IT Trends

Artificial Intelligence Seeing Massive Surge in Education

AI software and supporting hardware systems are seeing explosive growth and will continue to do so at least through 2022, with most of it happening in the United States, according to a new artificial intelligence market analysis by IDC.

IDC reported that worldwide spending on AI is seeing 44 percent growth this year over 2018 and is expected to hit $35.8 billion by the end of 2019. That figure is expected to hit $79.2 billion in 2022. The United States will account for approximately two-thirds of total AI spending.

While the education sector won't crack the top 5 in terms of total spending in the forecast period, it is expected to see some of the biggest growth as a percentage — 42.9 percent compound annual growth — compared with an overall average of 38 percent over the forecast period.

Education will experience the third-largest growth of any sector, coming in slightly behind government (44.3 percent) and "personal and consumer services" (43.3 percent).

The top use cases for AI at present, based on current market share, are:

  1. Automated customer service agents (12.5 percent);
  2. Sales process recommendation and automation (7.6 percent);
  3. Automated threat intelligence and prevention systems (7.5 percent);
  4. Program advisors and recommendation systems (6.4 percent); and
  5. Automated preventative maintenance, diagnosis and treatment systems (6.2 percent).

Other popular use cases includes fraud analysis and investigation and intelligent process automation, both of which will see spending above $2 billion in 2019.

Uses for AI are, however, extremely diverse. The "other" category accounted for 59.8 percent of use cases.

According to IDC, there have been challenges to implementing AI, but the benefits seem to be outweighing those challenges.

"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 at IDC, in a prepared statement. "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."

About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 25-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).


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