Based on a survey of Australian business leaders, it was found out that Australian companies are not yet prepared for artificial intelligence (AI) technologies in spite of the huge spending on automation. The survey results that were released at the World Economic Forum revealed that major Australian businesses have invested an average of $7.9 million last year in artificial intelligence; second only to the United States but in terms of skills required for AI integration, Australia placed last.
According to Andrew Groth of Infosys Australia, the survey clearly shows that Australia risks being uncompetitive if companies lack the skills needed to capitalize on AI. The challenge being faced by Australia is skills situation which should be addressed because businesses are competing on the global stage.
The survey found out that 23% of Australian business leaders believe that their companies lack the skills to capitalize on AI technology. According to Groth, artificial intelligence technology requires proficiency in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Digital proficiencies, creativity, problem solving and ongoing learning also need improvements.
The survey findings on the lack of skills is relevant to the results of another survey which reveals that Australian business leaders are probably planning to make workers redundant instead of reassigning those whose jobs will become obsolete because of AI. Two-thirds of the business leaders surveyed said they have plans and they have replaced jobs with AI while one-third said that the affected workers will be made redundant.
Groth cited the example of Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth that invested in an automated pharmaceutical ordering system that makes use of robots with scans for the movement and storage of $200,000 worth of drugs daily. Human workers used to be assigned for this task. Because of AI technology, stock availability outages were reduced by 70% and nurses had more time to spend on patient care instead of administration of stock.
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