Artificial intelligence expert selects Sydney for Asia-Pacific launch pad

27 Mar 2019

New York-based artificial intelligence (AI) specialist, Dataiku, is expanding in the Asia-Pacific region with a major new office in Sydney. The company will be hiring dozens of local employees, from customer-facing staff to data scientists.

According to the new head of the Australia office, Steve Gilbert, expansion is being driven by increased demand for AI capabilities in Australia.

‘In Australia, advanced analytics and machine learning are becoming top priorities for CIOs [chief information officers], says Gilbert. ‘AI provides CIOs with a new way to differentiate themselves and their companies.’

Dataiku has created a centralised data platform that helps organisations develop AI capabilities. Its target market is any company that wants to extract predictive insights from a mass of raw data.

Skills availability and digital innovation were key factors in Dataiku’s decision making.

‘Sydney resonates globally as a focal point of business in Australia,’ says Gilbert. ‘As with London, New York and Paris, we need to align ourselves to attract partners, prospects and a reservoir of talent.’

In Australia, AI is a small but fast-growing sub-sector of the IT industry. According to Frost & Sullivan, spending on AI in Australia reached A$333 million in 2016, and is rising by 22 per cent per year. Spending is expected to reach A$1.98 billion by 2025.

According to the report, AI is already impacting multiple sectors of the Australian economy. These sectors include: education (in cloud-based e-learning); retail (in automated customer conversations); health (in patient monitoring); and financial services (especially in payments services).

Gilbert has also credited the investment assistance provided by Austrade.

‘I’m grateful that Austrade reached out to support our expansion,’ he says. ‘The Austrade team has provided a wealth of information – as well as suggestions for office space.’

Dataiku’s expertise in cloud-based AI is globally recognised. The company was named a ‘challenger’ in The Gartner 2019 Magic Quadrant for Data Science and Machine-Learning Platforms.