Artificial intelligence will contribute $320 billion to Middle East GDP by 2030, which will account for 2% of AI’s global benefits, says a new report by PwC.
The UAE will have the greatest gains in GDP, with a contribution of 13.6%, or $96 billion. The other countries in the research report were: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the GCC4 (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar).
The financial sector stands out as the biggest opportunity for artificial intelligence in the Middle East and Africa region, and some 25% of all AI investment in the region predicted for 2021, or $28.3 million, will be spent on developing financial AI, the PwC report noted, citing data from IDC.
“Investment in AI technologies could strategically position the region for the years to come and help it move away from its reliance on oil,” said Richard Boxshall, senior economist at PwC Middle East, in a statement.
The UAE has been at the forefront of artificial intelligence initiatives, and most recently the country’s AI minister, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, coordinated a closed-door event to discuss the future of global AI governance. Saudi has made plenty of waves too, particularly with its stake in the headline-grabbing, acquisitive $100 billion Softbank Vision Fund.
Globally, PwC analysis has shown that AI could contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined.
Of this, labour productivity improvements are expected to account for half of all economic gains to 2030, while increased consumer demand resulting from AI-enabled product enhancements will account for the rest, according to the report.