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Monday, 15 October 2018

MENA companies increasing their adoption of AI technology

** #8 Investment in artificial intelligence in the Middle East and Africa are expected to accelerate over the coming years at both private and publicly traded companies, a GCC-focused Microsoft study found, according to the National. According to the report, nearly one third of the Gulf’s largest corporations are set to adopt AI this year in one form or another, and “banking and finance organizations will lead the AI adoption curve,” says IT services company Dimension Data’s Managing Director, Paul Potgieter.

The UAE is the region’s leading adopter of AI, and its economy is expected to grow at a faster pace than its Gulf neighbors by 2030 “as a result of AI adoption, with this cutting-edge technology expected to contribute up to 14 per cent to the country’s GDP,” according to a study by PwC.

Where does Egypt stand? Applications of AI in Egypt are expected to grow at an average annual rate of 25.5% between now and 2030, trailing behind the UAE (33.5% per annum) and Saudi Arabia (31.3% per annum). AI will ultimately contribute 7.7% of Egypt’s GDP by 2030, according to the PwC report, while the GCC4 (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar) will see AI contributing 8.2% to GDP, and AI will comprise 12.4% of Saudi Arabia’s GDP. The UAE again leads the pack (14% of GDP), but China is expected to outpace the UAE by a wide margin, with AI accounting for 26.1% of GDP by 2030.

The region has been slow on the uptake, but there is hope yet: “‘Governments and businesses across the Middle East are beginning to realize the shift towards AI,’ says Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC Middle East. ‘They are faced with a choice between being a part of the technological disruption, or being left behind.’”

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