The concept of investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning is one that has been known to the NSW Government for some time. Whilst it has been discussed at great length, it has only recently been viewed as an investment that should be taken seriously.
The fourth industrial revolution is well and truly underway, and whether we like it or not artificial intelligence and machine learning will become apart of our everyday lives.The capability of AI are proving to be limitless and has transformed business operations worldwide.
From voice activated assistants to driverless cars to the internet of things, these are just some of the new technologies that have been unveiled throughout NSW.
Interestingly, as this new technological phenomenon penetrates NSW, a divide emerges, with one side believing that this is a fantastic step forward for society and the other side fearing change and what's to come.
Those in favour of AI and machine learning are enchanted by the spectacle of robotics carrying out every day tasks, whilst those against fear that robots will take their jobs.
Call me “old fashioned” but I wonder if it is sensible to be trusting a robot with sensitive and at times classified NSW Government information. In a way one might argue that this is already being done.
Rather than delving deeper into this robot vs. human debate, I feel it would be more beneficial to discuss the question of ‘what does AI mean for NSW Government Opportunities and jobs?”
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I will provide you with some facts and observations that I have gained from a number of Government departments and universities to inform your understanding.
The Federal Government for 2018-2019 has allocated just shy of $30 million toward AI investment, which will be used over the next four years to ultimately strengthen Australia’s AI and Machine Learning capabilities. A large portion of this sum has been invested into NSW Departments including; the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science and the Department of Education.
Under the Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan, the Government has allocated $1.5 million to support the implementation of AI across schools aiming to improve STEM outcomes for school students.
Furthermore, all 11 of the state’s universities are involved in global research and academic collaboration networks - often with some of the world’s largest multinational companies.
Many researchers believe that AI will be the most disruptive class of technologies throughout the next 10 years or so. However, the NSW Government has a fantastic grasp on how AI may affect the public and are ensuring that the correct road-maps and standard frameworks are implemented accordingly. A national AI Ethics Framework has been developed and will be implemented to address the softer discrepancies that the NSW Government may have with AI.
The majority of the $30 million dollar investment will go toward and support digital business innovations such as health, agriculture, energy, mining and cyber-security. There is no question that AI will be able to support these sectors and revolutionise them accordingly.
Naturally with investment, we can expect a number of new and exciting roles to be created throughout the NSW Government departments and universities. Innovation brings with it new opportunities, which is driven by the need to implement and maintain more complex and sophisticated systems - both hardware and software. Interestingly this year, whilst we have seen some departments come to a halt for new opportunities following the machinery of government and election, we have seen an increase in opportunities for education AI initiatives.
The better perspective to have on this topic is to believe that the implementation of this technology is solely to assist us with our day-to-day lives, instead of viewing it as a threat to your career path. Approach with caution and pay attention to the latest updates from organisations and corporations.
I have faith that the NSW Government will use this technology to implement new jobs and further excel the currently business innovations.