April 17, 2024

Global AI market share to hit $15.7 trillion

•Africa may claim $1.2 trn of market share

•Microsoft harps on responsible regulation

By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor

The rapid growth of artificial intelligence, AI, has been a notable trend in recent years and is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

AI technologies are being applied across various industries and domains, transforming business processes, enhancing efficiency, and enabling new capabilities.

At the moment, AI is being touted to generate a whopping $15.7 trillion out of which Africa could share $1.2 trillion. The United Nations, through its Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, ECA, Vera Songwe, said Africa could expand its economy by a staggering USD$1.5 trillion if it can capture just 10 per cent of the rapidly growing AI market, which is set to reach USD$15.7 trillion by 2030.

There are some key factors driving the rapid growth of AI. They include: Increase in data availability, Advancements in machine learning algorithms, Compute power, Investment and research, Industry adoption, Automation and efficiency and Personalisation and customisation.

The proliferation of data from various sources, including sensors, social media, and connected devices, provides the raw material needed for AI algorithms to learn and make informed decisions.

Breakthroughs in machine learning techniques, such as deep learning, have significantly improved the performance of AI systems in tasks like image recognition, natural language processing, and more.

In the same vein, the availability of powerful computing resources, including Graphics Processing Units,

GPUs and cloud computing services, has enabled the training of complex AI models at scale.

There has also been a surge in investment in AI research and development by both the public and private sectors, leading to rapid advancements in the field, while many industries, including healthcare, finance, retail, and automotive, are increasingly adopting AI technologies to drive innovation, improve decision-making, and enhance customer experiences.

READ ALSO: The changing world:  The place of artificial intelligence, by Afe Babalola

Today, AI technologies are being used to automate repetitive tasks, improve operational efficiency, and optimize business processes, leading to cost savings and increased productivity, as it enables personalised recommendations, tailored services, and customised experiences for users, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Ethical and regulatory considerations

However, while the rapid growth of AI presents numerous opportunities for innovation and progress, it also raises important challenges related to ethics, privacy, bias, and job displacement, making it essential for stakeholders to address these challenges proactively to ensure that AI technologies are developed and deployed responsibly for the benefit of society.

This was also an issue at the African AI Journalists Academy, organised by software giants, Microsoft, to review the opportunities AI could bring to Africa. The company believes that because the AI revolution transcends mere technological advancement, Africa could achieve a sustainable future leveraging the potentials of AI.

In a presentation, AI Opportunity in Africa, a commercial lawyer with Microsoft Africa, Theo Watson said that out of the USD$15.7 trillion AI could generate, USD$1.2 trillion could be generated in Africa.

He noted that the USD1.2 trillion represented a 5.6 per cent increase in the continent’s GDP by 2030.

Watson, however, emphasised the need for responsible regulation of AI to accelerate opportunities and reap benefits.

He said:  “As the world navigates this AI-powered future, our journey must be underpinned by responsible and sustainable innovation. This would ensure that the progress of AI in the nation remained aligned with human values and societal norms that define Africa’s vastly diverse cultures.