Biggest thing since the internet?

Published on the 13/12/2018 | Written by Heather Wright

ACS SME Beginners Guide to AI

ACS creates the hitchhikers guide to AI…

Australian small businesses may have their heads down rushing to complete work before the festive break kicks in, but the Australian Computer Society is no doubt hoping your break will include some study time – on AI.

The industry association has launched a 112 starter guide for small business, covering what it is, what it can do and how to get started.

Yohan Ramasundara, ACS president, says AI has the potential to optimise business processes and create entirely new revenue streams.

“Many business leaders think AI may be too hard, and don’t consider it as a solution to the issues they face today,” Ramasundara says.

“Even small projects can lead to entirely new business opportunities as the potential of AI is explored.”

“If Australia is to remain a competitive leader in technology, we must both inspire the current and future entrepreneurs, and encourage adoption and experimentation with existing AI solutions. Our message today to Australian business is to get in now, or risk missing out on the largest business opportunity since the internet.”

The report could be well timed, with a Nutanix survey released today showing that Australian businesses are struggling to keep up with AI. The report, which admittedly looks at the enterprise space rather than SMBs, shows almost 90 percent of Australian respondents say they’re racing to reskill IT teams to keep pace with emerging technologies and that AI and machine learning is the top skill IT departments are lacking, closely followed by blockchain.

For SMBs, the situation is likely to be even more difficult.

Artificial Intelligence: A Starter Guide to the Future of Business runs the gamut from explaining the basics of AI and its history, to outlining the benefits and role of AI as a business driver, using real world examples and highlighting what big ICT companies are doing, as well as covering ethical considerations and future development.

Key for many, however, will be the advice on building AI – working out the problems AI can solve, advice on building a business case and how to build AI capability.

“Even small projects can lead to entirely new business opportunities as the potential of AI is explored, maintaining competitiveness in the market, or allowing the creation of an entirely new competitive advantage.

“For Australia especially – a nation known for its keen uptake of technology – there are tangible benefits for anyone leveraging AI to get to market first.”

The Nutanix survey concurs, noting that almost three-quarters of respondents said AI was having a positive impact on their organisations, with just four percent reporting a negative impact.

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