Megatrends Series: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Your Guide to the Future Desk Calendar

Series Introduction: ‘Your Guide to the Future’

Here at B2B International, we’re always thinking of the latest innovations and emerging ‘megatrends’ shaping our clients’ industries and markets.

So, for every month in 2019 we decided to delve a little deeper into each of these trends and produce a mini-guide looking at what it is, how big it will be and the opportunity it presents for b2b companies.

Our complete ‘Guide to the Future’ is also available as a handy desk calendar (see above) – click here for details on how to get your hands on one.

This month’s topic is artificial intelligence (AI). Enjoy!


Megatrends Series: Artificial Intelligence (AI)

What is it?

Artificial intelligence (AI) allows machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs and carry out human-like tasks. It works by combining large amounts of data with fast, iterative processing and intelligent algorithms, allowing the program to learn from patterns in the data and make decisions.

How big will it be?

Gartner research shows that by 2020, 30% of all b2b companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes. B2B International research also found that 64% of b2b marketers think AI will have a significantly influential or somewhat influential impact on their organisation’s marketing and insight strategies over the next 5 years.

What’s the opportunity?

Manufacturing: AI-powered analytics tools can assess masses of data from industrial machines and equipment such as jet engines, pipelines and power grids to identify operational improvements and vulnerabilities and to predict when maintenance may be needed.

Financial Services: AI technology is being used by the financial services industry to automate activities such as trading, asset management and fraud detection. AI’s big data and pattern recognition capabilities mean it can outperform even the most experienced analysts when it comes to accurately predicting market movements and stock performance and reviewing millions of bits of transactional data. Similar technology is also proving extremely beneficial in the I.T. and Software industry for identifying and tackling cyber security threats.

artificial intelligence - building information modelling

Construction: AI is also being used to transform the construction industry through Building Information Modelling (BIM) and generative design. AI-powered software allows architects, engineers and construction professionals to submit their own specific design models for new buildings and infrastructure, with the software combining each design, identifying potential clashes and offering different solutions and design variations. It can generate 3D models consisting of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and continually monitor how changes affect the overall design, learning from each iteration and providing optimal solutions.

Telecommunications: Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are using AI to build self-optimizing networks that use sophisticated algorithms to monitor traffic information and automatically optimize network quality and both detect and predict potential problems in the network before they impact customers.


Artificial intelligence (AI) and its massive data processing and analytics capabilities has the power to transform nearly every b2b industry in the future. For example, AI can outperform even the best and most experienced analysts in fields such as financial services and cyber security, making it far easier to predict stock and market movements, identify fraudulent activities and detect and react to new security threats. AI-powered software tools can also take masses of operational data from machines, buildings and infrastructure projects and identify patterns and anomalies to automatically optimise processes and maximise efficiencies across a wide range of industries and applications.

Further Reading
Check out the full list of topics in our megatrends series:


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