Friday, 18 January 2019 10:48

Australian businesses increasingly embrace Artificial Intelligence: report

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Australian businesses increasingly embrace Artificial Intelligence: report Image courtesy of Cooldesign at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australian organisations are embracing artificial intelligence with almost three quarters of businesses surveyed reporting a positive impact from AI.

According to the recent survey by Enterprise cloud computing company Nutanix, now that Australia is in the data-building phase of AI, businesses need to be mindful of the biases people take on and avoid incorporating them into the AI algorithms that are fast becoming important.
 
According to Nutanix, business and society are becoming increasingly comfortable with the AI technology, but there are still concerns and “this is an area that needs to be monitored closely in 2019”.

“Imagine AI was at the heart of a screening system at an airport, or to put forward candidates for a job interview,” writes Nutanix.

“There is also a security aspect to this – even if developers can build the right algorithms that treat everyone fairly, there is a danger that the ever-increasingly sophisticated hacker will find a way to infiltrate systems and change algorithms to incorporate whatever biases they choose. The societal impact of this could be detrimental.

“The flipside to this is that AI gives us the opportunity to remove our bias and understandably limited thinking from important decisions. We’re all guilty of making decisions based on a limited number of factors and relatively small sample and experience size, but AI has the power to look at things in black and white, taking into account any number of factors and data to determine the best outcome.”

According to Nutanix, 2019 is the year of the multi-cloud, and after much talk, “2019 should see the conversations businesses are having about cloud journeys turn to multi-cloud”.

Carlo Nizeti, systems engineering director ANZ, Nutanix says businesses — and our wider societal mentality — are pushing against the idea of being locked into anything.

“We’re seeing the term ‘no lock-in contract’ appear much more as marketers seek to capture the modern customer.

“This should be no different for businesses and the question of ‘which cloud is right for my organisation?’ is no longer the right question. It should be ‘which cloud should I use for the specific application I want to run?'"

According to Nizeti, a better balance with hybrid cloud, which research showed last year was ,the preference of more than 90% of organisations in the ANZ region and around the world, will lead to better business outcomes in 2019.

Nizei also says this year is unlikely to see cybersecurity removed from the headlines and, “the sheer amount of data we’re creating is now enabling hackers to be far more knowledgeable and creative in their approach when targeting ANZ businesses”.

"We’ve all seen the overtly obvious emails come through that promise riches for facilitating the transfer of money, but more sophisticated cybercriminals are now taking advantage of the data deluge to target businesses and staff referencing real customers, partners and information only people within the business should know.

“This spells danger – if a hacker can imitate a colleague effectively, our spider senses won’t activate before clicking on a link or an attachment.

“A report commissioned by Microsoft last year indicated the direct economic loss of cybersecurity incidents on Australian businesses is $29 billion per year. The costs of a breach — which can stretch well beyond financial damage to destroy relationships, trust and even the lives of those at fault — are simply too high and businesses and staff have an onus to up their security and awareness to protect against these attacks.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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