Australian business have a good grasp of AI and are willing to invest in it, but AI deployments lag behind the global average, according to new research.

The ‘Outlook on the Australian AI market landscape in Australia’ study was conducted by research analysts House of Brand on behalf of Sydney-based AI specialists, Daisee, which today announced its official launch into the Australian market.

The report involved a survey of 200 Australian organisations, as well as detailed interviews with senior executives at some of Australia’s biggest and most successful companies.

Compared with global leaders like the US and UK, Australia is well off the pace in terms of actual deployment of AI. Only 14 per cent of Australian companies reported having adopted AI, compared with the global average of 23 per cent.

Almost 70 per cent of Australian organisations surveyed said they were yet to adopt AI solutions, compared with a global average of 54 per cent. Worldwide, 23 per cent of organisations are known to be piloting AI, while the Australian outlook report found only 17 per cent of local companies were at this stage.

However adoption is expected to increase over the next five years. The number of Australian companies expecting to invest over $1 million in AI between now and 2022 is expected to rise to 13 per cent in 2022, up from 6 per cent today.

Using these and other indicators, the report divided Australian organisations into four categories: Pioneers; Investigators; Experimenters; and Passives, reflecting in descending order different levels of awareness and adoption.

Passives make up the biggest cohort (44 per cent), while 9 per cent qualify as pioneers, 35 per cent investigators, and 12 per cent are experimenters.

Source: Outlook on the Australian AI market landscape in Australia

“It’s a widely held view that companies taking no action on AI will see the gap between them and those who embrace it will widen exponentially over the next five years, and to a far greater degree than we’ve seen before,” said Daisee co-founder and CEO, Richard Kimber.

“This has implications not only for their success and competitiveness in Australia, but increasingly they will feel more pressure from international players.”

Australian companies highlighted a number of barriers slowing their adoption of AI technologies, most notably concerns around security, lack of available talent, low levels of ‘leadership’ support for AI deployments, and the lack of a clear business case.

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