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How Can AI Facilitate Sustainable Development Progress

Despite AI adoption across all APAC economies, there are still some substantial barriers that hinder the overall growth of the AI industry

Home to the world’s largest developing economies and approximately 60 per cent of the global workforce, the Asia Pacific region is expected to increase its investment in automation and Artificial Intelligence.

According to recent findings by InkWood Research,  the region’s AI market is forecast to rise at a CAGR of 41.60 per cent over the period of 2019-2027. With revenue from AI technologies forecast to grow twice as fast in the region between 2019 and 2024 compared to the rest of the globe, APAC is already ahead of the curve when it comes to the adoption of AI.

Unlocking the sustainable development potential

Despite its economic prowess and adoption of new technologies, APAC’s overall contribution and progress toward 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN are still lagging behind.

According to Asian Development Bank Institute, progress toward environmental development related to SDGs has been insufficient. Still, the staggering speed of the adoption of AI technologies has the potential to assist the APAC region in reaching its full SDG potential. This optimism is backed up by recent data. On a global scale, AI accelerates 79 per cent of the SDG targets, 93 per cent of which are environmental, 70 per cent economic, and 82 per cent social.

Despite the speed of AI adoption across all APAC economies, there are still some substantial barriers that hinder the overall growth of the AI industry and prevent the region from unlocking its full SDG potential.

Asian Development Bank Institute identifies the following top three challenges:

  • The business sector’s underinvestment in AI
  • The government sector’s impaired vision and inadequate digital capacity and adaptability
  • The government and business sectors’ slow adjustment to fast-growing AI technologies and the expanding pool of potential AI users.
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The latter can be demonstrated by Thailand, which is ranked as the fifth most prepared for AI adoption according to Deloitte, and despite having a high willingness to reskill, it does not have the means to support its workers through this process.

This is further backed up by findings from the survey of 700 senior IT leaders by Juniper Networks, where only 23 per cent of APAC respondents reported a heavy reliance on AI to perform tasks, suggesting a strong belief in the advantages of AI but a lack of trust in them.

This is justified by the need for better AI governance as reflected in the survey results while 95 per cent of IT leaders surveyed globally agreed effective policies are crucial to staying ahead of future legislation, 61 per cent of APAC respondents believe more needs to be done to effectively govern AI as it continues to be applied to more facets of business and life.

Using AI to accelerate SDG in the energy sector

According to Asia Pacific AI Readiness Index by Salesforce, companies across APAC understand the positive impact of AI on society, the environment, and the economy and have sped up the efforts to transform their businesses accordingly.

Oil and gas and renewable energy providers in the region are already starting to utilise AI to facilitate the transformation of their businesses to accelerate the environment-related SDGs, as well as reduce operational risks and increase overall efficiency.

While many energy providers understand the urgency and the importance of change, some may lack the resources or technology to ensure a smooth transformation process. That’s where such companies as Skyller, one of the leading AI technology providers specialising in cracks & thermal detections, and autonomous robots come into the picture.

With deep expertise in critical infrastructure industries such as oil and gas, power grid, and renewable energy, Skyller assists the industry players in improving their infrastructure and accelerating SDG progress.

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Oil and gas providers can take advantage of Skyller’s powerful AI platform that is capable of providing inspections of impeccable quality that are precise and time efficient. The company also has an array of AI solutions to choose from, such as Quadrupedal, a four-legged “dog robot” equally suitable for routine inspection in complex and hazardous terrains and customisable with cameras or sensors for more granular customised inspection tasks.

As for the renewable energy providers, Skyller equips them with powerful AI tools, suitable for solar farm owners and O&Ms (Operations and Maintenance), that allow them to efficiently plan, construct, commission, and gain insights on maintenance downtime, as well as predict and optimise operations, minimising pre-emptive measures.

Skyller uses drones, robots, satellites, and other image-capturing devices, to convert it to information modelling, or the “digital twin.” Thanks to this technology, clients can evaluate problems on the ground without being there physically.

Advanced AI to contribute to complex infrastructure ecosystems

Experts in the field agree that AI has a lot of potential to it, but currently, the main obstacle that slows down AI development is the lack of available data that AI can utilise to excel in complex critical infrastructure settings.

That’s why Skyller is developing an AI studio where professionals can contribute the data, provide input, and train AI on Skyller platform in various modules. The company’s goal is to accelerate the speed of AI technology for better use of infrastructure by 2023.

Developed in accordance with all regulatory compliance and executed following the highest safety standards, these and other AI solutions by Skyller can help companies greatly accelerate their SDG goals.

Source: e27

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