Low adoption figure of artificial intelligence reflects much skepticism among business players in Indonesia; it also leaves plenty of room for fast growth. (Reuters Photo/Kacper Pempel)

Only One in Seven Indonesian Companies Use AI Today


MARCH 13, 2019

Jakarta. Only one in seven businesses in Indonesia today has implemented artificial intelligence in their business, according to a recent study by Microsoft and research firm IDC, titled "Future Ready Business: Assessing Asia Pacific’s Growth Potential Through AI."   

This compares badly to 41 percent of businesses in Asia Pacific that already use the new technology. 

The study surveyed 112 business leaders and 101 employees in Indonesia, and a total of 1,605 business leaders and 1,585 employees across Asia Pacific, including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

While the low adoption figure reflects much skepticism among leaders and employees in Indonesia about artificial intelligence, it also leaves plenty of room for fast growth.  

Artificial intelligence can help Indonesian companies grow their innovation and employee productivity at a faster rate compared to their counterparts in Asia Pacific, the study showed. 

Haris Izmee, managing director of Microsoft Indonesia, said Indonesian companies can expect to see their innovation rate increase by 56 percent in 2021 if they implement artificial intelligence now, than if they do business as usual. Employee productivity will be 46 percent higher. 

For Asia Pacific, it is estimated the rate of innovation and employee productivity would be at 42 percent and 36 percent, respectively, in 2021, almost double the rates the region see today. 

"AI will cultivate competitiveness among companies to innovate their business further," Harris said in a statement. 

In Indonesia, AI adoption is led by tech startups like e-commerce platform Bukalapak and fintech Crowdo Indonesia. There are also startups that specially develop AI for specific purposes that can be implemented in conventional business. 

They include Kata.ai, which develops chatbot for customer service; Nodeflux, which makes face recognition technology; and Make.ai, which develops AI mentoring and human resources management. 

Harris said Indonesian companies need to tailor their recruitment in a way that their employees would be ready to benefit from the new technology. 

"AI technology is designed to do tasks that hamper human's productivity, such as repetitive tasks," Harris said. 

"But this technology isn't designed to interact like humans. Therefore, the skills that are needed aren't just technical skills or data processing, but also skills that only humans can do, such as courage to take initiative and to be a team player," he said. 

Apart from IT and programming skills, future business leaders would need to equip themselves with analytical, entrepreneurship and decision-making skills, Harris said.