Artificial Intelligence gathers momentum

Among Australian businesses.

There has been an increase in the number of Australian businesses taking a leap into the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Research presented at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland by consulting group, Infosys Research, showed that 89 per cent of large local businesses surveyed have deployed AI, compared to 65 per cent in last year’s report.

However the findings do not come without concerns. Worker job worries and ethical issues are said to be major barriers to adoption with over 70 per cent of retail business leaders claiming their workers are anxious AI will replace them. And a skills gap could be holding some businesses back.

The rise in AI deployment in Australia compared to last year is being driven by a greater sense of competition and urgency within the business world, according to Infosys Research senior vice president, Andrew Groth.  “As leaders have started to notice competitors adopting AI technology they are beginning to look at the right AI strategy for their organisation in a bid to remain competitive.”

Groth said organisations need to adapt leadership policies, employee training, and business models that embrace new technologies and working practices to remain competitive.

 

“Deploying AI can significantly benefit a business’ bottom line. An increase in production, actionable insights, improved time efficiencies, business elasticity and a decrease in operating costs are just some of the benefits we’re seeing from Australian organisations which have already adopted AI technologies,” he said.

The AI projects Australian businesses are deploying are far from the humanistic robots people see in Sci-fi movies, but rather algorithms that are capable of learning and constantly improving specific processes to automate and solve business challenges.”

AI technology is a platform to enhance workers, not replace them. As with any new technology, AI will create jobs that don’t exist in the current workforce, he said.

“It’s fair to say Australia currently has an AI skills gap, and this could be holding some Australian business leaders back from deploying AI across their organisation. But with retraining, providing more experiential learning and nurturing the next generation, we can keep up with this evolution.”

Australian businesses ranked second to China in AI out of the seven countries surveyed  that also included the US, UK, France, Germany and India. The independent survey of 1,000 senior business leaders found half believe AI deployments in their organisation are greatly outpacing the accuracy and productivity of humans doing the same tasks.

“It’s fair to say Australia currently has an AI skills gap, and this could be holding some Australian business leaders back from deploying AI across their organisation. But with retraining, providing more experiential learning and nurturing the next generation, we can keep up with this evolution.”

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