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Monday, December 04, 2017

The four industries making best use of artificial intelligence | The Australian Financial Review - Leadership

Photo: Nick Deeks
"Professional services businesses need to follow the lead of other industries if they want to head-off disruption" says Nick Deeks, managing director of property, project and cost management consultants WT Partnership.

Facial recognition is a example of artificial intelligence at work.

Was this the legal sector's "Kodak moment"? The event that signalled the beginning of the end: "The people of Darwin can just about take the law into their own hands, with a new legal firm going lawyer-free," ABC News reported recently. "With a few clicks of a button, a client can enter their details and will then be asked a few simple questions by Ailira, before the robot generates a fully certified will, using the Ailira system."

Right now, Australia has only a handful of businesses that have successfully integrated artificial intelligence into their day-to-day operations. But each month we are witnessing advancements and seeing early adopters reap the benefits.

Artificial intelligence in professional services may seem a vision reserved for futurists and it's a change most people in the industry are in denial about, however, you should be planning to incorporate AI in your workplace in the next six to 12 months, if you are not introducing it already, or face the same fate as Kodak (the camera and photographic film maker, founded in 1888, filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after failing to address the disruptive effects of digital photography).

AI has been slow to disrupt professional services, unlike the speed at which blue-collar industries are being disrupted by robotics: think of manufacturing, the car industry and bricklaying (watch out for Fastbrick Robotics). 

CEOs fearful
Australian professional services businesses need to get on the front foot when it comes to introducing and embedding AI. The service sector represents 70 per cent of Australia's gross domestic product. Professional services, one of our top five service exports, brought in $5.2 billion in 2015-16.

It is understandable that many CEOs are fearful or have yet to be convinced about the benefits of AI. It is also true that AIs will need to have greater capacity to handle complexity than they do currently, to convince Australian companies of the business case.
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Source: The Australian Financial Review

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