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The ASEAN Artificial Intelligence Investment War Begins: A Race Towards Innovation

  Editorial INTI     10 hari yang lalu

Jakarta, INTI - The development of artificial intelligence (AI) in Southeast Asia is gaining momentum, with countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam announcing significant investments in AI technology. This marks the beginning of an AI investment war in the ASEAN region, which is expected to intensify in the coming years.

Recently, Singapore allocated $1 billion Singapore dollars, equivalent to Rp 11.1 trillion, to strengthen its AI capabilities over the next five years. This substantial investment is projected to solidify Singapore's position as a global business and innovation hub based on digital economy.

Thailand is also making strides in AI development, with plans for six flagship AI projects as part of its National AI Strategy and Action Plan. One of these projects focuses on talent development and the development of a Thai Language Large Language Model (ThaiLLM). With an investment of approximately $42 million USD, Thailand aims to enhance the AI skills of its local workforce and boost tourism revenue through AI-driven travel recommendations.

In Vietnam, the government has earmarked $144 million USD to promote AI adoption in the country, while Malaysia has allocated 1.8 billion ringgit as part of its Digital Economy 4IR framework to become a leading AI nation in ASEAN by 2030.

These investments highlight the neighboring countries' serious efforts to build digital economy ecosystems based on AI technology in their respective regions.

McKinsey predicts that the economic potential of AI in Southeast Asia could reach $1 trillion USD by 2030, making it an attractive prospect for ASEAN nations aiming to lead in the digital economy competition based on AI.

Indonesia, with its abundant maritime resources and biodiversity, has the potential to surpass other countries in AI technology development. However, to seize this opportunity, Indonesia must take strategic and concrete steps.

While Indonesia launched the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2020-2045 a few years ago, new and more concrete initiatives are needed to address the growing digital economy competition in ASEAN due to AI advancements.

The establishment of a National AI Committee is essential to coordinate efforts related to innovation, investment, ethics, and governance of AI application across various strategic sectors nationally.

Moreover, this committee should develop a comprehensive roadmap for AI technology development with clear goals and targets, ranging from short-term to long-term objectives. Funding allocation is crucial for the success of AI investments, and Indonesia should prioritize funding for domestic AI innovation despite financial constraints.

Following the footsteps of neighboring countries like Singapore and Malaysia, Indonesia should provide fiscal incentives such as tax reductions for industries implementing AI innovations and formulate other incentives to accelerate AI adoption in both public and private sectors.

Additionally, a strong focus on digital literacy programs and continuous reskilling and upskilling of the workforce nationwide is necessary to transform Indonesia into a digital economy based on AI.

The central government's strong leadership is paramount to ensure the effective implementation of AI development strategies and tangible progress for national advancement. Without direct guidance and supervision from the highest leadership, all AI development efforts may become meaningless projects.

Collaboration with all components of the nation, including local governments, industries, academia, and communities, will be easier with strong national leadership. Ultimately, synergy and solidarity among all elements of society are key to Indonesia's success in becoming a major player in the AI-based digital economy ecosystem in the ASEAN region.

In conclusion, Indonesia must take proactive measures to capitalize on the emerging opportunities in AI technology to avoid falling behind in the global digital economy race.*Hans

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