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Asia-Pacific's Advanced Economies are Lagging Behind their Less Developed Rivals in Terms of AI Adoption

Developing economies in Asia-Pacific have a 30% higher share of gen AI users compared to advanced economies. Employees from developing economies embrace AI more enthusiastically due to a higher percentage of digitally native individuals. Failure to adapt to AI technology may lead to challenges for businesses.

Developing economies in the Asia-Pacific region are outpacing their more advanced counterparts in the adoption of generative AI (gen AI), according to a recent study conducted by Deloitte. The research revealed that countries such as China, India, and Southeast Asia have a 30% higher share of gen AI users compared to Japan, Taiwan (China), Singapore, South Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.


The study, which surveyed nearly 3,000 university students and approximately 9,000 employees across 13 locations in the Asia-Pacific region, also highlighted the enthusiasm of employees from developing economies towards AI. This enthusiasm can be attributed to a higher percentage of digitally native individuals in these populations.


While the rapid adoption of AI is not expected to directly eliminate jobs, businesses that fail to adapt may face significant challenges, warned Chris Lewin, AI and data capability leader at Deloitte Asia-Pacific. He emphasised that employees, especially those new to the workforce, will be drawn to rival companies that offer AI applications capable of reshaping the future of work.


The linguistic diversity of the Asia-Pacific region makes AI language models particularly valuable, with over 3,000 documented languages. Kho Wei Any, senior manager of cognitive strategy and growth innovation at Deloitte Southeast Asia, highlighted the role of gen AI in breaking down language barriers and connecting people and businesses globally.


The study also revealed that incorporating gen AI into businesses can lead to increased efficiency. Users reported saving almost a day per week and having more time to learn new skills. However, simply using gen AI more frequently does not guarantee optimal utilisation of the technology. Only half of the surveyed employees believed they were fully leveraging the potential of gen AI. Taking proactive steps to increase understanding, such as researching and experimenting with applications, was found to enhance users' perception of their technology usage at work.


The rise of gen AI is expected to bring significant transformation to industries such as finance, ICT, media, professional services, and education in the Asia-Pacific region. These sectors contribute approximately one-fifth of the region's economic output. Developed economies in the region face the challenge of lagging behind in gen AI adoption while having a higher concentration of workers in industries that could be disrupted by AI.


On the other hand, developing economies are embracing gen AI eagerly, not to cut labor costs, but to enhance productivity and unlock human potential. The report also found that adopting gen AI increased job satisfaction among workers and influenced career choices for 60% of university students.

 
  • Developing economies in Asia-Pacific have a 30% higher share of gen AI users compared to advanced economies.

  • Employees from developing economies embrace AI more enthusiastically due to a higher percentage of digitally native individuals.

  • Failure to adapt to AI technology may lead to challenges for businesses.


Source: SCMP

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