Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to increase productivity by ~40 per cent, and is projected to contribute up to $15.7 trillion to the global economy in 2030, more than the current output of China and India combined. The impact on productivity will be competitively transformative – businesses that fail to adapt and adopt will quickly find themselves uncompetitive.
AI give our workers, companies and government a global competitive advantage in being able to adapt to a world powered by Artificial Intelligence. It will help our government agencies to transform and become globally-leading in the adoption of machine learning to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public services.
An Artificial Intelligence capability for the Australian economy is essential to leverage current investments and Australia’s high quality of life, to create an AI-enabled economy – an attractive ecosystem of high-tech businesses, and highly productive workers.
AI is already changing the global economy, the question is whether Australia will participate in the resulting opportunities. Approximately one third of Australia’s workforce, including construction workers and machine operators, spend an average 70 per cent of their time on tasks that will be automated. AI-enabled jobs are, in contrast, higher paid, and largely insensitive to SA’s geographic isolation.
Competitiveness in this sector is not achieved by driving salaries lower, but is rather based on quality of life considerations. Australia is peculiarly well placed to capitalise, but needs to do so quickly, as other countries, and Australian States, are investing heavily.
Currently, Australian companies lag behind leading global peers in embracing AI-based automation. Only 9 per cent of Australia’s listed companies are making sustained investments in AI, compared with more than 20 per cent in the United States and nearly 14 per cent in leading automation nations globally.
80% of Australian small and medium businesses are delaying the adoption of technology that could deliver long-term benefits
Low investment in AI-based automation technology limits our productivity growth and will ultimately reduce our national income. If Australia accelerated AI uptake, it could gain up to another $1 trillion over the next 15 years. South Australia could lead this transformation and capture a disproportionate share of the benefits.
The United States, Canada and UK have all adopted a national strategy to fast-track the development of an AI-enabled economy. China has launched a major new strategy in July this year to become the global leader in artificial intelligence. If Australia is to transform into a fast-growing, prosperous, 21st Century economy and keep pace with the technology-advancement that other countries have committed to, we must be nimble, inventive and exceptionally capable in the adoption of Artificial Intelligence.
- The Automation Advantage (2017) Alphabeta
- AI Sizing the prize What’s the real value of AI for your business and how can you capitalise? (2017) pwc report
- Digital disruption: Short fuse or big bang? (2017) Deloittes Building the Lucky Country report
- Infosys survey of business leaders – https://pacetoday.com.au/australia-artificial-intelligence/