Companies must look at incorporating big data into their operations before even attempting to use AI. Source: Shutterstock

Data is Asia’s biggest threat to AI development

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI) is crucial in transforming businesses from followers to leaders. It promises to improve business operations and bring better customer experiences.

There’s just one catch – it’s data hungry. For a majority of businesses in the Asia Pacific, this becomes the largest hurdle in adopting AI. More than half of them are struggling to gather and integrate big data into their operations.

As the volume of data generated grows by the day, companies must find a way to leverage big data in order to reap the benefits of AI.

The results were detailed in a Forrester report. It highlighted that identifying the right data management and predictive analytics platforms, as well as sourcing data from the diversified channels, are some common difficulties faced by businesses when using big data.

Companies also noted difficulties in building cross-functional teams to work with agility, and identifying the right technology or service partners.

“Enterprises looking to adopt AI face real, urgent challenges that hinder their ability to take advantage of the many benefits AI technology promises to offer,” said Appier’s CEO and Co-founder, Chih-Han Yu.

“To clear these hurdles, it’s important for organizations to choose partners who offer expertise in engineering and data management as well as in building precise and effective models.”

Additionally, the study showed that Indonesia is leading the pack in the region for AI implementations. Close to two-thirds of companies in the country stated that they have implemented AI, or are expanding/upgrading their capacity.

Interestingly, the top three countries for AI implementation are all emerging markets (other two being China and India), ahead of more developed economies like South Korea, Singapore, Japan, and Taiwan.

Primarily, AI brings two main benefits: more efficient business operations with better risk predictions, and better products and solutions based on improved insights into customer behavior.

In the case of Asia, companies generally expect to see most benefits in business processes, as compared to customer engagement. The only exception is in Singapore, where more businesses are expecting improvements in customer experiences to be more prominent.

Taking into account the motivation for companies to use AI, an interesting trend emerged. Markets like Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia are predominantly using AI to drive product innovation.

On the other hand, businesses in Japan, Singapore, and Australia are more focused on using AI to improve existing solutions.

Regardless of priorities, the benefits of AI are apparent. It is important for companies to take action now and overcome difficulties in integrating big data, or risk losing to their competitions.