Frontier technologies could have significant positive impact for society and the environment. For example, data suggest that improved application of information and communication technologies to smart grids and transportation will reduce carbon emissions by an estimated 4.5 billion tons by 2020. This paper reviews the status of a specific frontier technology, artificial intelligence (AI), in the Asia-Pacific region and discusses the policy implications. The paper points out that a new “frontier technology divide” should be the primary concern for the region. Advanced or large economies in the region are embracing and investing in AI at astonishing rates. There is a risk that developing countries could get left behind. This paper also highlights the “trust deficit” as a key issue to tackle. Data is the fuel for AI development. In this data revolution, policies that address data trust between governments, private sector, civil society and citizens will be fundamental to AI’s evolution.
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