05 May 2020

The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Australia

Artificial intelligence, Technology
The Future of Artificial Intelligence in Australia

In a recent podcast for Endeavour Programme, our CEO Elizabeth Foley spoke to journalist Rebecca Archer about the concept of AI and machine learning.

They discussed how artificial intelligence is affecting sectors within Australia and the leaders within it and what we might expect to see from artificial intelligence’s influence in the coming years.

Listen to the podcast here or read some of the key highlights below:


Financial services: AI has influenced everything from ATMs, online banking to credit card fraud. So gone are the days when banks had branches in every country town. We also now have automatic buying on the stock exchange and in the last 10 years or so, we have been able to identify insider trading, much more quickly.

Health industry: There are now apps available on your phone that will tell you when to get your prescription filled and when to take your medication. Doctors not only have their own experience, but cases from thousands of patients around the world, which is helping to improve diagnostics and get treatments right.

Project management: For a company that has a portfolio of projects where resourcing is going, AI software can look at where there are blow outs and problems. It can alert the project manager if they need to allocate more money to a particular program in their portfolio of projects, so that it doesn’t fall behind and is not in need of resources.


If you want to stay relevant in your market and competitive you need to keep up with technology. For instance, Kodak ignored the digital photography revolution, even though it invented the technology. This may mean you need to shift away from an aspect of your business that seems to be working for now but that will not survive in the long term.

Boards and organisations need to take these risks and it’s important to remember that business is not riskless, as judgement calls are made every day by CEOs, Boards and Governments. Investing in new technology is a normal business risk.

  • Know and understand your organisations risk appetite and what it can afford to spend and don’t punish failure.

  • Take risks that are appropriate to your organisation, as considerations are going to be very different for a large organisation compared to a start-up.


Artificial intelligence is coming and some of the new technologies that are implemented will come as a result of new legislation. Using the construction industry as an example, problems with buildings such as the Mascot Towers and other high rises, have shone a spotlight on the quality of project delivery.

In the next two years we are going to see legislation come through NSW by the new Building Commissioner, which will have a ripple effect on the other states. Organisations like the Australian Institute of Project Management will be there to help develop this.

A focus will be put on how project managers and their stakeholders can better manage construction projects and ensure high quality builds.

Artificial intelligence will improve the designs of buildings through 3D modelling, which will take into account all aspects of the building from the architecture through to the engineering. AI will also play a greater role in risk management and project planning, alerting project managers to high risk issues or when a project is going off track.

In the years down the track AI will be seen as an integral part of the scene. It will replace some more junior roles or there will be a lot less demand for those roles. In the project management profession, Project Scheduling and Project Controller roles are increasingly being done by AI.

That will mean leadership skills and EQ will be what project managers need to differentiate themselves, as this is something that AI currently can’t do. In the future leadership and people skills, as well as strategic thinking is going to be key.

Before you get started with AI:

  • Speak to industry associations, which have knowledge of regulation around technology, the broader marketplace and the economy.
  • Look at what is happening overseas.
  • Use your network and get advice from executives in other industries doing similar things.
  • Consult firms and vendors who can provide information and help you through the decision making process.

Listen to the podcast by clicking below: