Singapore Remains Top In APAC For AI Readiness

Salesforce has announced the second edition of its Asia Pacific AI Readiness Index, which saw Singapore retain the top spot for AI readiness.

Prepared by Access Partnership, the report uses an AI Index to assess the readiness of governments, businesses, and consumers across 11 APAC economies in their adoption of AI technologies.

Singapore leads all three indices of AI readiness with an overall score of 65.7, followed by Japan (60.0) and Hong Kong (59.3).

The growing role of AI

The role of AI is increasing, and Salesforce noted it is delivering around 120 billion AI-powered predictions every day, up from 6.5 billion in October 2019. According to PwC, AI will contribute approximately USD15.7 trillion to global GDP by 2030, up from USD2 trillion in 2019.

According to the report, COVID-19 has accelerated investment in AI across all economies. Moreover, governments are at the forefront of AI efforts, and its use is rapidly transforming the way businesses, consumers, and governments transact and interact.

Crucially, international cooperation on AI frameworks, principles, and standards is growing. For instance, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have adopted the OECD Principles on AI, even as ASEAN countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Vietnam have recognized the importance of AI and data-based technologies on a regional level.

The report pointed to how AI technologies require a steady stream of reliable, actionable, and secure data to learn and function. However, governments and businesses are often challenged in effectively tracking, capturing, storing, and aggregating data in a way that informs AI systems. However, the top-ranking economies have successfully instituted data governance and management protocols.

From principles to practice

Sassoon Grigorian, the senior director of government affairs and public policy for Salesforce in APAC and Japan pointed to how countries such as Singapore have implemented whole-of-government strategies to guide the development of AI ecosystems, and where the use of AI is becoming ubiquitous.

“The report recommends a number of measures to boost economies’ effective use of AI. These include having a national AI strategy backed by robust principles; growing AI ecosystems and investing in talent; ensuring trust, as well as applying AI for social good,” said Grigorian.

Yeong Zee Kin, the assistant chief executive of data innovation and protection at Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said: “This year saw more economies increasing their rate of digital adoption, amidst an upward trend in AI-enabled products and services. Accordingly, trustworthy AI needs to also transit from principles to practice.”

“The development of standards for trustworthy AI will sustain a progressive environment for the benefit of consumers. The report mentions that international cooperation on AI frameworks, principles, and standards is growing. Singapore will continue to actively support the adoption of AI while balancing both innovation and public trust through a multi-stakeholder approach.”

The full report can be accessed here (pdf).

Image credit: iStockphoto/R.M. Nunes