How AI is changing Australian workplaces

AI has the power to save time, boost productivity and add millions to Australia's economy.

AI has the power to save time, boost productivity and add millions to Australia's economy. Photo: Getty

Family photographer Sophie Hart can take as many as 700 photos during a session with a client.

Sorting them afterwards used to take her at least 90 minutes, but with an artificial intelligence-powered software program called Aftershoot it now takes her just 30 minutes.

“It will select any that have your eyes closed or are blurry and will keep them in a separate folder to the ones the AI selects are good, so it saves hours of work really,” she said.

Hart also uses AI program ChatGPT to write captions for photos she posts on social media. She said it has its faults, but is still a time-saver.

Perth family photographer Sophie Hart.

“I do have to edit quite a lot because mainly I find the tone of voice is really off, even if I instruct it to be more warm or friendly,” Hart said.

“It just sounds really robotic and clunky, but the ideas it generates all work really well.”

James Carey, director at accounting firm Prime Partners, has discovered time efficiencies through AI just by experimenting with different programs.

“I tend to use it to help solve problems mainly in Excel because there’s a lot of repetitive stuff in Excel,” he said.

“I used to spend a reasonable amount of time Googling to find Excel formulas and with trial and error, eventually get an answer. With ChatGPT one of the things it’s good at is I can ask and it will at least spit out a formula. And that used to take me 20 minutes of Googling.”

AI is being harnessed by Australian businesses big and small, and is set to revolutionise industries around the world.

Large companies are using it to analyse massive swathes of data, while smaller organisations are using it to conquer repetitive tasks.


AI-powered language models such as ChatGPT are making their mark in Australian workplaces. Photo: Getty

AI is already making its mark in workplaces in the finance and healthcare industries, the chief executive of machine learning company Arcanum AI, Asa Cox, said.

‘Dramatically disrupted’

“The knowledge worker market is going to be dramatically disrupted because it’s relatively easy for automation to come in and take over a lot of those tasks,” he said.

“Services that rely purely on humans for relatively repetitive tasks so contact centres, support desks, some of the financial services – whether it be bookkeeping or accounting, some of the layers and advisers in that space.

“Health care has definitely been picking it up. If you think about the shortage of radiologists, the challenges of GP clinics to see more patients and the challenges of hospitals, and so on.”

The CSIRO has a large team of scientists and researchers working on AI and has just released an interactive online platform called The Indigenous Jobs Map. It harnesses artificial intelligence to support Indigenous employment.

“It’s an example of what we are providing and there are lots of other companies out there using AI tools to identify emerging trends within their workforce and using it to analyse resumes, job specifications and do matching, trying to take huge amounts of data they’ve got on their own companies and using it to match candidates with individuals,” the deputy director and science director of Data61, the CSIRO’s data and digital arm, Aaron Quigley said.

The potential of AI is still emerging across Australian industries. However, if predictions are correct, it could create a range of new opportunities.

AI technology could boost Australia’s economy by $115 billion annually within seven years, according to a joint report by the Tech Council of Australia and Microsoft.

It found 70 per cent of the economic value would come from an increase in productivity across existing industries, 20 per cent would be made through quality gains, and 10 per cent from new products and services.

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