There’s been a significant rise in the number of Australian businesses that have deployed artificial intelligence related technologies, according to a global survey by IT firm Infosys.
Nearly nine in ten (89 per cent) of the 150 business leaders at large Australian businesses (those with more than 1,000 employees and $500 million annual revenue) questioned had rolled out AI in some form, up from the 65 per cent that had done so last year.
The rise sees Australia overtake India and rank second only to China of the seven countries surveyed (US, UK, France, Germany, India and China) in terms of AI deployment.
Local deployments of AI have concerned machine learning (51 per cent), automated reasoning (48 per cent), robotics (47 per cent), knowledge representation (44 per cent) and Natural Language Processing (39 per cent).
A majority of Australian organisations were using the techniques to automate existing routine or inefficient processes, the Infosys report states. Already, 95 per cent of Australian C-level executives reported measurable gains from the deployments.
The industries pioneering the use of AI to automate business processes are retail and consumer packaged goods, followed by telecom and communication service providers and the banking and insurance sector.
More than two thirds (69 per cent) of Australian workers are concerned AI will replace them, according to their bosses, a slight increase since last year.
And their fears are fully founded, with 40 per cent of Australian business decision makers admitted they had or would be making positions redundant as a result of advancements in AI.
Nearly half (47 per cent) of those surveyed believed their AI deployments were “greatly outpacing the accuracy and productivity of humans doing the same task”.
Infosys, which commissioned the report, said it had redeployed about 2,000 staff every quarter onto higher value work.
“Infosys employees have deployed AI technologies across a number of client projects and offices internally to manage repetitive tasks, and through continuous training and reskilling programs we free up thousands of workers each quarter to focus on more creative and strategic tasks that can only be done with human insight and imagination,” the company said in a statement.
In Australia, 59 per cent of business leaders said they are planning to increase training in business functions most affected most by AI deployments or are looking to redeploy employees to new areas (49 per cent).