Covid-19 may be wreaking havoc with most businesses but it is proving a boon for the artificial intelligence market, with the global AI sector expected to grow nearly 45% from $28.4bn (£22.5bn) last year to $40.7bn (£32.3bn) in 2020 on the back of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the Global Artificial Intelligence Market Report 2020 to 2030 from Research & Markets, the health emergency has led to a new wave of transformative technologies, including smart machines and robots, emerging as a possible solutions to contain the epidemic.
While Covid-19 is triggering exponential growth, the market is then expected settle down but still reach $99.9bn (£79.3bn) in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate of 34.86%.
North America was the largest region in the artificial intelligence market in 2019, but Asia Pacific is expected to be the fastest growing region in the forecast period.
Even so, it will not all be plain sailing, as the technology’s old nemesis - the skills shortage - is likely to be a major challenge to the AI market, with a lack of AI experts, practitioners, and researchers potentially holding the industry back.
According to one research report by Tencent, there are 300,000 AI researchers and practitioners worldwide but the market demand is for millions of roles.
However, fears that the technology could lead to job cuts in other industries were compounded earlier this week when it was reported that tech giant Microsoft is slashing dozens editorial roles and replacing them with AI software.
Starting in July, Microsoft News, MSN and Microsoft Edge will feature AI-generated news stories instead of content that is manually curated by reporters and editors.
Microsoft, which has a dedicated "AI for Good" division, has yet to comment on the move.