Alongside digital identity, data analytics and accelerated digitalization, ChatGPT-level generative AI was seen as a seminal empowerment tool, with concomitant risks

In a Dec 2022 to Jan 2023 survey of 4,777 C-level executives and directors across 34 countries (including 320 ASEAN respondents) on emerging technology issues, several trends underpinning the convergence of the physical and digital were observed.

First, the latest iterations of generative AI were causing 99% of ASEAN respondents (global: 98%) to indicate that the tech can spark significant creativity and innovation and play an important role in their organization’s strategies over the next three to five years. However, top implementation risks indicated also included “misaligned application of the technology”, “high or increased costs”, and “stakeholder pushback”.

Second, 93% of ASEAN respondents (global: 85%) indicated that digital identity was a strategic business imperative and not just a technical issue.

Third, 96% of ASEAN respondents (global: 90%) indicated their belief that data is becoming a key competitive differentiator within organizations and across industries.

Finally, 96% of ASEAN respondents (global: 94%) indicated the speed of innovation that their industry was experiencing (due to advancements in science and tech) as either “accelerated” or “unprecedented”.

According to Paul Daugherty, Group Chief Executive, Accenture Technology, which conducted the survey: “The next decade will be defined by three mega technology trends: Cloud, metaverse and AI — which collectively will collapse the distance of our digital and physical worlds. While generative AI will have far-reaching impact, leaders must dive in now to achieve its full promise, as it will require significant investments in data, people, and customizing foundation models to meet organizations’ unique needs.” 

The firm’s Technology Lead (South-east Asia), Peter Yuan, commented: “The next wave of business transformation will erase the demarcation between those worlds to fuse them into a new reality. The goal is not incremental improvement, but a step change towards total reinvention.”

The firm estimates that globally, as much as 40% of all working hours will be supported or augmented by language-based AI.