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Can NZ keep up with the AI revolution?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Siri. Cortana. Alexa.

Each year a new, more powerful version of artificial intelligence (AI) enters the public eye, demonstrating the massive potential still lying beneath the surface of this complex technology. The AI sphere is rapidly developing and soon, AI will be a commonplace thing. With that in mind, will New Zealand be able to keep up?

This is just one of the questions to be addressed at AI Day in Auckland on March 28. Ahead of this national discussion of the future of NZ tech, let's look at the current state of AI in New Zealand.

Where is AI today? Currently, AI is not widely adopted by the world's biggest businesses. Only 10 to 15 per cent of global enterprises are using AI, with a further 20 per cent claiming they were considering machine-learning technology. Where AI is used, the range of functions is enormous. Research has found that the top use cases include:
  • Order management for buy-side investment institutions,
  • Digital imaging in healthcare,
  • Chatbot interaction in retail banking and,
  • eCommerce management and fulfilment.
It's clear that AI is not a phenomenon limited to any particular sector, but a highly adaptable technology that can provide solutions across many industries. Despite this, chief business officer of NZ's leading AI company Soul Machines, Greg Cross, claims there is little evidence of corporate bodies in the country experimenting or innovating with AI.

"Artificial intelligences can access huge banks of data to assist in all aspects of business."

Is NZ prepared to meet AI demand?

"Without immediate action taken to expand our workers' knowledge, the skills gap is only going to get wider."

If more NZ companies are to adopt AI in the future, relevant skill sets will be needed in our workforce.

Currently, AI is forecast by approximately 75 per cent of NZ tech businesses to be a major disrupter. However, AI development is already amongst the most in-demand skills in the country, suggesting that without immediate action taken to expand our workers' knowledge, the skills gap is only going to get wider. For this reason, the New Zealand Digital Skills Forum is urging the tech and education sectors to take an urgent approach to developing skills for the NZ market.

AI is the future of technology in a now-global space. In order to keep up, New Zealand needs skilled artificial intelligence developers. If you have what it takes to make a change to the face of New Zealand's tech sector, you need a knowledgeable career agent to position you as an industry leader - get in touch with us today.
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