AI startup and research clusters are evolving rapidly in Asia.
FREMONT, CA: The area of artificial intelligence (AI), research, and commercialization is increasingly widening to Asia. The region, which is home to 61 percent of the world’s population, stands to get the most from implementing AI, given its still early development stages but the massive potential to scale returns. From Japan to Singapore, AI startups and research clusters are evolving rapidly, a precursor of the technological leapfrog that is to come. Here’s a look at how AI is unearthing in the region.
Asia has been home to tech leaders for decades. According to the World Intellectual Property Organization, leading tech firms in Japan and South Korea, for instance, have some of the vast numbers of AI patent filings. These and other East Asian conglomerates' success is also a testament to the quality of their talent and potential to commercialize research. Asians emphasize scaling use cases in industrial and home robotics, self-driving cars, and smart city projects like one large automotive manufacturer’s planned development in the foothills of Mount Fuji.
China leads the world in annual R&D spending with nearly $275 billion, but other Asian nations are also above the 2 percent mark, including Japan (roughly $176 billion), South Korea ($70 billion), and Singapore ($13 billion). For comparison, U.S. federal R&D spending is roughly $131 billion. While these figures gather a wide range of sectors from biotech to materials to computer science, all are driven by AI. Japan’s large-scale push into IoT sensor implementation across Asia should be realized as part of its AI strategy, given the data it will create. As the first country with widespread 5G implementation, South Korea has an edge in collecting data that will deepen its AI prowess in smart manufacturing, immersive gaming, and autonomous vehicles.
Through its R&D spending is much less than other countries in the region, Singapore stands out for its ambitious vision for AI and success in execution. This survey of Asia’s burgeoning AI landscape suggests a massive deal of fusion across the region, with Chinese, Japanese, and other players contributing vastly to the development of new technologies and ethical governance frameworks.