The global market for smart machines was valued at $5.3 billion in 2013. This market is expected to increase to over $6.2 billion in 2014 and nearly $15.3 billion in 2019, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19.7% for the five-year period 2014 to 2019.
This report provides:
An overview of the global market for smart machines.
The details which define these machines including the ability to adapt to and learn from changing conditions in real time, the capacity to operate autonomously (without direct human supervision), and having the capability to communicate with other machines.
Analyses of global market trends, with data from 2013, estimates for 2014 and 2019, and projections of CAGRs through 2024.
Potential markets for various types of smart machines such as virtual reality assistants, intelligent agents, expert systems, embedded software, autonomous robots, and purpose-built smart machines.
Key enabling technologies for the next generation of smart machines, including voice recognition technology, micro- and nanosensors, radio frequency technologies, and neurocomputing.
The possibilities and challenges created by “smart” machines replacing humans have been a staple of science fiction for nearly 150 years, beginning with Samuel Butler’s novel Erewhon. Since then, the theme of smart machines has been developed in numerous books and films, most of which portray smart machines either as mankind’s helpers (e.g., Isaac Asimov’s Robot books), its equal partners (Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Lt. Commander Data) or its implacable enemies (The Terminator’s Skynet).
As a result, it is difficult not to feel a sense of déjà vu at the recent Gartner Research report, “Surviving the Rise of ‘Smart Machines’, the Loss of ‘Dream Jobs’ and ‘90% Unemployment’ ”, published in late 2013. The report’s authors warn that by 2020, labor reductions caused by smart machines could cause social unrest in some advanced economies (i.e., smart machines as the enemy). Smart machines may also help to retrain workers and help them to acquire the skills needed for new jobs (smart machines as helpers), but in the end, smart machines should be recognized as part of the workforce (smart machines as partners).
Some critics have downplayed the Gartner report’s conclusions as overly pessimistic or at least premature, but there is no doubt the number of smart machines and their role in the modern economy and society are expanding rapidly. Not only that, the rate of progress in smart machines is set to increase dramatically thanks to a combination of Moore’s law and the melding of various enabling technologies, e.g., machine learning, voice recognition and nanotechnology.
STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Amid the debate about the benefits and risks of smart machines, or the effects they might have on society or the economy, the goal of this report is more concrete. Its goal is both to provide the reader with an understanding of the technologies that will influence the future size and structure of the market for smart machines and related technologies. Specific objectives include:
Identifying smart machine products and related technologies with the greatest commercial potential over the next ten years (2013 to 2024).
Analyzing the key drivers and constraints that will shape the market for these products and technologies over the next ten years.
Estimating the current and future demand for smart machine products and enabling technologies.
Ascertaining which companies are best positioned to meet this demand, because of proprietary technologies, strategic alliances or other advantages.