By: Moslem Ali
Mubasher: A recent report by Huawei showed that countries with scores over 65 on the Global Connectivity Index (GCI) that made continuous investment in intelligent connectivity can expect a boost in the gross domestic product (GDP) by more than 1%.
The effect of artificial intelligence (AI) on intelligent connectivity is having a noticeable impact on the digital economy, sparking a tipping point for digital transformation, as shown by the 2019 Huawei Global Connectivity Index (GCI) Report.
AI is one of four key enablers that drive intelligent connectivity, according to the report, alongside broadband, cloud, and the internet of things (IoT). “All four have the potential to be significant catalysts for economic growth.”
In 2016, the third edition of GCI drew a conclusion that when a country scores 35 points on the index, seen then as an inflection point for emerging markets, it crosses the threshold beyond which there is a multiplier effect of GDP growth against investment in information and communications technology (ICT).
Moreover, GCI 2019 found that “the stimulus effect of the inflection point was giving a bump to countries on the top of the GCI S-curve as well. For countries with a GCI score of over 65, the S-curve starts to steepen once again. These countries are moving into a new growth cycle. Countries with the highest GCI scores can leverage Intelligent Connectivity to accelerate economic growth up to 2.4 times faster than other nations for every point of GCI improvement.”
However, it is not only developed economies that can benefit from intelligent connectivity, as the report found that nations at every level of digital development can access the upside potential of AI as a GDP booster when it is deployed by industries and organizations.
“The potential of AI has only just begun to be tapped,” the report highlighted, referring to frontrunners like Japan and the US, as well as adopters and starters like China, Malaysia, India, and Spain, which are rolling out AI technologies as fast as they can.
The GCI 2019 report also identified another way that starter and adopter nations can stimulate greater economic success, which is global collaboration.
“Because Intelligent Connectivity relies on global ecosystems to flourish, GCI 2019 identifies five stakeholder roles that can collaborate across domains to break down organizational silos and deliver fast business results: Decision Makers, Data Scientists, Data Collectors, ICT Companies, and End Users,” the report indicated.
Policymakers, in every country regardless of its level of digital development, need to look objectively at the strengths of their national economy and determine how they can fit into and profit from the Intelligent Connectivity ecosystem, it further added.
Kevin Zhang, the CMO of Huawei ICT Infrastructure, said: “We are now seeing that the fusion of 5G, AI, and cloud has redefined connectivity.”
“We have realized that Intelligent Connectivity may be the answer to many of the societies' most complicated and deeply rooted challenges, including climate change and the wealth gap between the rich and the poor,” he concluded.
The size of the global digital economy is estimated between 4.5% and 15.5%, depending on the definition, of the global GDP, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
Meanwhile, a recent report by Oxford University’s “Pathways for Prosperity Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development,” stressed that we are at a critical moment in history.
“Some countries will prosper in a new global digital economy, but countries that are not ready will risk being left behind,” the report found, noting that although technology will not guarantee success, no matter how innovative it is, and that the social and economic environment in which technology is used, is as important as the new technology itself.
The report identified a Digital Roadmap with five priority areas for countries to create their own digital future, going into great detail about each step and relevant policy recommendations on how developing countries can get ahead in the digital age.
The roadmap begins with craft a digital compact for inclusive development, with the cooperation of the government, civil society, and the private sector; followed by putting people at the centre of the digital future through training and education.
Thirdly, building digital essentials through public spending, investing in infrastructure, with more finances provided through philanthropists and donors to entrepreneurs and development banks.
Finally, reach everyone with digital technologies, guaranteeing that even the poorest to can access technology services, and then govern technology for the future through adaptive and flexible approaches.