Labor allocates $17 million to assist small businesses in adopting AI technology.

Labor has announced a $17 million investment to help small and medium-sized businesses adopt artificial intelligence by funding four organizations. This initiative, known as the Adopt AI Program, aims to prevent the benefits of AI from being confined to large corporations.

The program will establish centers that will serve as entry points for businesses to access AI expertise and provide free training for staff to develop the necessary skills to manage AI effectively. While major banks, consultancies, and tech firms are rapidly investing in AI, small businesses lag behind, as found by a National Australia Bank study.

The survey of over 700 small and medium-sized businesses revealed that 44 percent had a basic understanding of AI, primarily acquired through media or social media, while 12 percent had little to no understanding. The main barriers to adopting AI identified by respondents were the need for training, a lack of understanding of the technology, and the cost of deployment.

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