To catch up with the frontier technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and biotechnology, Bangladesh has to go a long way as the country is ranked 112nd among 158 countries in a global index.
Titled as ‘Readiness for Frontier Technologies Index’, the index was released by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) on Thursday. UNCTAD included the index in its Technology and Innovation Report 2021.
The index ranked 158 countries to understand their preparedness for adopting and using the frontier technologies. The report defined those technologies as frontier that can give people certain capabilities to function like improved decision, strength, move objects across long distances and become free from disease.
AI systems, industrial robots, drones, gene editing therapies, solar PV systems, blokchain, 3-D printing, etc are considered as frontier technologies.
According to the index, Bangladesh ranked second among the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) in terms of readiness to catch up with these technologies. Nepal ranked first while its overall ranking is 109.
In South Asia, Bangladesh is, however, ahead of Maldives (114) Pakistan (123) and Afghanistan (152) but well behind India (43) and Sri Lanka (86).
The United States, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are top three countries on the log.
Based on their rankings, countries have also been placed within one of four 25- percentile score groups: low, lower-middle, upper-middle, and high values of the index. Bangladesh has been placed in the lower-middle category.
Among the five sub-indices, Bangladesh has been placed in the high category on research and development where it ranks 58th. On finance, the country ranks 80th.
The country’s scores in three other sub-indices deteriorated — 133 in information and communication technology (ICT), 130 in skills and 121 in industry.