Brazilians plan to buy more Artificial Intelligence than the Chinese or Americans

27 July 2018 3 min. read

Brazilians are often known for their dancing flair, street parties and overwhelmingly undersized swimwear. However, as the country is the first frontier in Latin America when it comes to new technology, they’ve got another trophy to add to their cabinet. According to a recent PwC report, Brazilian citizens would like to own more artificial intelligence than the 26 other early adopters of the technology.

The PwC report, titled ‘Artificial Intelligence: Touchpoints with consumers’, is a part of the Global Consumer Insights Survey 2018, a series of studies done based on the changing consumer products field.

When it comes to the early adoption of Industry 4.0 tech, Brazilians have already begun implementing the technology into their workplaces – e.g. IoT in agriculture, automation in aerospace industry, and AI in supply chain and industry – but now it has become clear that AI is making an impact on their personal lives as well.

Devices with AI as one of the core functions include speakers like Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home. These devices are connected to multiple pinpoints throughout the home and can perform a range of tasks including turning off lights, playing music, answering questions and process your calendar. Connected to the right Smart devices, these AI bots can even water the garden and adjust the thermostat when you approach the house.

Of the 27 nationalities interviewed, Brazilians were the most interested in acquiring these types of devices, with 59% of respondents saying they plan to own AI in the future. Behind the Brazilians in this regard were the Chinese with 52% and the Indonesians at 49%. Only a quarter of respondents from the United States said that their priority was to invest in a personal AI product. The global average sat at 32%.

Brazilians plan to buy more Artificial Intelligence than the Chinese or Americans

"Artificial intelligence has advanced rapidly in the retail and consumer products industry,” said Ricardo Neves, a partner at PwC Brazil and a technology, digital and new ventures leader with the consulting firm.

“Consumers are changing their habits and no longer wait for the next trip to the physical store to purchase a product. Over the next two or three years, artificial intelligence will revolutionize how consumers plan and fulfill their shopping desires, and how companies analyze, segment and serve them,” he said.

Brazilians also currently own more AI devices than the global average. The PwC report suggests that 14% of Brazilians already own a AI incorporated device whilethe average sits at 10% globally. This field is heavily dominated by tech savvy Asian countries including China with 21%, Vietnam with 19% and Indonesia at 18%.

According the report, “Brazil stands out as the market having the greatest upside potential, with 59% of respondents looking forward to buying a device.” For PwC, this identifies Brazil as the country which will present early AI adopting companies a significant opportunity to expand into Latin America.

AI gaining ground

“In the next two to three years, the industry’s first movers will capture major advantages over the laggards. PwC’s latest research offers insight into how fast AI is gaining ground and which consumers are the most likely early adopters.”

“The most innovative traditional retailers may be at an advantage, as consumer behaviour in the physical stores shifts to offering customer experiences rather than just buying. With more experienced vendors, hands-on demonstrations and customization, consumers can expect showrooms of products, not just stores,” Neves points out. 

The technology itself is still in its infancy but is expected to boom within the next decade. Beyond controlling mechanisms of the home using integrated AI, we may see other futuristic functions being carried out including fridges ordering food that is missing or automated threat detection via AI.

Mentioning the fact that globally nearly one in three people plan to buy an AI device, Anand Rao, PwC’s Global Leader of Artificial Intelligence said, “As it stands now, personal assistants are still relatively primitive—they can understand single commands but not context and patterns of behaviour. You are going to see a lot more capability in the next three-to-five years.”