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The AI impact on business is big and getting bigger as artificial intelligence transforms every industrial sector.

Artificial intelligence has gone from the stuff of science fiction to our everyday lives. Automation, powered in part by AI and machine learning, is poised to transform employment. But the AI impact will be significant across the business, with huge potential for cost savings and efficiencies in industries as varied as shipping, fast food and financial trading.

The AI impact will extend across nearly all economic sectors, but there are two particular areas in which the impact is potentially the largest, according to a McKinsey report: For marketing and sales, the potential value unlocked by AI applications is up to $2.6 trillion, and for supply-chain management and manufacturing, the potential value is $2.0 trillion.

According to a March report from NASDAQ, the primary industries targeted by AI companies are:

  • Semiconductors
  • Software
  • Internet & Computer Services
  • Industrial Machinery
  • Specialized Consumer Services
  • Broadline Retailers
  • Telecommunications
  • Defense
  • Automotive

Among industries, there is wide disparity in the investment in and adoption of artificial intelligence, McKinsey research has shown. Perhaps unsurprisingly, high tech and communications are leaders in adoption--but so are energy and resources, and automotive and assembly. Sectors like professional services and travel and tourism are lagging.

Some industries are planning to spend more to maintain their position at the head of the pack, or in an attempt to catch up. Financial services and high tech and communications sectors intend to spend at least 10 percent more on AI during the next three years, for example, while professional services and healthcare plan to increase spending in the upcoming period by about 7 percent.

But closing that gap requires more than just spending money. It requires knowledge about how AI can help your sector, and what the potential upsides and downsides of investment might be. Here are a few of the ways artificial intelligence, and related technologies, can impact a wide variety of business sectors.

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