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AI in 2023: The year of potential

According to a report by IDC, commissioned by Dataiku, 39 per cent of organisations in APAC have already invested in AI and many more organisations are looking to implement the technology in the coming years. Additionally, businesses that have invested in AI will increase their spending by 34 per cent. Overall, 2023 is looking like another big year for the technology.

As we kick off the new year, there are several trends that businesses must gear up for.

1. Democratisation of AI in the face of the ongoing skills shortage

Leading data and AI consultancy Intelligen analysed the local talent pool and found that there are about 1,400 data scientists across Australia in 2022, up 7 per cent from 2021. With companies increasingly turning to AI to help meet their business objectives, there is not nearly enough talent to keep up with demand.

In response, businesses will increasingly turn to an “everyday AI” model, which refers to the democratisation of AI, or the use of the technology by individuals across the organisation, regardless of their business unit, seniority or technical experience.

Democratising AI across the organisation will require an investment into AI infrastructure and commercially available tools, along with programs to upskill employees. Organisations that do allocate budget for this in 2023 will reap the benefits in the long term because such a model will enable the business to scale its AI use cases much more rapidly than those that continue to prioritise the hiring of data and AI experts.

2. Increased use of generative AI

If you’ve been on social media anytime in the past few weeks, you would have seen your friends and family posting AI-generated images of themselves as warriors, fairies and everything in between. These images were created using Lensa AI, a generative AI application that combines people’s selfies with images sourced from the internet to create unique portraits.

If the popularity of Lensa AI and ChatGPT is anything to go by, 2023 will see generative AI be used far more by small and large businesses alike, with the potential to shake up content creation altogether. By making use of such apps for the creation of social media posts, website artwork, emails and even code, people will find themselves with more time on their hands to focus on other aspects of the business.

Of course, such tools do come with their limitations as they do not create anything ‘new’, instead, they make use of pre-existing information to predict the desired outcomes. While these results may appear to be well-crafted, they could be deeply flawed,  lack context, or deliver biased results. This makes it extremely important that this content always goes through a careful review process.

3. AI for good

2023 will see AI increasingly being used to solve many of the world’s problems. We’re just beginning to see the use cases of AI for social good, and as more organisations, governments and non-profit organisations tap into the technology, this will ramp up exponentially.

One company doing just this is The Ocean Cleanup, a non-profit engineering environmental organisation that develops technology to extract plastic pollution from the oceans. This company collects huge amounts of data, as well as satellite imagery to determine where plastic waste builds up in the ocean, with the aim of removing 90 per cent of floating plastic waste from our oceans. By making use of the Dataiku platform, the company is able to maximise the use of its data, including identifying plastic in drone images and barrier identification, ultimately making the company more efficient and effective.

4. Transition to the cloud

According to IDC, 54 per cent of companies still deploy their workloads on on-premises technology. In 2023, this number is more than likely to decrease, as companies increasingly weigh their investments in on-premises technology against what they could be getting out of the cloud.

Not only will a move to the cloud help these businesses cut down their operational and IT costs, but it will also allow for greater flexibility, with less technological investment required for achieving scale.

When it comes to AI, a cloud-based infrastructure will be hugely beneficial in helping such businesses increase AI use cases across the company and unlock even greater business opportunities. Cloud technology also means that security can be outsourced to the cloud provider, freeing up the business to focus its efforts on achieving the best results possible out of the technology.

2023 will be an exciting year for anyone in the AI and data industry, as the technology reaches new heights. With so much uncertainty looming as we continue to recover from the lasting effects of the pandemic and market turmoil, AI will be extremely useful in helping businesses do more with less, and unlock their maximum potential.

Grant Case is Regional Vice President, Sales Engineering – APJ at Dataiku.

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