The future of the consumer electronics industry will be shaped by a range of disruptive themes, with artificial intelligence (AI) being one of the themes that will have a significant impact on consumer electronics companies. A detailed analysis of the theme, insights into the leading companies, and their thematic and valuation scorecards are included in GlobalData’s thematic research report,Artificial Intelligence, 2020 Update – Thematic Research. Buy the report here.
AI is everywhere, and it has an impact on all our lives. However, years of bold proclamations have resulted in AI becoming overhyped, with reality often falling short of the world-altering promises. The coming years will be less about making bold statements and more about delivering tangible benefits. Practical uses of AI will be front and centre, as businesses ensure they get their money’s worth by using AI to address specific use cases.
As AI becomes more pervasive and embedded in life-changing decisions, the need for transparency has intensified. There have been plenty of high-profile cases in recent years where AI has contributed to bias and discrimination, with the use of facial recognition for policing being just one example. There is a high probability of a shift from loose self-regulation to government involvement in AI over the next couple of years. In turn, Big Tech is increasingly using AI to solve the privacy and bias problems that the technology itself created. Explainable AI, which allows humans to understand the path a model took to make a decision, and synthetic data training, which circumvents the small data problem using artificially created data, are two ways AI is being used to develop trust.
An example of AI in consumer electronics is consumer robots which support domestic tasks. Vacuum and floor cleaning robots account for the vast majority of consumer robots sold, and they offer a range of smart attributes, such as obstacle identification and route planning.
However, not all companies are equal when it comes to their capabilities and investments in the key themes that matter most to their industry. Understanding how companies are positioned and ranked in the most important themes can be a key leading indicator of their future earnings potential and relative competitive position.
Insight from a top ranked company
Microsoft was late to the AI party, but since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, AI has become a top priority. In 2018 Nadella stated that Microsoft is going to “infuse everything with AI.” Microsoft rapidly made up ground, helped by strategic acquisitions, most recently in 2018 when it acquired Bonsai (ML), XOXCO, and Semantic Machines (both conversational AI), and Lobe (deep learning). It is also investing heavily in AI through its venture capital arm, M12. Adding AI functionality to its Azure cloud computing service will remain a priority, allowing customers to integrate AI into their applications. Microsoft Dynamics 365 AI was introduced at the beginning of 2019 to help customers predict future business outcomes. Like much of Microsoft’s AI portfolio, voice assistant Cortana has gone corporate. It was supposed to be a competitor to Siri and Alexa in the consumer market, but it remains primarily a business tool.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Artificial Intelligence.
- Samsung Electronics
- LG Electronics
- Seiko Epson
- Snap One