ASEAN Embraces AI: Survey Reveals Optimism

JAKARTA – In a groundbreaking survey, the ASEAN region has demonstrated a robust commitment to integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI) within its various sectors, signaling a transformative shift in the technological landscape.

The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Science, Technology and Innovation (AMMSTI) recently adopted a comprehensive statement on AI, recognizing its potential to drive significant economic and social advancements. The survey, which reflects the collective stance of the member states, underscores the anticipation of a 10 to 18% GDP uplift, potentially valued at USD 1 trillion by 2030, attributed to the integration of AI technologies.

The ASEAN Digital Economy Framework Agreement (DEFA), launched at the 23rd ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) Council, places AI as a pivotal topic under its emerging issues provision, further highlighting the region’s proactive approach to digital transformation. This is complemented by the establishment of a Working Group under the ASEAN Digital Senior Officials’ Meeting (ADGSOM) on AI Governance, tasked with addressing the governance of generative AI and fostering its safe, responsible, and ethical use.

The ‘ASEAN Guide on AI Governance and Ethics’ serves as a cornerstone document, providing actionable guidance for the design, development, and deployment of AI, ensuring alignment within ASEAN and fostering interoperability of AI frameworks across jurisdictions. The guide emphasizes principles such as transparency, fairness, security, and human-centricity, which are crucial for building trust and acceptance of AI technologies.

Furthermore, the ‘ACT on AI’ initiative for 2024-2025 by the ASEAN Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation (COSTI) aims to expand regional capacity development initiatives on AI, reflecting a concerted effort to harness AI for tackling common challenges in healthcare, education, agriculture, manufacturing, and environmental sustainability. The initiative also addresses the need for continuous public engagement and capacity-building initiatives to equip the workforce with the necessary skills to leverage AI technologies.

The survey report on AI governance in Southeast Asia, published by the Council, provides a comprehensive overview of the AI governance landscape and ongoing policy developments, organized by country. It highlights the region’s collective efforts to navigate the multifaceted implications of AI, from economic to ethical considerations.

Indonesia, in particular, has emerged as a leader in AI implementation within the Asia Pacific, with a notable 65% adoption rate, followed closely by China and India. This reflects a broader trend of AI adoption across the region, indicating a dynamic and forward-thinking approach to technology integration.

In conclusion, the ASEAN survey on AI implementation paints an optimistic picture of a region united in its pursuit of technological innovation. The collective efforts of ASEAN member states to develop a coherent and responsible AI strategy promise to yield significant benefits, not only in terms of economic growth, but also in enhancing the quality of life for its citizens. As AI continues to evolve, ASEAN’s proactive and collaborative approach positions it as a key player in shaping the future of global technology. (zai)