Artificial intelligence adoption is just starting, and it’s not just ChatGPT. Investment promotion agencies (IPAs) are now leveraging AI to transform their outreach and improve investor experiences. Estonia, known for its tech-savvy culture, is leading the charge with AI initiatives that are poised to disrupt traditional investment promotion, writes FDI Intelligence in its recent article.
When prospective investors navigate to Invest Estonia’s website, they are warmly greeted by Suve, the agency’s chatbot, who cheerfully announces, “Hi, I’m Suve! I am a robot, and I’m here to help you.” Suve, powered by artificial intelligence, quickly engages users, efficiently collecting information and guiding them toward crafting investment plans tailored to their preferences, be it e-consulting, regional insights, residence permits, visa processes, or key opportunities.
For those who opt for the ‘e-consulting’ route, Suve hands the baton to another AI gem, Eia, to generate value propositions. Eia, like Suve, is a product of machine learning and vast data sets, allowing it to comprehend natural language.
Joonas Vänto, the Director of Invest Estonia, praises the time-saving prowess of these AI bots. “We know so much before we talk to the investor, and because of that data, we can delegate to certain members of our team, which saves time in what would have been an initial meeting,” he says. This innovative approach allows the agency to speed up work and even bring Estonian stakeholders into initial meetings, providing investors with a comprehensive introduction.
Beyond chatbots and e-advisors, a growing number of IPAs worldwide are dipping their toes into the AI waters. Yet not everyone is as brave as Estonia to showcase it. Andero Kaha, Chief Technology Officer at Invest Estonia, suggests that, while not all IPAs are actively publicizing their AI endeavours, they are, to some extent, utilizing AI tools to facilitate everyday tasks such as research, text summarization, speech writing, and transcription.
However, the integration of AI into IPA operations is far from universal. Many IPAs still rely on rule-based chatbots, which follow predetermined guidelines for generating responses. In the end, AI’s deployment should always serve the ultimate goal of providing the best possible service. “It’s not about using AI for AI’s sake,” he says, emphasizing that the technology’s use cases are secondary to the pursuit of quality and efficiency.
The results — hundreds of saved hours and much wider reach — are showing up, too. In 2022, Invest Estonia helped bring a record number of €351M in investments. Additionally, it has been ranked as the leader in investment promotion by Emerging Europe for the fourth year in a row.
Estonia’s example indicates a future where global IPAs must adapt and leverage AI to interact with investors more efficiently. This tech-centred transformation implies that the idea of ‘promotion’ is becoming a consultative collaboration; data-driven knowledge is the key to success, and tech-savvy nations like Estonia are at the forefront.
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