This article describes existing and expected benefits of the SP theory ofintelligence, and some potential applications. The theory aims to simplify and integrate ideasacross artificial intelligence, mainstream computing, and human perception and cognition,with information compression as a unifying theme. It combines conceptual simplicitywith descriptive and explanatory power across several areas of computing and cognition.In the SP machine—an expression of the SP theory which is currently realized in theform of a computer model—there is potential for an overall simplification of computingsystems, including software. The SP theory promises deeper insights and better solutions inseveral areas of application including, most notably, unsupervised learning, natural languageprocessing, autonomous robots, computer vision, intelligent databases, software engineering,information compression, medical diagnosis and big data. There is also potential inareas such as the semantic web, bioinformatics, structuring of documents, the detection ofcomputer viruses, data fusion, new kinds of computer, and the development of scientifictheories. The theory promises seamless integration of structures and functions within andbetween different areas of application. The potential value, worldwide, of these benefits andapplications is at least $190 billion each year. Further development would be facilitatedby the creation of a high-parallel, open-source version of the SP machine, available toresearchers everywhere.