INDEPENDENT NEWS

$6.4billion in labour efficiencies to be made in NZ economy

Published: Wed 27 Nov 2019 04:13 PM
New Zealand urgently needs to increase its focus on an AI-enabled future, particularly investment, skills and talent, research, trusted data, ethics and regulation, a major new national artificial intelligent research report says.
The AI Forum of New Zealand report has investigated the potential AI impact on New Zealand’s economy and society.
The report just released shows how AI can be used to improve New Zealand's wellbeing, productivity and sustainability, for the benefit of the public.
AI Forum of NZ executive director Emma Naji says the rapid development of AI technologies presents major opportunities and challenges for Kiwis.
“New Zealand needs to actively consider benefits from creating world leading AI strategy, innovation and business; research suggests that the financial and insurance sectors are a viable quick win for New Zealand,” Naji says.
Investing and supporting the growth of AI across agriculture, government, health, environment and conservation is one of the best ways New Zealand can trade in the global AI market.
The New Zealand financial services and insurance sectors are undergoing a period of significant change. Customer and partner expectations are changing, opting for open, streamlined and integrated solutions.
There are technology innovations, regulatory demands, and socio-political and economic disruptions emerging. Open-banking is a real opportunity to explore and transform traditional banking, she says.
Challengers, offering new services, are pushing into the already competitive scene forcing the financial and insurance sectors to address their offerings.
“Regulators have a role to play in supporting AI adoption and helping to remove some of the current barriers, Naji says.
The AI Forum’s 2019 report, Towards Our Intelligent Future: An AI Roadmap For New Zealand, says there are barriers and challenges to broad adoption such as regulatory challenges, a lack of skills and talent, the need for increased industry investment, organisational challenges, workplace concerns and evolving social licence all needed.
Up to $6.4billion of economic benefits are predicted for New Zealand by 2035 from AI-driven labour efficiencies, Naji says.
“Despite regulatory hurdles and challenges around hiring and industry maturity, AI-enabled improvements at legacy banks and fintech startups alike are already proving valuable and creating relatively rapid returns on investment.”
“There are many opportunities for AI to change the face of financial services in the future. Many companies are already experimenting with the possibilities all across banking operations. This is an exciting and uncertain moment for the financial services sector, with technological shifts creating new opportunities and new challenges, especially for incumbent banks.
“These include:
• “automated customer service agents that aid in understanding customers' needs, reducing time and resources spent in resolution.
• “robo-advisors that provide automated, often AI-driven financial planning services and individualised investment plans for customers with little to no human interaction.
• “AI fraud detection that uses deep learning techniques to more quickly and accurately detect fraud.
• “robotic process automation for automating ledger reconciliations and other processes.”

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