Generative AI could generate billions for Australia’s economy by 2030

A new report by Microsoft and the Tech Council of Australia suggests that Generative AI (GAI) could contribute between AU$45 billion and AU$115 billion annually to Australia’s economy by 2030. The report highlights the potential benefits of GAI in sectors such as professional and financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail. GAI can automate routine tasks, free up time for more high-value work, and democratize access to professional services. Australia is well-positioned to become a global leader in GAI due to its tech capabilities, talent pool, digital infrastructure, market connections, and policy support. Strategic actions are proposed to overcome barriers and accelerate GAI adoption.

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A new report, titled ‘Australia’s Generative AI Opportunity,’ developed in collaboration between Microsoft and the Tech Council of Australia, predicts that Generative AI (GAI) could contribute between $45 billion and $115 billion annually to Australia’s economy by 2030. The report identifies professional and financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail as the key sectors that could benefit from GAI.

In the professional and financial services sector, GAI could significantly improve productivity and service delivery. By automating routine tasks, GAI would free up time for accountants and solicitors to focus on more high-value work. The report suggests that GAI could automate 36% of an accountant’s tasks and assist in 26%, allowing them to transition to more advisory and strategic roles. For solicitors, GAI could automate 10% of their tasks and augment 32%, enabling them to concentrate on more complex legal issues. This shift in roles has the potential to improve business outcomes and enhance service quality.

A major advantage of GAI is its potential to democratise access to professional services. By leveraging AI technology, legal and financial advice can be made more accessible to underserved groups in Australia, addressing the current gap in access to legal and financial services and promoting equal opportunities for all.

Australia’s strong tech capabilities and digital innovation position the country as a potential global leader in the GAI field. With a growing tech workforce projected to reach 1.2 million by 2030, Australia has the talent pool necessary to drive GAI development and adoption. Additionally, the country’s substantial investments in digital infrastructure, such as the National Broadband Network (NBN), create opportunities for broader GAI benefits, particularly in regional areas. Furthermore, Australia’s strategic geographical location, providing access to expanding Asian markets and strong ties with the US, enhances its position as a platform for global GAI development collaborations.

The Australian government’s commitment to responsible AI deployment is evident through the AI Ethics Framework and the formation of the Responsible AI Network (RAIN). These initiatives aim to guide the responsible implementation of AI and promote AI governance capabilities.

The report highlights the need for strategic actions to overcome barriers in leveraging GAI. It recommends defining the opportunity and vision of GAI, assessing readiness across sectors, incentivising adoption and innovation, upskilling the workforce, and creating responsible AI governance frameworks. Together, these actions, combined with Australia’s advantages in tech capabilities and policy support, can position the country as a global leader in the GAI field.

Overall, the report emphasises the significant economic impact of GAI on Australia’s economy and the transformative benefits it can bring to various sectors. Through responsible adoption, GAI has the potential to drive productivity, enhance service delivery, and improve access to professional services, ultimately fueling economic growth and establishing Australia as a leader in the global AI landscape.