AI Current Status and Strategies
Artificial intelligence technologies are rapidly being integrated across industries and sectors. Companies have begun to experiment with a suite of AI solutions across numerous use cases - from manufacturing to energy, from healthcare to government. Most of the AI adoption is still happening in the pilot phase, but the potential of AI is already showing tangible benefits for its users and even exceeding expectations.
While some of the countries have just started to develop AI strategies, Asian countries, such as China, Japan, India, Singapore have already developed national-level plans for how AI can be used to enhance domestic and regional competitiveness, which include public and private sector collaboration.
Collaboration between government, the private sector and academia using vast datasets is a notable feature of AI development in Asia, often in specific industry subsectors such as transportation, healthcare, utilities and community security.
In Asia, technology investments and innovative AI approaches are growing faster than anywhere else. Its emerging ecosystem allows entrepreneurs, businesses, and governments to develop endless opportunities empowered by AI.
Asia has been home to tech pioneers for decades. Leading tech companies in Japan and South Korea, for example, have some of the highest number of AI patent filings, according to the World Intellectual Property Organization. The success of these and other East Asian conglomerates is also a testament to the quality of their talent and ability to commercialize research. Asians are placing emphasis on scaling applications in industrial and home robotics, self-driving cars and smart city projects such as one large automotive manufacturer’s planned development in the foothills of Mount Fuji.
China now leads the world in annual R&D spending with nearly $275 billion (just above 2% of GDP), but other Asian nations are also above the 2% mark, including Japan (roughly $176 billion), South Korea ($70 billion) and Singapore ($13 billion). For comparison, U.S. federal R&D spending is roughly $131 billion. While these figures capture a wide range of sectors from biotech to materials to computer science, all are driven by AI.
Japan’s large-scale push into IoT sensor deployment across Asia should be understood as part of its AI strategy given the data it will generate. As the first country with widespread 5G deployment, South Korea has an edge in gathering data that will deepen its AI prowess in areas such as smart manufacturing, immersive gaming and autonomous vehicles.