The Italian artificial intelligence ecosystem is growing, with a turnover of 380 million euros. In 2021, the market recorded a growth of +27%, doubling its value in just two years; 76% of commissions came from Italian companies (290 million), while the remaining 24% were project exports (90 million).
These are the results of a research by the Artificial Intelligence Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano's School of Management.
Large companies in our country are increasingly convinced of the need for digital transformation to remain competitive and to be projected in an international context: six out of ten large companies have launched a project with artificial intelligence.
One third of the Italian artificial intelligence market regards algorithms projects to manage information from data received, an area that has seen one of the greatest growths, +32% compared to 2020. This is followed by solutions for the interpretation of natural language with 17.5% of the market, and algorithms for suggesting content to customers in line with their preferences with an incidence of 16%.
The adoption of chatbots and virtual assistants is growing strongly, accounting for 10.5% of investments, and Computer Vision initiatives that analyse the content of an image in contexts such as public places surveillance or production line monitoring (11% of investments, but growing by 41%).
The most active sector in terms of investment in AI solutions is finance (23%), followed by energy/utilities (14%), manufacturing (13%), tele-formation and media (12%), and insurance (11%).
Nevertheless, there is still a considerable gap in the adoption of artificial intelligence by company size, with big differences between large companies and smaller businesses with little vocation for international markets: among SMEs, in fact, only 6% are structuring a project, by equipping themselves with specialist skills, that includes artificial intelligence technologies.
While the number of large companies that have launched at least one AI project is growing (59%, +6 percentage points compared to 2020), only 6% of SMEs have done the same: in particular, 4% are simply experimenting and only 2% have fully fledged projects.