Innovation series: Businesses not latching onto artificial intelligence opportunity

Jun 7, 2017 | 1563 Views

Business leaders are not taking artificial intelligence as seriously as they should be, technology experts say.

New Zealand's first Artificial Intelligence Forum starts in Wellington on Wednesday to address the problem.

Forum chairman Stuart Christie said the event, aimed to start the conversation about the technology in the business community.

Artificial intelligence had reached a tipping point and business leaders were not aware of the changes it would bring to the economy and society, Christie said.

"I do not think businesses really realise the size and the scale of the impact this is going to have."

He said there was opportunities for artificial intelligence to be used in industries such as agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, education and financial services.

Christie said businesses had to prepare by creating long-term strategies that included adopting artificial intelligence now.

He suggested businesses put aside some money to buy artificial intelligence technology.

"[Businesses] really do need to start thinking about it and applying some thought towards it so they are in a position to be able to address both the threats and opportunities and that is why we have established the forum."

Artificial intelligence company, Soul Machines chief business officer, Greg Cross said no New Zealand businesses were using artificial intelligence to improve their product or service. He said it worried him.

"I genuinely am concerned that our businesses are not moving fast enough and are certainly not being aggressive enough or risk taking enough to take up the artificial intelligence challenge.

"Who do we point to in New Zealand that has been the early adopter and the leader in the use of artificial intelligence to reinvent their business."

Cross said artificial intelligence was the next industrial revolution and businesses had to act quickly to survive it.

He said his company was an anomaly.

"Companies at the leading edge of artificial intelligence are few and far between in New Zealand."

Cross said New Zealand's food industry missed its opportunity to dominate international markets and he did not want the artificial intelligence industry to tell the same sad story.

"Historically we do not rate in the productivity ranking ...[Artificial intelligence] is an opportunity we should latch onto and right now there is not enough evidence that we are."

Cross said he did not believe a Government mandate would encourage businesses to take up the trend.

"I am not a great believer in Government intervention in these things. I think at the end of the day as business leaders and business people we need to take a good hard look at ourselves and the industries we are working in and the people we are responsible for."

Christie said the Forum would show the Government that the private sector was talking about artificial intelligence and encourage it to create policy around the topic. Continue Reading>>

Source: Stuff