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ASEAN faces wide AI gap as Vietnam and Philippines lag behind

Study says tech can add $1tn to bloc's economy but investments are lacking

Room service robots at a hotel in Singapore: The city-state leads Southeast Asia in AI adoption, and hospitality is a key sector for the technology.   © Reuters

SINGAPORE -- Artificial intelligence could shift Southeast Asia's economy into a higher gear, but only if countries manage to close a yawning investment gap that puts the bloc an estimated two to three years behind the U.S. and China in adopting the technology, a new study says.

If Association of Southeast Asian Nations members pick up the pace in embracing AI, they could add nearly $1 trillion to the region's gross domestic product by 2030, according to a report released on Thursday by U.S. consultancy Kearney and Singapore's EDBI -- the investment arm of the city-state's Economic Development Board.

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