The Middle East and Africa (MEA), including Israel, are expected to spend $3 billion on artificial intelligence (AI) in 2023, according to International Data Corporation (IDC).
While this only accounts for 2% of the global total, MEA is expected to experience the fastest growth rate worldwide, with AI spending forecast to reach $6.4 billion in 2026.
The report shows that banking, retail, and federal/central government will be the largest AI spenders in MEA in 2023, followed by discrete manufacturing. These four industries will account for 44% of the region's total AI spending.
IDC expects professional services and transportation to be the fastest-growing industries over the five-year forecast period, with respective CAGRs of 36.4% and 33.9%.
However, the region's increasing adoption of AI will face several challenges, including the shortage of skilled resources such as data scientists, data engineers, and AI modelers.
Nevertheless, there are multiple initiatives in place to upskill local talent, with public and private sector organizations establishing partnerships to promote AI and ML-specific learning.