Artificial Intelligence

Call For Closer Policy Collaboration On Artificial Intelligence – ABAC Report

A recent APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) report
revealed that artificial intelligence (AI) has a role to
play in mitigating both the short and long-term effects of
the COVID-19 pandemic on APEC economies.

automated health diagnostics in hospitals to smart
recruitment processes in organizations, the report, titled
Artificial Intelligence in APEC, finds that this
technology is creating new, previously unforeseen jobs,
products and services that will contribute to the
post-COVID-19 economic recovery.

“As we release this
report, APEC economies are facing the twin threats of a
global pandemic and an economic crisis that will leave its
mark on our communities for years to come,” said Dato’
Rohana Tan Sri Mahmood, Chair of the 2020 APEC Business
Advisory Council.

“How APEC economies address the
accelerated rise of the digital economy and leverage new
technologies like AI is one of the most pressing issues of
our time,” she added.

The report also examines how
AI is being adopted and applied across the region and makes
key recommendations calling for closer policy collaboration
between business and governments.

Of the surveyed APEC
economies, the report found that most already have plans,
policies or programs devoted to driving or supporting AI
ecosystems. In fact, the report highlights some of the
AI-related innovation already underway across the region,
including finding ways to help patients suffering from
locked-in syndrome to communicate with the world by a team
of engineers at a university in the

Another notable innovation will benefit
the farming industry. A Japanese corporation is trying to
improve the efficiency of farming by automatically
aggregating and analyzing sensor data and satellite images
to provide farmers with farm management recommendations. In
addition, a group from New Zealand developed AI-powered
crocodile-spotting drones to keep swimmers safe in
Australian rivers, among others.

technologies have the potential to significantly impact
businesses and communities across our economies,” Dato’
Rohana explained. “We believe that APEC can serve as an
effective forum for member economies to collaborate on ways
to maximize the benefits of AI and promote inclusive growth
while ensuring its use in a responsible and ethical
manner,” she added.

According to the
report, recognizing this technology and all its capabilities
is a central component of an economy’s forward-looking
policy for growth, productivity and job creation,
highlighting that the potential of AI extends beyond
economic benefits and includes tools to address complex
issues such as poverty, inequality, climate change,
healthcare and ways to cope with effects of the

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As AI becomes more widely accepted, adopted
and used for innovation, the report suggests that APEC
policymakers will need to draft new policies, revise
existing ones, confront new questions, address new needs and
reassess its impact.

“With the cooperation of the
public and private sector, a coordinated future of AI will
increase the Asia-Pacific region’s competitiveness and
further facilitate regional integration,” the report

Artificial intelligence, already well on its
way to transforming the Asia-Pacific, drives social and
economic growth across all key sectors. However, the
pandemic, and the ensuing focus on economic recovery, brings
a renewed sense of urgency to discussions around AI

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