Businesses that fail to incorporate artificial intelligence risk missing out on the largest opportunity since the internet.

That’s the message from ACS on the launch of its latest publication, Artificial Intelligence: A Starter Guide to the Future of Business.

The guide is an easy to read introduction to AI for businesses – what it is, what it can do – and how to get started with AI in an organisation.

“We want to see more Australian companies starting AI projects. Not just because we think AI will play an important part for the future our of country -- but also because it's just plain good business sense,” said ACS President Yohan Ramasundara.

“AI is coming to every industry in one form or another, and companies who get there first will enjoy a market advantage.

“And companies who get their second will need AI too, to remain competitive.

“So whichever way you look at it, now is the time.”

The guide, authored by Ashton Mills and Nathan Taylor, was launched amid a showcase of Australian AI talent, with CEOs and founders from Sortal, Gameface and Hyper Anna demonstrating their capabilities.

L to R: Report co-author Nathan Taylor, report co-author Ashton Mills, ACS President Yohan Ramasundara, Sortal CEO Majella Edwards, Hyper CEO Natalie Nguyen, Gameface CEO Jalal Shaik.

Majella Edwards, CEO of image management software Sortal said that when she spoke with enterprises about artificial intelligence, she often found business leaders focused on what the technology will achieve in the future.

“While there is an enormous amount of potential as the field develops, we can already do incredible things with AI in the here and now – and by investing in AI now, businesses can set themselves up to thrive rather than play catch up later on.”

AI experts are also set to cash in on the boom, with salaries in the US and China reaching as high as $US300,000 ($400,000).

Ramasundara said more must be done in this space to keep Australian AI talent from going overseas.

“The government has committed to invest $29.9 million over four years to pump up Australia’s AI and machine learning capabilities in fields such as cybersecurity, health and energy.

“This is a very small step in the right direction and if we are genuinely committed to harnessing the power of AI a more demonstrably significant investment will be required.”

The launch was a standing affair only, with a packed house at the ACS Innovation Hub in Barangaroo, Sydney.