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Govt policies to drive AI spend in APAC to US$29.3B

Australia, Singapore and New Zealand rank within the top four APAC countries in terms of annual AI growth

Government policies are set to drive artificial intelligence (AI) platform revenues in the Asia Pacific region to US$29.3 billion in 2024, according to data and analytics company GlobalData.

The analyst firm’s Market Opportunity Forecasts Model for AI reveals that the revenue of AI platforms is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.8 per cent between 2019 and 2024. 

Some of the top countries by revenue market growth during the five-year time frame include Japan with 29.6 per cent; South Korea, 29.5 per cent; Singapore and Australia, both at 29.3 per cent; and New Zealand at 28.4 per cent.

“Governments continue to embrace AI, with a view to empower themselves and their citizens by creating intelligent processes. Some of the potential usage areas where implementation or increased use of AI will have a significant impact include healthcare, education and law enforcement,” GlobalData senior technology analyst Rohit Sharma said. 

GlobalData market opportunity forecast to 2024
GlobalData market opportunity forecast to 2024

As an example, the firm pointed out that Australia set aside $29.9 million in 2019 to improve and develop the AI sector and other emerging technologies.

The Australian government is also assembling an AI Ethics Framework involving industry-wide discussion paper and extensive consultations. Microsoft and Telstra are among some of the local tech players set to trial a set of eight principles around AI as part of the framework.

Broadly, the government wants to create an environment in which AI can help the nation’s economy and society thrive. To achieve this goal, it is developing guidelines to support AI development and adoption.

The creation of the AI Ethics Framework is aimed at guiding businesses and governments looking to design, develop and implement AI in Australia. 

In November last year, the New Zealand government and the World Economic Forum engaged in co-sponsoring a project on the regulation of AI. 

The initiative is closely tied to the cross-government work of the Government chief digital officer (GCDO) in ensuring all New Zealanders can thrive in a digital age and will bring a New Zealand perspective to a global discussion.

On 30 October over 50 guests including AI experts, business, civil society, Māoridom and academia attended a workshop in Wellington to start a national conversation and discuss New Zealand’s role.

Participants discussed key themes of AI such as incorporating trust and empathy, ensuring transparent use, and ensuring all voices are considered in its design and implementation. It also focused on how good regulation would encourage business confidence and consumer safety without compromising innovation. 

GlobalData also emphasised the Singapore Government’s early adoption of AI, in particular, partnering with Microsoft to develop intelligent chatbots delivering human-like customer services. 

“The development of AI and its application areas continue to evolve, providing significant benefits to the society. Government support in terms of favorable policy frameworks and increased adoption of AI will not only enhance the service delivery and governance capabilities for citizens but also help drive the adoption of AI across other sectors in APAC,” Sharma said.