AI’s Rising Tide Lifts Industry Verticals

04-02-2019

POINT ROBERTS, Wash. and DELTA, British Columbia, Feb. 04, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Investorideas.com, a global investor news source covering Artificial Intelligence issues a special edition of The AI Eye, looking at how this technology is disrupting multiple industry verticals and shifting them into a new era of efficiency.

Recent data from Transparency Market Research indicates that the broader global AI market is projected to hit $3.06 trillion USD by 2024. However, though AI’s seemingly inexorable rise is widely reported, it is also notable how the technology is being seized upon to disrupt various industry verticals and usher sectors into a new era of efficiency and innovation.

One of these is the agriculture industry. Digital Journal cites research from HTF Market Intelligence showing that AI in agriculture will be worth $2.63 billion USD by 2025. Deere & Company (NYSE:DE), the makers of John Deere tractors, are at the vanguard of this with their acquisition of computer vision and robotics company Blue River Technology in 2017. Chicago Business Journal reports that at CES 2019, Deere exhibited an AI-powered, self-driving tractor which can “save many crops” that even experienced drivers couldn’t avoid destroying. Alex Purdy, head of John Deere labs, told the publication:

“We certainly are known for our muscle on the farm. We want to be equally as known for the brains on the farm. We’ve been investing for dozens of years on technology and solutions that have really transformed agriculture that augment the muscle to be a lot more intelligent. So, this is kind of our coming out party to the tech audience…. We are now here really to open [ourselves] up to the world.”

The lithium-ion battery market currently faces the problem of high demand but with a potential supply shock. While the market is projected to hit $139.36 billion by 2026, environmentally conscious regulation and mine shortages threaten the vitality of the industry. One company, Standard Lithium (TSXV:SLL) (OTCQB:STLHF), has responded by developing and implementing AI enabled high-speed, multi-image photo-microscopy and computer image recognition in a prototype pilot plant for lithium carbonate crystallization. The new tech has resulted in the company producing its first quantity of commercial grade battery quality lithium carbonate at the prototype plant.  It’s a very simple process that isolates and removes lithium from underground water formations.  It’s clean, cheap and FAST. This technological breakthrough reduces the time to extract lithium from 18 months to 1 hour.

Dr. Andy Robinson, President and COO of Standard Lithium, commented:

Whilst we had previously made ‘battery quality’ carbonate at bench scale using our proprietary technology, we consider it an important milestone that we can achieve the same very high levels of purity at the larger scale of our prototype pilot. This has provided Standard Lithium, our Technical Team and our design partners with all the confidence needed to commence detailed design on the main crystallization pilot plant, and this work is now ongoing.

Real advances are also being achieved with AI in healthcare, a market which is projected to grow from USD 2.1 billion in 2018 to USD 36.1 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 50.2% during the forecast period.  Intuitive Surgical, Inc. (NASDAQ:ISRG) is one of the best examples of how AI and robotics can make quantum leaps in healthcare. Using robotics and AI to advance surgical technology, the company’s  da Vinci Surgical Systemwas one of the first robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgical systems cleared by the FDA. Today, a family of da Vinci systems and technologies is used by surgeons in all 50 U.S. states and 66 countries around the world.

Calling it the next era of surgical innovation, for narrow access urologic surgery, the da Vinci SP® system enables surgeons to operate through one incision. Designed to complement the da Vinci X® and da Vinci Xi® systems, the da Vinci SP provides surgeons with a familiar user experience for single port access.

The aviation market is also being disrupted by AI technology, with research from Technavio indicating a CAGR of nearly 38 percent from 2018-2022. The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA), which is one of the largest aircraft manufacturers in the world and over a century old, recently completed the first test flight of its autonomous passenger air vehicle (PAV) prototype in Manassas, Virginia, executing a controlled takeoff, hover and landing. Steve Nordlund, vice president and general manager of Boeing NeXt, said:

"Boeing was there when the aviation industry was born and in our second century, we will unlock the potential of the urban air mobility market. From building air vehicles to airspace integration, we will usher in a future of safe, low-stress mobility in cities and regions around the world."

Artificial Intelligence is already widely recognized as a transformative technology in its own right, but its disruptive effect on varied sectors across the economy is an increasingly significant story as well.

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