The Vector Institute in Toronto, Canada is dedicated to being a world-class AI research institute and helping domestic companies gain a competitive advantage by using AI to grow and create jobs. The Chair of the Institute argues that more needs to be done to encourage and facilitate the adoption of AI, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) – many of whom face unique challenges. Through its work, the Vector Institute found that SMEs have difficulty staying up to date on advances in AI technology while running a business, and face other challenges such as customers that expect them to be like large enterprises in leveraging big analytic and AI teams to support personalized service and technology.
The Chair goes on to argue that SMEs should be a strategic focus for governments supporting the adoption of AI in the private sector given that they employ 9 out of 10 people in the labour force, and therefore play a critical role in our economic recovery. SME founders and business owners shouldn’t be left to figure out AI on their own – after all, AI is not just technology available to tech-driven companies. Rather it is more like the invention of electricity that will fundamentally transform business across almost every industry. Given the role of AI as a competitive driver, more must be done to elevate proficiency and adoption of AI in the private sector.