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Regional strengths characterize the development of AI in Asia

McKinsey estimates that by 2030, 70 percent of businesses "could have taken at least one of the five categories of AI, such as computer vision, natural language, virtual assistants, robotic automation, and advanced machine learning."

The report estimates that AI has the potential to produce "additional global economic activity; from nearly $ 13 trillion by 2030 and 16 percent to higher cumulative GDP compared to [September 2018]. "

Geographically, Asia occupies 29.4 percent of the Earth's surface, but also has a population of nearly 4.5 billion in 201

5 – 60 percent of the world's total. Young Asians see AI as a whole optimistic. A Microsoft survey found that 39 percent of young Asians anticipate a future with networked or driverless cars, 36 percent fathom a world where there will be software robots that improve productivity, and 19 percent robots as social companions imagine.

] Young people on the continent are looking forward to seeing AI boost their productivity, ease the way they connect with others, and improve their physical and mental health. The loss of jobs due to automation, which is a major problem in many parts of the world, seems to have taken a back seat in Asia. Only 26 percent fear losing their jobs through technology.

In every Asian country this is the case at a different stage of technological development. Of course, the progress of AI also varies from country to country. McKinsey states that while the United States is considered the leader in global AI, China is second. This can be substantiated by looking at the number of AI employees worldwide. According to the Nikkei Asian Review the Canadian AI startup element estimates that there are 22,400 top talent in AI worldwide – 10,295 of them in the US and 2,525 in China. [19659006] "There are 22,400 top talents in AI worldwide – 10,295 of them in the US and 2,525 in China."

In addition, Element noted that Japan was an outlier with only 805 top talents in the AI ​​talent scene Land, which is the third largest economy in the world. Japan will face a large deficit of AI talent in the future if it does not close the gap fast enough. On the other hand, Singapore is relatively well-endowed with AI talent, and 40 percent return to the country after acquiring the necessary skills abroad. Chinese, South Korean and Indian talents also return to their countries of origin after studying in other countries.

What does AI shape in Asia?

To Understand How AI Is Taking Shape in Asia Especially in Southeast Asia and East Asia, Binary District spoke to IBM Japan and Muthu Kumar Chandrasekaran, an AI expert specializing in machine learning and natural language processing ,

We first asked about the respective challenges and possibilities exist in the AI ​​area in Japan and Singapore. The spokesman for IBM expressed concern about the labor shortage and low labor productivity in the country, as well as the decline in Japan's population.

According to IBM, this poses a major challenge for the AI ​​sector, as "many companies can not start using AI due to AI's lack of strategies and leaders, lack of skills and human resources, and many companies are not getting to the point Operation over because PoC does not deliver the expected results. There are many companies that have been put into operation, but have not used small and narrow areas and have not advanced their digital transformation. "

Chandrasekaran sees the Far East, however, as always optimistic, has been a 'great playground for applications as new technologies hit the market. & # 39; "Unlike the West," he says, "the Far East has no antitrust tendencies toward technology companies that use machine learning user data. As a result, the Far East has been the first to introduce real-world facial recognition technology, making full use of the power of social online referral networks.

"The Far East has a larger local technical workforce than in the West. This is driving Western companies to open their largest development centers there. This shows that the potential for innovation has not yet been exhausted.

"Unlike the West, the Far East has no antitrust tendencies toward technology companies that use machine learning user data."

"While Singapore has achieved great results, start-up ecosystem In recent years, other major economies have in the Far East have not yet fully opted for such an initiative. Chinese companies continue to focus on local markets and have not adapted their brands to global competition with Western companies. Governments in India and Japan can do more in terms of policy and investment to promote AI-based start-ups. "

Like other emerging technologies, AI is also in danger of being swallowed up on its own hype. However, it is possible to assess the state of emerging technologies through various related new developments.

When it comes to Japan, for example, natural language processing (NLP) gains momentum. IBM states that instead of redeveloping an AI model, it requires learning how to use NLP and image recognition provided by a vendor that meets the business needs of the business.

IBM Japan, for example, has launched Watson supporting the Japanese language in 2016. "In the case of IBM Watson, many APIs can be customized by learning enterprise-specific data, which can be combined to develop AI applications that meet your needs ", says the company.

"AI applications are already being developed and used in various industries and companies. For example, KI customer service applications are developed that respond to suggestions for appropriate products and confirmations and changes to order information, and KI applications that support professionals such as operators and engineers are developed and put into production and used to meet the labor shortage and to ensure a higher quality of service.

Exciting developments are taking place elsewhere in Asia too. Chandrasekaran points to the use of face recognition technologies in real-world applications in China as well as the rise of self-driving automakers in China and Singapore. He also noted the large number of accepted contributions from the Far East in high-level academic AI conferences as an indicator of an AI boom in the region.

"Data driven social networking companies that have changed the purchasing and payments industry for the better in China are a great example of where the Far East is ahead of the West," says Chandrasekaran. "The strong will of governments in the region to invest in large nationwide AI programs (such as KI Singapore) with civilian participation is very different from the Western government's funding programs through its armaments research arms. Civic participation and enthusiasm are needed to adapt AI to people's daily lives. "

Of course, every part of Asia has its own culture that affects the progress of technology in each nation. Japan has always been one of the world's leading production centers. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan's manufacturing industry accounts for 90 percent of the country's exports.

"I assume that Singapore will have the first self-propelled vehicles in operation by the public, for example, as government buses or university shuttles. "

It is therefore not surprising that AI plays a prominent role in the country's manufacturing industry. "AI is also used in the manufacturing industry," says IBM. "Many companies have worked on predictive analysis (predictive maintenance, demand forecasting, etc.) using routine data. In addition, atypical data such as text, images, voice and sound have been used in the AI ​​to gain expert knowledge and advance digitization. "

Singapore's relatively small and well-organized environment lends itself to other developments. "I expect that Singapore will use the first self-driving vehicles in public, for example, as government buses or as university shuttles," says Chandrasekaran. "These are, in my opinion, easier to install than a self-driving taxi fleet." As the country has considerable strength in improving education programs, it also offers the opportunity to increase public participation in academic affairs.

] "Public universities have opened the door to their employees to participate in community-run initiatives to learn and practice AI, such as a NUS course," he says. "Hardly any Western government strives nationwide to help the public learn and acquire new skills that this AI-driven world needs. Like e-governance, Singapore will play a leading role in providing large scale technology-based education to educate the public in AI.

This article was originally published on Binary District by Charlie Sammonds. Binary District is an international collaborative technology community that organizes unique skill-based workshops and events on new technologies. Follow them on Twitter .

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