Applications, 29

Total AI in Verticals Globally, 30

Total vertical AI market forecasts by Region to 2023, 30

Key AI vertical markets by size to 2023, 31

Horizontal markets AI (Non-overlapping with verticals), 33

Total Global AI Revenue – Vertical and Horizontal combined, 36