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With the increasing dominance of AI in every sphere, countries are making great strides in developing technology associated with Artificial Intelligence. With the United States currently having the firmest hold over the technology—in terms of development, investments, and innovation—other regions are rooting to be more competent for AI deployment in their region. One such sphere is the South East Asian region (ASEAN countries). The region is tapping every available opportunity to install AI in its governing business sectors.
The ASEAN region shows technological readiness, and the potential to develop an AI base, through incorporating AI adoption in their nation-level programmes.
While Singapore has made the greatest advances, other member states also show signs towards AI undertakings—considering the utility of the field and the inevitability of AI surging ahead in technological facets. The countries have been keen on making investments to bring in AI-defined tasks in the commercial paradigm.
The interest and intrigue of local players and the government has also pulled in international investors who are eyeing less saturated regions to grow and leverage AI's investment potential.
Seizing a Proportionate Market Size During the Introductory Phase
ASEAN has realized how early AI adoption can lend them a major competitive advantage, and strengthen their business capability and scope. That said, AI is still a relatively new concept in ASEAN.
Thus, seizing a proportionate market during the introductory phase can only be possible through government lending and startup initiative—where SEA has done remarkably well in securing better positioning on both aspects. Aggressive investing will bolster the capital infrastructure and technology. Furthermore, the promotion of the industry will beget necessary skills required to delve into AI.
At a country level, Singapore is leading the region in AI experimentation across multiple industries. However, there are emerging initiatives in countries across the entire ASEAN region.
With the burst of activity, great R&D efforts, and a vision for inclusive growth, ASEAN is on its way to gain greater AI ability with Singapore being one of the most proliferating regions. This aspect is further strengthened by the fact that Singapore recently introduced the world's fastest patent application-to-grant for AI inventions. This is bound to bring world's foremost leaders, pioneers, coders, and scientists to the nation.
With investments in diverse AI startups such as Vi Dimensions (Raymond Looi), Visenze (Oliver Tan), and XRVision (Rajat Khare), Singapore has had a steady stream of funding over the recent years.
The innate investment trend is also followed by larger organizations, where Huawei held its Cloud Summit 2019 and the company announced the launch of its Cloud & AI Innovation Lab in Singapore. Hub creation, thus further facilitates better options for the nation.
These investment trends coupled with the region's proactive nature in accepting newer technologies makes for a larger scope of growth and development. Additionally, the outlook of Singapore's economic policies in conjunction with the tech industry, as well as a strong foundation of economy, could make the country a viable destination for international organizations and investors to pump money and talent into the nation.
That said, the region still needs to uptick AI financing and build a strong base for the utility of AI in different industries, with government’s support towards AI commercialization and entrepreneurship. AI has the potential to automate complex tasks, cut operating costs, and create income growth, bringing in greater business efficiency. To make the technology scalable, the ASEAN region’s digital infrastructure building is a critical step, along with attracting a pool of talent with AI-competency.
With the market already conducive to the adoption of AI, the government will have to form a regional policy framework that supports initiatives and seed efforts to further encourage AI’s balanced exposure within the region.