Artificial Intelligence (AI) has moved from early adopting businesses with mature technology teams to become a rapidly growing priority across industries, a new report has found. But implementation remains complex.
The National AI Centre (NAIC) has released Australia’s AI Ecosystem Momentum report, incorporating feedback from more than 200 business decision-makers and AI service providers.
Minister for Science and Industry Ed Husic launched the report today, welcoming the centre’s work and observing the challenges the report identifies Australian businesses are facing on their AI journey.
“AI is one of those enabling capabilities that’s poised to transform industries, and we know the economic potential is there,” Minister Husic said. “But seizing that business potential will take some work, building awareness and working across businesses, large and small, to make that a reality. Australia’s got some top AI talent here and we need to scale up this effort for the longer benefit of the nation. AI should be seen as more than just a business tool. We can put it to work to benefit communities and national wellbeing too.”
McKinsey has observed that if Australian sectors seize the opportunities provided by AI, between $1 trillion – $4 trillion could be added to the economy over the next 15 years (2019).
The findings from NAIC note that AI implementation often requires multi-disciplinary teams, able to design end to end solutions that meet the needs of the context in which they’ll be used. This report is timely, suggesting a more nuanced direction for AI in Australia and emphasising the importance of collaboration and having access to the right talent for businesses,” said Minister Husic.
Australia’s AI Ecosystem Momentum Report findings:
The top three benefits of implementing AI were improved security, greater revenue growth and increased cyber safety. Increased automation of internal processes and improved operational efficiency and effectiveness were also shown to be significant advantages of AI adoption.
Demand for AI products and services is high. Sixty per cent of respondents indicated they are accelerating and expanding their offerings to meet market demand.
Eighty per cent of businesses are expecting year-on-year growth, thanks to technology-focussed growth strategies.
While many businesses surveyed are succeeding with AI adoption, the report found the delivery of AI projects in Australia is complex. Most respondents reported the need to engage at least four AI service providers to deliver an AI project. More than six providers were necessary for 28 per cent of respondents, while only 17 per cent worked with a single provider.
Privacy, security and data quality are challenges to AI adoption, exacerbated by talent shortages in Australia for implementing and operating AI systems.
With demand for AI surging in Australia, the report calls on business leaders to develop and deploy responsible AI solutions in accordance with human and organisational values to ensure accountability and mitigate the risk of unintended consequences.
You can read the full report here.