Tech investment bank GP Bullhound has predicted 2017 will be the year of artificial intelligence in its 10th annual technology forecast.

According to report into the trends that will shape the next 12 months, AI will experience widespread consumer adoption as products such as Apple Siri and Amazon Alexa grow in popularity.

Online streaming and e-sports are also significant market opportunities in 2017 and there will be a marked growth in the development of content for VR/AR platforms, as well as automation of repetitive data-driven tasks.

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Meanwhile, automated vehicles and Fintech will pose longer-term growth prospects for investors.

Alec Dafferner, Partner, GP Bullhound, commented: “The technology sector has faced up to significant challenges in 2016, from political instability through to greater scrutiny of unicorns.

“This resilience and the continued growth of the industry demonstrate that there remain vast opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs.

“This report lays out a blueprint for the growth of the sector in 2017. From rapidly changing sectors to longer-term prospects, this research outlines the key trends that will underpin success in the coming year.”

Over the past nine years, GP Bullhound’s predictions report has established a reputation as an industry-leading analysis of the trends and innovations shaping the global technology sector.

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Titled Technology Predictions 2017, it also examines the growth of Europe’s unicorn companies, highlighting the potential for several firms to reach a £8 billion valuation and become ‘decacorns’, including BlaBlaCar, Farfetch, and HelloFresh.

The research was compiled through analysis of global investment data alongside the expert insights of GP Bullhound’s worldwide team, leading investors, and entrepreneurs.

Per Roman, Managing Partner  added: “For the tenth year running, it’s again a pleasure to present the ten trends that we believe will shape the technology industry in 2017.

“As always, this is a collective effort of all the best, and sometime most radical, thinking from all of the professionals worldwide in both our advisory and investment organisations.”

Founded in 1999, the firm has offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin, Manchester and Paris.

The full list of predictions is as follows:

Artificial intelligence

"The buzzword of 2016, AI has been making waves since Alpha Go toppled the 18-time world Go Champion, Lee Sedol.  2016 saw a record level of investment in AI, it’s clear the technology is here to stay."

Cordless content

"Millennials are leading the movement against cable networks, radically changing the way we consume media. The disruption of the TV industry is well underway, and 2017 will see networks challenge the rise of over-the-top services."

E-sports

"The stereotype of the ‘lonely gamer’ no longer applies. E-sports is the fastest growing component of the entertainment industry with more than 250 million fans. E-sports is set to become a billion-dollar industry in 2017 driven by its huge fan base."

The dawn of AR/VR content

"The VR/AR industry is at the peak of its hype cycle, with hardware currently progressing ahead of content. 2017 will be a crucial period for early developers to produce software to drive what is set to be the next major platform."

Driverless cars require human direction

"Unprecedented levels of investment are expected in the sector this year. As cars become more connected and less industrial, the market has been opened to tech players such as Google, Baidu, Apple and Uber."

Fintech

"This year should see a fightback from traditional financial institutions, as they try to disrupt themselves in an attempt to stem the impact of ‘banks 2.0’. Failure to do so will result in attempts to acquire talent and technology."

Social media transformation

"In 2017, as users are exposed to both domestic and foreign platforms in an increasingly flat world of consumer technologies, we expect Western and Asian social media giants to offer vastly similar features."

Saas software

"An increasingly mobile workforce has led to mass adoption of SaaS. The market, however, remains very fragmented. We believe 2017 will see a consolidation of the SaaS ecosystem, delivering competitive applications."

Tech IPOs set for take off

"Global uncertainties have contributed to a sluggish performance for IPO markets in 2016. The market looks set to return to business in 2017, with the likes of Snapchat engaging financial advisors in preparation for an IPO valued at $25 billion."

The year of the European decacorn

"2016 saw the birth of our first European decacorn and we expect two more Supercells to emerge in 2017. European Unicorns continue to demonstrate resilience in comparison with their Asian and US counterparts."