• Angelica Sirotin

The Multi-Billion Dollar Case for “Intelligent Assistance” Market in Africa

We’ve all heard of AI’s market potential, but less so of Intelligent Assistance (IA)’s market potential. First of all, The intelligent virtual assistant market size was valued at USD 3,442 Billion in 2019, and is projected to reach USD 44,255 Million by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 37.7% from 2020 to 2027. IA is defined as any process that humans aid AI with in completing a task. For example, in healthcare, there may be a surgical robot that operates on a patient, meanwhile a technician aids in maneuvering the device as a form of IA. This is an example of Intelligent Assistance. What’s more, it’s my prediction that Africa will transform into a booming market for IA.

Africa is an export-driven economy, and AI happens to be a natural resource-saving and labor-saving technology. Because of the economics of AI, since it is natural resource-saving and labor-saving, it can potentially hurt Africa’s economy, as the nation relies on natural resources and unskilled labor. However, Africa has a long way to go until it is digitalized enough and technologically mature enough before it can fully adopt AI. As a result, we will see that IA will become a commonplace trend within the country’s bounds.

As mentioned, Africa’s technological infrastructure has yet to become fully developed, meaning that only partial AI systems will be able to operate in the country. As a result humans will be needed in order to augment AI systems in the form of IA, which will impact all industries. Because nearly all industries will be impacted by IA, the labor force will naturally be deployed to augment these partial artificial intelligence systems.

What we will see is that developed economies like Europe or the USA will be focusing on the innovation of AI technologies while developing economies like Africa will be focusing on deploying human capital to augment the processes of these innovations. Moreover, Africa will likely transform into a major R&D haven for AI innovations, as it can become the “pilot testing” ground for AI innovations. By launching AI solutions in partial form in Africa, companies can test the robustness of their solutions before releasing them to the global markets. Imagine thousands of AI companies coming to test their solutions in IA form in Africa – this can potentially translate into millions if not billions of dollars in Foreign Direct Investment for the nation, and help serve as a GDP growth mechanism for the nation. Eventually, with an increase in foreign funding, Africa will have the monetary capabilities to invest into its technological infrastructure and transform into a nation that is ready to adopt AI technologies in full form.

Bottom line: there is much potential for the Intelligent Assistance market in Africa. Being as though the nation has the technological faculties to handle partial AI systems, this is enough to boost the IA market economy, and attract attention from global innovators looking to pilot their solutions in partial form in Africa.

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