AI Revolution: Which Economies are Prepared?

A new era of industrial revolution is about to sweep the world and it’s time to explore which countries are adequately ready for AI and Big Data opportunities. Companies like IBM have tagged it the cognitive era while others have taken to a more convention term of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The answer is not so straightforward. The UK as a nation has completely embraced the idea of AI, investing in long-term goals and education in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Making its point to spread the understanding of the subject across all Educational level. The government is predicting that the integration of AI is sure to make to boost the UK economy by US$814 billion (£630 billion) by the year 2035. Backing up their convictions with a series of funding initiatives announced in the last 12 months.

However, several countries are yet to take such a leap, preferring to invest in sectors such as transportation rather than IT infrastructure. KPMG, in its report for tech- preparedness scored countries based on three factors. Broadband penetration and Mobile coverage, these two factors show the readiness of consumers to adopt new tech experiences. Finally, the number of the secure server per person revealed the country’s ICT business maturity.

There have been a few shockers in the general trend starting in 2000. Typically, the state of a country’s IT readiness is dependent on it income. A closer look showed the contrast that exists in investments tailored to transport and infrastructure showing where the priority of low-income countries lie.

There is a lot of logic in why a country should invest in infrastructure first before considering technology. But, should they hope to reap the benefits of the Internet of Things and AI, then investing in tech cannot be a secondary affair. There are signals that tech investments are picking up. Countries like Malaysia whose rating of tech-readiness is below its transport infrastructure decided to designate a huge budget towards STEM programs and tax cuts for ICT related investments. And UAE, known for its large investments in the area of infrastructure has also taken significant steps towards tech-based initiatives within the last three years.

The introduction of technology comes with both growth and disruption that might affect several industries. Coping with disruption is mainly dependent on the economic stability of a country. Let consider automation, which affects employment directly. Should a country be looking to adopt a major technological brand for the first time, then attention should be paid to business rights protection.

It is important for countries seeking tech adaption to consider the correction between tech-readiness and educational investments. In this area, countries with middle-income are taking the lead. While some developing countries might have shown some form of hesitation towards tech investment fearing that it might impact the job circuit that keeps their economy afloat. In such a case the difference in skill required for tech-based jobs are still dependent on the education to tech-readiness correlation.

It has become vital to both embrace and train for the emergence of new technology with big business like KPMG drawing on those parallels. KPMG’s International Global Head of People, Performance and Culture, Susan Ferrier stated in the International Annual Conference review. Technology is making some skill irrelevant and causing people to acquire new skill at a rapid pace. Suggesting that by 2020, a third of the skill required for most jobs will be replaced by skill not consider important in the job market today.