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Businesses should embrace AI to enable digital transformation

Investment in Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows companies to better respond to change and continue to operate efficiently in an ever-evolving landscape, according to Genpact Australia country manager and vice president, Richard Morgan.

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However, new research from Genpact has shown that more than three-quarters (78%) of consumers say companies must address bias in AI and those who take action will be rewarded. The Genpact study, AI 360: Hold, fold or double down, highlights how AI presents growth opportunities but businesses need to address customer concerns about bias and workers concerns about reskilling opportunities.

While 70% of Australians worry about AI discriminating against them and 67% fear that AI will make decisions that affect them without their knowledge, companies that understand these issues can succeed.

Most Australians (63%) are more likely to recommend a company that can demonstrate AI algorithms are bias-free and more likely to purchase products or services from such businesses (59%).

Many workers see opportunities in AI, and more than 85% of Australians are willing to learn new skills to take advantage of this technology. Yet companies are not meeting the demand for reskilling with employees surveyed saying that 63% of Australian organisations do not offer AI-related trainings.

Current findings show that 58% of senior executives in Australia are talking about providing employees with training. However, globally, both male and female senior executives agree (77% and 75%, respectively) that companies in their industry generally do not provide equal opportunities to men and women for AI reskilling.

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The top benefits of AI, according to senior executives in Australia, are freeing up more time for employees to focus on more important tasks (41%), improving customer experience and service (40%), and the ability to leverage data and analytics (39%).

Australia is leading the AI deployment race compared to other countries, with over a third (36%) of Australian senior executives saying they are extensively implementing AI-related technologies to fundamentally reimagine their business and/or operating model.

Genpact’s Richard Morgan said the past 12 months have shown, and what the next coming years will continue to show, is that flexibility and faster decision-making cycles are key to building resilience, adapting to new situations, new processes, and driving innovation to remain relevant.

“AI is instrumental in improving connections to both customers and to staff and enhancing organisations and workers’ decision-making and responsiveness capabilities,” he said.

“Actively reskilling and upskilling employees will be instrumental in using AI capabilities in a meaningful and efficient way. It is a worry that majority of Australian organisations do not offer AI-related training. Building relevant AI skills is an important challenge; only organisations that address it head on will be well placed to make more informed decisions to stay competitive and keep innovating.

“As companies look to reskill and upskill their teams, it is important they ensure a complete diversity – including gender and more – of the people they train, and provide them with both technical and also non-technical skills such as deep industry expertise. To mitigate AI bias, AI capabilities need to be built with a broad data set and contributions from diverse minds and perspectives. Diversity and gender equality is as important to maintain as we build AI capabilities as it is in the way we build and run organisations and our society as a whole.”