How to advance AI in Florida

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Artificial intelligence (AI) is used in various organizations in the Sunshine State.

AI helps in Gainesville Predicting the next COVID-19 variant. In Fort Myers, it provided evidence prove a man’s innocence in a criminal proceeding. The University of Florida uses AI to accelerate brain research. And in rural areas AI traces the spread of citrus through Florida’s famed orange groves.

When it comes to AI, some assume that the technologies associated with it will be used primarily by large corporations. But a newer one Deloitte Insights The report examines 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 intelligence: visual perception, speech recognition, and even some decisions. Due to dramatic advances over the past decade, AI is expected to be the most impactful technology of this generation. Its applications span many industries, creating opportunities to increase productivity and reduce overhead.

“Traditionally, a major source of technological innovation has been entrepreneurs and small businesses,” he said Tasha Austin and Kevin LubinDeloitte government and public services practitioners and the authors of How the US government can accelerate AI entrepreneurship. “Small companies regularly produce more patents per employee than large companies, which are associated with higher impact, higher growth and higher profits. … Fostering AI innovation in the United States will therefore likely require more support and opportunities for AI entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

But barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship remain. First, the prohibitive cost of computing and the need for massive amounts of high-quality data can be significant barriers for small businesses.

In addition, AI development requires specific technical talent, which is currently severely lacking in the United States. For Florida to maintain its position as an economic leader, the Sunshine State must leverage and integrate AI technology to support Florida’s workforce.

Deloitte’s report highlights actions policymakers can take to break down barriers for local startups to overcome these challenges and support AI innovation by small businesses and entrepreneurs, including:

— Direct funding of AI innovations

— Pass legislation to streamline policies and regulations around AI technology

— Creating new incentives for AI entrepreneurship

— Providing the technological infrastructure required for advanced AI development

To help small businesses compete with larger companies, Florida lawmakers might consider using tax incentives to encourage more regular investment and upgrades of physical research and development (R&D) facilities. According to research by Deloitte, three of the largest technology companies in the United States account for approximately 62% of the global cloud infrastructure market. Offering tax breaks to smaller companies investing in and upgrading their R&D resources could help them become more competitive in the cloud space.

Another opportunity to expand Florida’s AI innovation – the establishment of a technology center.

Currently, a few tech hubs in Boston, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and San Diego account for more than 90% of high-tech growth.

Establishing a tech hub in Florida — or helping to strengthen growing tech and innovation hubs like Orlando — can enable Florida to compete more effectively nationally.

The state could also consider creating a formal consortium of organizations from multiple sectors to stimulate industrial investment, foster collaboration between academia and industry, and mobilize the community to create more horizontal and vertical partnerships.

AI is here to stay, so Florida policymakers should consider how best to break down barriers to innovation and foster an environment where emerging AI leaders and small businesses can compete, grow, and thrive.

For more information on how government can help accelerate AI entrepreneurship, visit please click here.

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