Three keys to unlocking AI adoption

Three keys to unlocking AI adoption Artificial intelligence (AI) increasingly permeates every corner of the professional landscape. More businesses are tapping AI to enable the automation and personalization of day-to-day business functions. Somewhat ironically, AI also holds significant potential for humanizing business interactions, peeling back businesses’ cold and robotic layers.

Research has revealed that millennials across Asia Pacific hold an enduring perception that artificial intelligence will have the biggest impact on their future, according to the 2017 Microsoft Asia Digital Future Survey, which polled 1400 young people in 14 markets across APAC. They often turn to AI as a tool to help them bolster productivity, forge a deeper connection with people and improve their health in general.

The evolution of AI

Now that the AI horse has bolted, businesses should attempt to steer it, rather than try to slow it down.

According to a McKinsey Global Institute report in June this year, the entrepreneurial activity unleashed by the rapidly developing field of AI drew three times as much investment in 2016–between $26 billion and $39 billion–as it did three years earlier.

The world is generating once-unimaginable volumes of data, which in turn is fueling AI as it animates and transforms every facet of daily life. AI is being applied to improve customer service and to defend against cyberattacks. Tools like Saturn powerfully fuse machine learning and data visualization to spot anomalies that may give early warning of a cyberattack. Pattern recognition can also be used to catalogue standard equipment simply by taking a photograph of it. Customer support can also be dramatically improved. Contact center advisers can be augmented using machine learning and chatbots such as Digital Genius.

The current state of play in Asia Pacific

Companies often stumble in their efforts to properly derive value by leveraging disruptive technologies.  A McKinsey Global Institute survey of more than 3,000 AI-aware companies around the world revealed that early AI adopters tend to be closer to the digital frontier and are among the larger firms within sectors, while companies that straggle are generally unsure of the returns they can expect on an AI investment.

However, companies in the Asia-Pacific region are sharply ahead in the adoption of disruptive technologies such as internet of things (IoT) and AI, according to a recent global survey of chief information officers (CIOs) by Gartner, Inc. In terms of regional growth, the “Asia-Pacific Artificial Intelligence Market 2016 -2022” report estimated that AI adoption in the region will grow by 46.9% between 2016 and 2022.

A broad array of entrepreneurial digital businesses, established manufacturing and financial services and higher education establishments are driving the Asia Pacific region’s increasing adoption of AI technologies. This unrelenting drive for AI adoption in Asia-Pacific will also lead to budget increases in information technology. The Gartner survey stated that CIOs in Asia-Pacific expect their budgets to grow by 5.1%, higher than the global average of 3%.

Significant advances in AI are also an important part of the adoption narrative in Asia Pacific.

Many applications are now impacting people every day, such as self-driving cars and assistants like Siri and Alexa. APAC leads the west in AI adoption. WeChat, the dominant messaging platform in China, is largely responsible for driving this trend. With some 900 million monthly active users, it has exploded in popularity across the region. Among the varied range of benefits that AI technologies can bring, their capacity to personalize experiences for customers is the most transformative. In the case of WeChat, for instance, users can easily order food, hail a taxi, book a doctor’s appointment, or get a pair of shoes.