The Team
February 8, 2024

Asia-Pacific businesses to spend about USD40 billion on AI in the next two years

GenAI technologies are taking business productivity to the next level. Early developers like Google and OpenAI have shown us the endless possibilities the tools promise. Given the exciting practical examples, it’s not a surprise that businesses are looking to actively invest in and embrace GenAI technologies to power up their operations. 

In particular, analysts are seeing a surging interest and AI adoption brewing in the APAC region. APAC businesses are actively exploring GenAI systems as a lever for boosted productivity and operating efficiency.

The power of GenAI

Experts have termed GenAI tools as a “game-changer” for businesses. The technology can generate a wide variety of original data such as content forms, multimedia, lines of code, and more. It has the ability to interpret inputs and create valuable outputs in return. 

Paul Burton, general manager at IBM APAC explained that the technology holds great value for businesses. He said: “Businesses spend a tremendous amount of money on programmers to write millions and millions of lines of code each year. Imagine if you could achieve a 60, 70, or 80 per cent productivity improvement by using generative AI to write that code for you."

GenAI technologies are set to play a pivotal role in helping companies boost efficiency, enhance customer interactions, and make business decisions. 

APAC’s $40 billion investment in AI

With all the potential promised by AI, businesses are showing an active interest in adopting the technology in their workplace operations. The APAC region is known to have diverse IT requirements, accelerating their interest in innovative AI systems. Around 43 per cent of APAC organisations are exploring GenAI use cases in their operations.

“In 2024, APAC is bracing itself for a year of exploration and potential growth, with gen AI at the center of it all,” said Frederic Giron, VP and senior research director at Forrester. 

Burton predicts that APAC businesses will spend north of $40 billion on AI technologies within the next 2 years. He added that there has been great feedback on WatsonX, IBM’s AI development platform. 

For the Philippines market, Burton observes that around 80 per cent of CEOs in the region are “either implementing or looking for use cases to implement” the technology. 

Concerns surrounding AI

There’s an air of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness and accuracy rates of GenAI systems. Consumers and businesses have concerns about the credibility and genuineness of the information and outputs generated by the AI models. Users are also concerned about AI models hallucinating and generating false outcomes. 

However, experts have pointed out that GenAI models are safe for use when used correctly. “As long as GenAI is generating answers rationally derived from the data that it’s trained on…That’s perfectly fine”, explained Burton.  

GenAI models should therefore be properly implemented to ensure that they align with enterprise goals and function as they are intended to.

For businesses, it’s important to know that the model is always producing unbiased outcomes. Unbiased results and hallucinations cannot be trusted in making business decisions. This is why governance is a vital factor in the wide-scale applications of GenAI models across the board. 

A proper governance framework helps understand and approve what data is being used to build the models. This allows for greater reliability and confidence in the results being produced.

Burton said, “The key is to get your biased data out of your training data sets, train it properly, and have governance protocols in place in your enterprise to make sure that the results being produced are somewhat rational and explainable”.

What to expect?

GenAI is expected to witness prominent adoption in the upcoming years, with stronger governance and regulation frameworks adding to the confidence in the models. Experts predict a productive AI-driven future for businesses, particularly in the APAC region.

“The promise and potential of gen AI, combined with a new wave of technological innovations, will inspire more APAC tech and business leaders to follow in the footsteps of early trailblazers and fuse the power of AI with their transformation efforts to drive business outcomes,” said Giron.