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AI Considered the Most Important Technology of the 2020s

Over 60% of Australians and New Zealanders are skeptical organisations will give sufficient ethical consideration to AI deployments

Sydney, Australia (4 December 2019) – AI and machine learning rated as the most important business technology of the 2020s above cloud platforms and big data, according to new ISACA research released today. The Next Decade of Tech: Envisioning the 2020s research explores the anticipated implications of technological advancements on the workforce and society as a whole in the next decade.
However, only 39% of respondents in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) believe it is likely or very likely that businesses will give sufficient attention to the ethical considerations around AI and machine learning to prevent potentially unintended consequences in their deployments, such as autonomous weapons, data poisoning and attacks on critical infrastructure. This is in contrast to the global findings in which respondents were split 50/50.
“While some organisations are experimenting with AI for insignificant business tasks, others are taking ambitious strides by delegating mission-critical roles to AI algorithms,” states Phillimon Zongo, ISACA member & Director of Cyber Resilience, and Co-Founder & Director at Cyber Resilience. “Yet to date, no industry standards exist to guide the secure development and maintenance of AI systems. The proliferation of AI raises intriguing opportunities; however, associated risks exist, and if not properly mitigated, the impacts can result in significant consequences.”
Among the more than 5,000 business technology professionals who were surveyed by ISACA, a global, non-profit IT professional association celebrating its 50th anniversary, 93% in ANZ believe the augmented workforce, or people, robots and AI working closely together, will reshape how some or most jobs are performed in the next decade. The overall impact may have mixed results with:
  • 41% indicating that IT industry salaries will increase;
  • 62% believe job security and stability will decrease; and
  • 85% agree that AI will have a major or moderate impact on the profitability of most businesses.
The research canvassed additional future technological advancements with respondents predicting the next decade could lead to the rise of social robots – assisting patients with physical disabilities, educating children and elder care. A quarter (25%) of respondents suggest human augmentation, or people implanting technologies into their body to enhance capability and efficiency, will occur more frequently. And more than half (55%) believe individual countries attempting to “disconnect” from the global internet will become more common, meaning citizens would predominantly have access only to the information within the country they live, with little or no external information accessible.
For more resources related to ISACA’s Next Decade of Tech: Envisioning the 2020s research, including global figures, a related infographic, podcast, video, blog posts and presentation, visit www.isaca.org/next-decade-of-tech.
Now in its 50th anniversary year, ISACA (isaca.org) is a global association helping individuals and enterprises achieve the positive potential of technology. Today’s world is powered by information and technology, and ISACA equips practitioners with the knowledge, credentials, education and community to advance their careers and transform their organizations. ISACA leverages the expertise of its 460,000 engaged practitioners—including its 140,000 members—in information and cybersecurity, governance, assurance, risk and innovation, as well as its enterprise performance subsidiary, CMMI Institute, to help advance innovation through technology. ISACA has a presence in more than 188 countries, including more than 220 chapters worldwide and offices in both the United States and China.
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Julie Fenwick, jfenwick@daylightagency.com.au +61 468 901 655
Lauren Graham, lgraham@daylightagency.com.au +61 432 614 401