Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used by various organizations in the Sunshine State.
In Gainesville, AI is helping predict the next variant of COVID-19. In Ft. Myers, it provides evidence of prove someone’s innocence in a criminal case. The University of Florida uses AI to facilitate brain research. And in the countryside, AI traces the spread of citrus greening through Florida’s iconic orange groves.
Regarding AI, some people believe that the technologies associated with it are used by large corporations. But recently Deloitte Insights The report explores the role small businesses can play in driving AI innovation – and how policymakers can help them get there.
At a high level, AI uses computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human knowledge: visual perception, speech recognition, and even some decision-making. Due to the dramatic advances in the past decade, AI is expected to be the most effective technology of this generation. Its applications span many industries, creating opportunities to increase productivity and reduce overhead.
“The main source of technological change is traditional entrepreneurs and small businesses,” said Tasha Austin and Kevin Lubinprofessionals in Deloitte’s Government and Public Services practice and the authors of How the US Government Can Facilitate AI Entrepreneurship. “Smaller companies often produce more patents per employee than larger companies, which correlates with higher impact, growth, and profits. … The growth of AI innovation in the United States is therefore likely need more support and opportunities for AI entrepreneurs and small businesses.
But barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship remain. For starters, prohibitive computing costs and the need for large amounts of high-quality data can be significant barriers to small businesses.
Additionally, AI development requires specific technical talent, of which there is currently a significant shortage in the United States. For Florida to maintain its position as an economic leader, the Sunshine State must embrace and integrate AI technology to support Florida’s workforce.
Deloitte’s report finds actions that policymakers can take to break down barriers for local startups to overcome these challenges and support AI innovation from small businesses and entrepreneurs , including:
– Direct Funding of AI Innovation
— Passing Legislation to Streamline Policies and Regulations Around AI Technology
– Creating New Incentives for AI Entrepreneurship
— Providing the Technology Infrastructure Needed for Advanced AI Development
To help small businesses compete with larger companies, Florida lawmakers may want to consider using tax incentives to encourage more regular investment and upgrades in physical research and development (R&D) properties. According to Deloitte research, three of the largest technology companies in the United States account for about 62% of the global cloud infrastructure market. Offering tax breaks for small companies that invest and upgrade their R&D assets will help them become more competitive in the cloud space.
Another opportunity to foster AI innovation in Florida – establish a technology hub.
Currently, some tech hubs in Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and San Diego account for more than 90% of the growth of the high-tech sector.
Establishing a tech hub in Florida – or helping to strengthen growing centers of technology and innovation like Orlando – will enable Florida to compete more effectively nationally.
The state may also consider creating a formal consortium of organizations in several industries to stimulate industry investments, develop academia-industry collaborations, and mobilize the community to create more horizontal and vertical togetherness.
AI is here to stay, so Florida lawmakers must consider how best to break down barriers to innovation and foster an environment where emerging AI leaders and small business can compete, grow and develop.
For more on how the government can help accelerate AI entrepreneurship, please click here.