Australia is primed to cultivate AI-focused businesses, mate. We’ve got a kick-ass start-up scene with unicorns like Canva and Atlassian leading the pack. Plus, our universities are top-notch when it comes to AI education. And don’t even get me started on how awesome it is to live here with our $3.5 trillion superannuation pool hungry for investments.
But here’s the thing, mate. When it comes to AI start-ups, the US has got some seriously exciting stuff going on. Just ask Zeb Rice, a co-founder and partner at King River Capital, a venture capital firm all about AI investments. He’s seeing all these mind-blowing advancements happening over there, like ChatGPT taking AI to a whole new level.
Australia, on the other hand, seems to be missing the boat. We’ve got all this potential, but our entrepreneurs aren’t getting the support they need from the government to turn their brilliant ideas into successful businesses. It’s enough to make Zeb, who’s been pleasantly surprised by Australia’s tech prowess in the past, pretty frustrated.
Now, you might think Zeb’s just trying to make more moolah by pushing for government support. But he’s investing in both Australia and the US, so it doesn’t matter to him where the next big AI start-ups sprout up. His frustration is all about Australia missing out on a chance to become a global player in AI, like how electricity and the internet transformed the world.
Zeb believes that Australian start-ups have what it takes to be major players in the AI landscape. They could develop groundbreaking applications and platforms that make AI more accessible and usable. We’re talking about building on top of massive language models like OpenAI ChatGPT. But here’s the kicker, mate. Our government is falling short in supporting the AI revolution.
Sure, they allocated $101.2 million in the budget to integrate quantum and AI technologies, but that’s peanuts compared to what other countries are doing. Take the UK, for example, with their £1 billion for supercomputing and AI research. Germany has set aside €500 million, Canada’s got around $500 million, and the US allocated a whopping $US1.7 billion to AI research and development. Meanwhile, we’re just lagging behind.
It’s not just business leaders who are hyped about generative AI, mate. Even CEOs and chief technology officers are putting money in their budgets for AI. They might not know exactly how to use it yet, but they know it’s important. Boardrooms are buzzing with discussions about how generative AI, like ChatGPT, will transform businesses in the next five years.
But here’s the cold hard truth, Australia is already way behind in the AI arms race. Stanford University shows that we’ve only had $US1.35 billion in private AI investment compared to the US ($US47.4 billion), China ($US13.4 billion), the UK ($US4.4 billion), and even countries like Israel, Canada, and Argentina.
Now, it’s not too late for us, mate. We still have a shot at being players in the AI game. But our government needs to wake up and realize what’s at stake. We need more support in the form of R&D tax breaks, funding for universities, visas, and incubator programs that specifically focus on AI.
So let’s not let this opportunity slip away, Australia. It’s time to invest in our AI future and show the world what we’re made of.