COVID-19 slows down machine-learning adoption in Australia

COVID-19 may have put a hold on machine-learning projects but now could be the time for Australian enterprises to revisit those projects.

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Machine-learning adoption in Australia hasn’t been as fast as expected, experts say, with the coronavirus pandemic being one of the main reasons as it has both affected the data used for modelling but also put projects on hold across Australian enterprises.

The intentions were high, as Gartner’s 2021 CIO survey for Australia and New Zealand found that 9% of CIOs had already deployed artificial intelligence or machine learning, and 33% planned to within 12 months.

The importance of data for machine-learning applications

Machine learning uses data and algorithms to attempt to imitate the way humans learn. Organisations build models that uses historical data to look for patterns, changes, or particular events. Gartner’s applied analytics, data, and governance analyst, Ian Bertram, says that with COVID-19 all that data changes, and models created on existing data now perform poorly, so the push to operationalise and productionise machine learning needs to be reconsidered.

The IDC 2021 Future Enterprise Resiliency and Spending found that using technologies such as AI and machine learning to better leverage data and improve decision making to be the No. 1 strategic interest for Australian boards of directors in the next three years, to ensure the organisations can exploit changing market conditions and remain competitive.

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