dcn-as logo
Story image

AI driving 'unprecedented' M&A growth

16 May 2019

Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence are causing ‘unprecedented’ growth for mergers and acquisitions, as companies grapple for their share of an AI market that will be worth $190 billion by 2025.

Analyst firm Hampleton Partners says the first quarter of 2019 has seen some record-breaking M&A transaction volumes – something that will set the pace for the rest of the year.

AI has graduated from the experimental phase of the innovation lifecycle into the developmental phase, as it is applied in almost all industries and verticals.

“With the growth and competitiveness of many industries now dependent on the development of these AI technologies, strategic investors across all sectors and continents are stepping up their acquisitions and investments,” says Hampleton partners sector principal Heiko Garrelfs.

There are several areas where AI is making the most impact: Machine data analysis, edge AI, computer vision, language analysis, and conversational AI.

Below are insights from Hampleton Partners about each area.

Machine data analysis and edge AI

Machine data analysis has recently shown an inclination towards Edge AI – i.e. running AI algorithms on edge devices such as smartphones or cars, rather than communicating with a central cloud or server – which allows devices to safeguard privacy, avoiding the purported insecurity of cloud-based data systems.

Edge computing also allows devices to process information locally and respond more quickly, which is vital for the development of Internet of Things (IoT) and autonomous vehicle technology, where immediate response is a necessity.

Computer vision

Computer vision experienced a stellar half-year in 2H 2018, mainly owing to growth in hot trends such as facial recognition, check-out-free retail or motion analysis, all of which enable the collection of more insights and provide information for future market opportunities.

Facial recognition is becoming a dominant form of biometric authentication, with early commercial applications in security, retail, payments and consumer electronics – Apple’s latest smartphone technology for Face ID logins and payments being one of the commercially popular use-cases. Retailers are also adopting the technology to recognise returning customers – a strategy used to offer special discounts as part of loyalty programmes.

Furthermore, as increasingly smart city infrastructure adopts security cameras, video analytics can be widely applied using facial recognition to detect and track offenders or suspects in public spaces.

Language analysis and conversational AI

Global tech companies east and west have focused heavily on Conversational AI. Google’s integration of Duplex – its new AI-driven automated reservation-making system – into the Pixel 3 smartphone, transformed the Google handheld device into an AI powerhouse.

However, Apple’s Siri has lagged far behind Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant in terms of voice recognition ability and development. It was no surprise, therefore, that in February 2019 Apple acquired PullString, a speech recognition software development SaaS which enables businesses to build interrelated applications for IoT devices.

Many companies believe the problem is not the speech recognition technology itself, but the lack of focus and reasoning within these systems. As a result, intent detection – i.e. the ability to determine from context what the user wants – has become the new research focus area for speech recognition start-ups who are willing to challenge the hegemons and fill in the gaps in big tech AI.

Link image
Enterprises' data generation efficiency creates 'data gravity' problem
Enterprises are now data powerhouses, but they risk crumbling under the weight of 'data gravity'. But what is data gravity, and how do you break free? Find out more here.More
Story image
Innovation Summit East Asia 2020: The significance of sustainability and resilience to business success
Schneider Electric's Innovation Summit East Asia 2020 on 4 November will leverage the experience of experts to deliver informative sessions on how to stay agile by utilising resilient and sustainable strategies.More
Story image
Data centre infrastructure spending still on the rise, despite setbacks
“Gartner expects larger enterprise data centres sites to hit pause temporarily and then resume expansion plans later this year or early next. However, hyperscalers will continue with their global expansion plans due to continued investments in public cloud.”More
Story image
NVIDIA & VMware on a mission to bring AI to 'every enterprise'
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger declares that the partnership is a ‘true democratisation’ of powerful technologies. More
Story image
Global Switch extends leadership team with two new appointments
Global Switch has added more expertise and experience to the company’s senior management team with two new appointments, and states that this will support the company’s growth strategy and global expansion.More
Story image
AirTrunk to build hyperscale data center in Japan
AirTrunk TOK1 will be designed to support public cloud customers’ demand for growing capacity requirements in Japan.More