The Untapped AI Market

AI technology has been around for decades, with narrow applications, limited capacity, and slow growth until very recently. AI innovation accelerated at the same time that the pandemic favored stay-at-home industries as companies and people were forced to adapt. As of 2021, there were 141,000 patent filings for AI technologies1 compared to just 6,000 5 years prior in 2016. Similarly, more than half of all businesses use AI in some capacity today compared to just 20% in 20172

Estimates of the future potential of AI are constantly changing as technology like ChatGPT rapidly advances and opens new possibilities for gains in revenue, productivity, and innovation. McKinsey & Company now estimates that the total global economic impact of AI across industries could be $17.1 to $25.6 trillion3 annually. Generative AI like ChatGPT and other content generation models are projected to make up 15% to 40%3 of that total and may contribute an increase of 7% (or $7 trillion)1 in global GDP over the next decade. For reference, the entire GDP of the UK in 2021 was $3.1 trillion3

AI is also projected to impact every industry in one form or another, with banking, high tech, and the life sciences3 among those most likely to see the biggest impact on revenue. If fully implemented, AI could generate an additional $200 to $340 billion annually3 in the banking industry and $400 to $660 billion annually3 in retail and consumer packaged goods. The generative AI application market4 (ie. B2B and B2C products) is expected to expand the most rapidly and provide the most value growth opportunities for new and existing companies alike.

Across various industries, 300 million full-time jobs1, or 10% of the global workforce, could be subjected to replacement by AI technology in the coming years. McKinsey estimates that generative AI has the potential to automate tasks that take up 60-70% of employees’ time3. Historically though, technological innovation has led to net job creation1, not net job loss, as complimentary jobs are created.

However, there remain significant barriers to entry in the AI value chain for new entrants and small companies, making it reasonable to assume that large cap companies will continue to dominate the space for the foreseeable future. NVIDIA and Google, for example, dominate the market for accelerator chips4 needed to process data used in AI models. These companies and others that use specialized or proprietary data have a competitive advantage that will be crucial as AI takes off.

Currently, North America has 40% of AI market share2 while the Asia-Pacific region is projected to have the highest growth over the next several years. By 2030, the global market for AI is forecast to hit nearly $2 trillion2, with generative AI making up roughly half of the market5. From an investment perspective, global corporate investment in AI more than doubled1 from 2019 to 2021 and is only expected to continue. 

Choosing to invest in AI right now opens investors up to a high-growth market with strong future upside potential. As there are a limited number of publicly-traded AI companies available today, having a diversified AI and tech fund can protect investments from having to rely on one driver of growth. Actively managed AI funds at this nascent stage in the industry benefit from being managed by someone dedicated to keeping up with the pace and magnitude of seemingly incomprehensible change not only to AI and tech but to every other investment that those changes might impact.

A good bet for now may be to invest in a mix of companies that provide AI-enabling technology, like NVIDIA, and companies that deploy AI technology, like Schrodinger, both of which are holdings in the TrueShares Technology, AI & Deep Learning ETF (LRNZ). This fund is actively managed with 20 to 30 secular growth companies to ensure that modern investors can stay ahead of the curve as AI technology continues to evolve and transform multiple industries.