Artificial Intelligence in the Middle East: Here’s What You Need to Know
Middle east is one of the top tech destinations where artificial intelligence is playing a significant role. The region is known for its oil wells, which are major contributors to the region’s economy. Slowly the economy is shifting its base from petrochemicals to technology. The region is slowly shifting its economic dependence on oil wells. According to an IDC report, spending on AI in the region is expected to grow at an annual growth of 19%. Consequently, demand for AI professionals and engineers is expected to increase further.
The growth of AI in the region has been significant. AI can be seen being used across a range of verticals in the region, including consumer, enterprise, and government activities. One of the major significant impacts of artificial intelligence can be seen in the development of smart cities in the region. Banking and retail are seeing equally strong contribution of AI. According to IDC, these sectors will account for more than 33% of investments by 2020. The federal and central government and telecommunication industry will witness significant investment in AI.
South Africa, the largest AI market in the Middle East and Africa, will contribute around 30% of total AI spending that would come from the automated customer service agents, IT automation, and automated threat intelligence and prevention systems, according to Manish Ranjan, IDC’s program manager for software and cloud in the Middle East, Africa, and Turkey.
Pushing the AI sector in the region
Not just South Africa, many other countries are investing heavily in AI intending to shift their economy away from a dependency on petrochemicals. Saudi Arabia is expected to accrue the largest gains where AI is expected to contribute over $135.2bn in 2030 to the economy, roughly equivalent to 12.4% of GDP. UAE is expected to see the largest impact close to 14% of 2030 GDP, according to PwC. The company cites the levels of investment in AI in the two countries in comparison to other regions, as the rationale behind its judgment.