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The world is our oyster when we embed AI

I really enjoyed presenting at today’s ‘The Future of Tech, Innovation & Work’ event in Melbourne, attended by over 150 leaders who are passionate about all things tech to deliver great outcomes.

In 15 minutes, I tried to make a couple of (some would say provocative) points which I wanted to share in a 15-point blog so we can continue the conversation about my favourite topic, AI:

If you’re passionate about driving great outcomes for business, customers and society more broadly you can count on data and AI-related technologies to play a big role in solving the most complex of problems.

Humans are very much needed to identify the high value opportunity and problem spaces in which to point these technologies. Artificial intelligence will augment human decisions, rather than replace them. Think of it as more of a cognitive collaboration.

I don’t doubt AI is the next general purpose technology of our time. It’s everywhere in our personal lives. However, I’m concerned about us in Australia regarding our AI progress compared to other countries.

The majority of industries are well on their way to industrialising these technologies across their business to deliver value to their employees, customers and shareholders – and we need to play catch up, quickly!

It’s time to get a better understanding of what’s blocking us from systematically scaling AI across business and government in Australia.

For example, the AI Journal shows AI is on business leaders’ minds and they believe it will deliver greater efficiency across business processes, unlock new business models and create new products and services.

To drive progress, we need to evaluate where we’re at – objectively. Both as a country and across sectors.

To shift the dial, we need to understand the barriers so we can collectively shape strategies to overcome these issues and unlock the value we all know AI can deliver.

We need to get better at learning, iterating and pivoting proofs of concept and taking the next step to put AI into production at scale to unlock the value we seek. A PoC doesn't make a high value outcome…. It makes it.. a PoC.

Like all transformation agendas, you need an enterprise wide strategy for AI.  You need to think beyond just tech and data to people, processes, controls, consumption design… it’s a lot. Which is why you need a strategy.  

The Federal government’s AI Action Plan estimates that AI could contribute more than A$20 trillion dollars to the global economy by 2030. Australia needs to build its AI muscles and innovate to compete on the global stage and help tackle some of the largest and most complex issues of our time including climate change, complex supply chain optimisation…. The list goes on.

We need to ensure our largest and most established Australian businesses, governments, start-ups  and academia embrace these technologies together and build a workforce around it to achieve the step change we need.

It’s pretty unfair for the C-Suite to be asked to invest in AI if they don’t really understand it – and many people have told me this is a genuine challenge in their leadership ranks. But how great is it we can help on that front? There are dedicated programs designed specifically for business leaders to boost their AI fluency (not technical expertise) focused on building understanding of what AI technologies are, and where they can be applied to deliver value.

The more we can unlock new ways of working to create blended teams, the faster the return on value. The more we (technologists and business leaders) learn to understand each other’s worlds, the stronger the outcomes.

Email us at to share your views on what’s blocking AI from scaling, and to receive our AI blockers survey so we can start to establish some Australian benchmarks and scale AI for a better future.

If you would like to get a micro-credential in AI fluency – co-designed and co-delivered by Deloitte and The University of Sydney Business School, register here.

If you are interested in taking your team through a Deloitte AI Greenhouse experience, find out more here.