Artificial intelligence (AI) is the way of the future, with many governments and businesses incorporating it into their systems and processes. Not surprisingly, developed countries like China, the UK, US, and Japan lead the pack in terms of AI research, use, and innovation. However, unlike its developed counterparts, Australia is near the bottom of the list in AI incorporation and research.
While the country is facing slow adoption of AI in most industries and government entities, this means there is an untapped market. Foreign investors, business people, and researchers stand much to gain from Australia’s green AI industry. Now more than ever, experienced parties should move to get involved in the sector considering the country only recently recognized the staggering gap. With more attention being paid to the lack of AI, more funding and opportunities begin to present themselves.
Australia’s current AI market
Currently, Australia is far behind when it comes to AI innovation and incorporation. In fact, reports from market observers highlighting the country’s current AI-state claim Australia merely incorporates new technologies to ‘catch up’ with other developed nations, rather than to advance.
The hard numbers are quite surprising as well. According to recent studies, 41% of company executives in Australia said their businesses lacked substantial AI strategies and platforms. Additionally, not only is the sheer use of AI lacking, but so is the necessary workforce and appropriate skill set within the country’s job market. 46% of executives mentioned the presence of an ‘extreme AI skills gap’ in the country’s workforce. This was the highest percentage recorded out of all developed countries surveyed.
Although the country’s current AI state falls behind compared to other developed, thriving economies, the government has developed a framework for future plans and advancements.
As of 2019, Australia’s government set aside AU$29.9 million to improve and develop the country’s AI sector and other emerging technologies. This larger budget funds the new ‘Digital Economy Strategy’ The plan gives a detailed outline on how the country will improve and take advantage of emerging tech opportunities in the future. The basics of the strategy rely on four crucial national pillars:
- Educating and developing the people’s digital literacy.
- Improving federal support and distribution of digital services.
- Constructing secure AI infrastructure.
- Maintaining and updating cybersecurity standards and systems.
In addition to increasing funding and strategies, the Australian government also created a guideline of AI ethics. This protocol serves as a measure for ethical and practical development and use of AI by businesses and researchers in Australia. For AI use to be considered ethical by federal standards, the technology must:
- Generate a profit for the party using it.
- Not cause harm to any party, whether intentional or not.
- Abide by all international and national legal rules and regulations.
- Maintain anonymity and security of personal information.
- Fair use, so as to not discriminate against any persons.
- Be transparent in its processes and results.
- Be prosecutable, should any party feel the results or actions of the technology was unjust, unfair, or discriminatory.
- Have a designated person or organization as the party to be held accountable for the actions and/or results of the technology.
With this seemingly rigid protocol and the increase in government spending on Australia’s AI developments, the country’s market will start to flourish. Opportunities for foreign businesses and investors will grow exponentially.
Future AI opportunities
Although studies and reports of Australia’s current AI progress reveal its immaturity, the sector will start to gain momentum soon. This is evident in the fact that business executives recognize the growing importance of AI technology in the business environment. Recent reports show 79% of company executives acknowledge AI as being a critical component of business, especially within the next two years. This figure is promising for foreign businesses and investors because it highlights the fact that businesses in Australia will be looking to implement, improve, and increase AI technology and systems.
Within the specific field of cybersecurity, Australia shows much potential within a short period of time. Experts predict that the country’s demand for cybersecurity professionals will reach a staggering 17,600 in the seven years. This figure represents only the positions necessary to ensure and maintain the nation’s cybersecurity needs. It does not factor in needs or openings within private companies.
As a result, government spending on cybersecurity increased by 26% in recent years. With more support from the government, and the interest of private entities, foreign businesses and investors related to AI have a captive audience ready to spend on innovation and technology.
Work with the experts
Australia’s AI industry, although small now, shows great potential. Through increased government funding and attention and the experience and expertise of foreign companies and investors, Australia could experience rapid growth in AI adoption and innovation.
If you are interested in learning more about the many opportunities for business and investment in Australia’s tech industry, reach out to Biz Latin Hub. Our team of experts can guide you and your business through the various legal, financial, and commercial representation obstacles companies face when entering foreign markets. Contact us at [email protected] to get the process started.