Retail will overtake banking in 2018 to become the industry leader in cognitive and artificial intelligence spending.

This is according to research firm IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual Cognitive Artificial Intelligence Systems Spending Guide.

The report says retail firms will invest $3.4 billion this year on a range of AI use cases, including automated customer service agents, expert shopping advisors and product recommendations, and merchandising for omnichannel operations.

The worldwide spending on cognitive and AI systems will reach $19.1 billion in 2018, an increase of 54.2% over the amount spent in 2017, says IDC.

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