New Study Shows HK Is Ready for AI

Image credit: iStockphoto/May_Chanikran

Hong Kong residents and businesses are ready for AI adoption, according to a Google HK study “Smarter Digital City — AI for Everyone.”

The study, which was conducted by KPMG, looked at AI adoption and readiness in Hong Kong.

The results show that AI Readiness Index among residents and businesses across four key business verticals is 50 and 56 out of 100 points respectively.

It signals a solid foundation and positive outlook for Hong Kong adopting AI and new technologies.

“AI is already embedded in consumer products, services, and apps that Hong Kongers use every day. It is also a foundational technology for many business productivity tools, cloud solutions, and digital marketing platforms which have been widely adopted by enterprises in Hong Kong. Encouragingly, Hong Kong residents and businesses are optimistic about AI and are eager to learn and master AI knowledge to stay competitive. This lays a good foundation for a Smarter Digital City,” said Leonie Valentine, managing director of sales and operations at Google Hong Kong.

The study showed that both Hong Kong residents and businesses recognize the benefits of AI. Sixty-five percent of residents expect that AI can help improve society in general, while 63% cite ease and convenience as the key reasons for adopting AI, including smart translation (80%) and route optimization (79%) as the most frequently used AI-powered products and services.

However, worries about the use of data without prior know-how and permission (49%) and cost (40%) pose barriers. Residents also expect the private (70%) and public sectors (81%) to drive AI education, and many showed interest in areas of general understanding of AI and machine learning (44%), application and use cases of AI and Machine Learning (44%) as well as data science and data analytics (42%).

For businesses, 78% of businesses believe AI is beneficial and can bring improvements, particularly in improving quality and enhancing efficiency. However, across the board, financial gaps (56%), knowledge gaps (51%), and talent gaps (50%) are barriers to adoption.

Taking a closer look at the Index’s five parameters, Hong Kong businesses are keen to investigate future investment in AI, resulting in a higher score in Spending but many lack expertise in AI and the ability to attract AI talent, which is reflected by the lower score in Know-how. While 49% of businesses have a data strategy for the company in place, only 31% currently operate an in-house data warehouse or seek to enrich data from third-party sources.

The study noted that AI can help businesses to mitigate risks, improve efficiency, enhance products and services, and deliver experiences that align with fast-changing customer needs. SMBs look for immediate ROI on AI investments, with 31% citing insufficient financial support as a barrier to adoption, compared with 21% of corporates.

Image credit: iStockphoto/May_Chanikran