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Spending on artificial intelligence technologies in Europe is expected to increase by 33% between 2020 and 2023, according to International Data Corporation.

Spending is expected to reach $10 billion in 2020 despite budget reductions due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Automation and social distancing compliance needs in response to COVID-19 will accelerate investments across the public sector.

Across 181 European companies, 16% of European companies believe automation through AI and other emerging technologies can help them minimize the impact of COVID-19.

Companies are expected to accelerate the deployment of AI in the cloud to be more efficient and agile.

Companies will also aim to automate their supply chains and avoid production bottlenecks, especially for industries with vast supplier networks

Andrea Minonne, a senior research analyst with IDC, said: “Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many industries such as transportation and personal and consumer services will be forced to revise their technology investments downwards.

“On the other hand, AI is a technology that can play a significant role in helping businesses and societies deal with and solve large scale disruption caused by quarantines and lockdowns. Of all industries, the public sector will experience an acceleration of AI investments. Hospitals are looking at AI to speed up COVID-19 diagnosis and testing and to provide automated remote consultations to patients in self-isolation through chatbots. At the same time, governments will use AI to assess social distancing compliance”

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Petr Yojtisek, a research analyst at IDC, adds: “As a short-term response to the COVID-19 crisis, AI can play a crucial part in automating processes and limiting human involvement to a necessary minimum.

“In the longer term, we might observe an increase in AI adoption for companies that otherwise wouldn’t consider it, both for competitive and practical reasons.”

The study has been compiled with data gathered in 32 countries, 19 industries, 27 use cases, and 6 technologies.

For IDC’s coverage of COVID-19 in Europe, click here.