The Gist

  • Generative AI. Often associated with the wildly popular ChatGPT, the genAI market comprises just 9% of the total AI market.
  • The AI landscape. Currently the AI market is led by the U.S. with China with close behind.
  • The impact of AI. Both white and blue-collar works will feel the effect and new workforce skills will be required.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a buzzword for years, but a flurry of recent advancements and the launch of ChatGPT have thrust AI to the forefront of most conversations. And the innovation has landed directly on the desks of marketing and customer experience leaders who have shifted campaigns, programs and content with generative AI advancements, in particular.

And as we enter this new decade of AI, businesses should understand its potential impact and harness its power to remain competitive.

As director of company insights for Statista, Maike Schlumbohm recently offered her take on navigating this technological landscape in Artificial Intelligence: Creators, Company Landscape, and Consequences, a Statista webinar focused on various aspects of AI, including its market size and growth, its impact on companies and society, the current hype surrounding ChatGPT, and the widespread influence of AI, which, she says, is not limited to the technologically-savvy.

Here's what marketers and customer experience professionals need to know about the latest AI forecast and just how much of the whole AI pie the latest advancements in generative AI have taken. It might not be as big as some marketers and customer experience professionals think.

ChatGPT: The AI Program Making Waves in the Market

At this point, there are probably very few people who haven’t heard about ChatGPT, OpenAI’s extremely popular generative AI. Within just five days of its November release, it reached 1 million users. But what made it so popular? Comparatively, Schlumbohm said it took Netflix more than three years, Twitter two years and Facebook 10 months, to reach the same milestone.

She attributes the popularity of ChatGPT to two main factors:

  • It makes AI accessible to people who are not technologically minded.
  • It is a highly functional program that offers a wide range of tasks and can communicate in multiple languages, all for free.

"Suddenly AI is also available to non-technological minded people ... And I think it's a really good program. It offers a wide spectrum of tasks. It can even speak a lot of different languages and it's for free," Schlumbohm said. "It's a demonstration of the status quo of AI and a wake up call for companies to get involved in this."

AI Market Set to Explode: $1.5 Trillion Predicted by 2030

As a sector of the tech industry, the AI market encompasses companies that create and market AI hardware, software and services. With approximately 20,000 companies operating in the field, most are in the United States.

Despite the fact that a group of tech and business leaders have signed a joint initiative to call for the halt of major AI projects, Schlumbohm said, the market is expected to experience explosive growth. In fact, analysts predict an annual growth rate of 38%, with the market set to reach $1.5 trillion by 2030. To put that into perspective, the AI market's projected value exceeds that of the pharmaceutical market and the alcoholic beverage markets worldwide.

The market of generative AI is also forecast to grow very rapidly with an annual growth rate of about 34%, possibly reaching $111 billion by 2030. With the overall AI market worth $1.5 trillion, generative AI is only a small part of the total AI market, currently around 9%.

Being successful means having access to top resources, high-quality data, cloud-based supercomputers and cutting-edge AI chips. Schlumbohm said tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, Baidu and Amazon have a significant advantage in these areas because they have access to rare and expensive resources and large amounts of data.

Related Article: How Will Generative AI Change Search?

Who Are the Leading AI Companies? 

You know them all — Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta, all U.S.-based companies. While the U.S. reigns supreme, China comes in second as the home to some pretty major AI companies including Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu. Competition is extremely high with each company vying for maximum market share, all are in a race to develop new and innovative products.

Learning Opportunities

Schlumbohm said currently there are 191 generative AI startups, with limited transparency in China's market; 105 are based in the U.S., 17 in the U.K., and 30 in Australia. And so far, six companies in the generative AI space have achieved unicorn status, meaning they have surpassed $1 billion in valuation without being publicly listed on a stock exchange. By the end of 2022 there were 155 AI unicorns, most of them (72) are located in the U.S.

One of the most recent to join the unicorn club is Character.AI, that just announced it has closed a $150 million Series A fundraising at a $1 billion valuation.

AI's Impact on GDP: China Poised to Benefit Most

Schlumbohm acknowledged that while AI was previously considered a topic for IT departments, it’s since become a strategic topic discussed at a company’s highest decision-making levels. In fact, she shared a survey that revealed AI is now considered the most strategically important issue, ahead of climate.

According to Schlumbohm, by 2030, the potential uplift of global GDP from AI is projected to be $50.7 trillion, which equals 14% of the total GDP. The total AI market revenue is expected to be $1.5 trillion by 2030, and the effect on the GDP could be 10 times as much.

But China is estimated to benefit the most, with a potential increase of 26% or $7 trillion. The United States comes in second, meaning a potential impact of about 15% or $3.7 trillion, and, according to Schlumbohm, possible geopolitical consequences if China does overtake the U.S. as the strongest economy.

Related Article: ChatGPT and Generative AI: Just Another Tool in the Creative Toolchest?

Machines Taking on Human Tasks

While previous AI advancements have largely impacted blue-collar workers, Schlumbohm said programs like ChatGPT are also poised to influence white-collar workers. Many tasks that were previously performed by skilled individuals with university degrees can now be executed by machines.

For instance, in the media industry, chatbots can quickly summarize and research news stories. Similarly, in the legal sector, chatbots can draft contracts and conduct research on legal cases. In the healthcare industry, chatbots can analyze x-rays. As an example, Schlumbohm noted that Deutsche Telekom utilized AI to complete Beethoven's Symphony, which was previously unfinished.

“Currently we talk a lot about ChatGPT and the associated generative AI market, but this is only a small subset totally of the company landscape,” Schlumbohm said. “The field of AI will grow very fast ... every country needs to get involved in this topic and find the right balance between regulations and investments.”

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