Quebec artificial intelligence (AI) is still having a hard time getting out of labs. Although Quebec is a recognized international center for the development of AI-related technologies, SMEs and its other organizations use them very little. They lose the opportunity to increase their productivity or improve their short -term profitability.
Ang Get started the AI expert for the business world is however well aware of this potential. The Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development, Pierre Fitzgibbon, has been repeating this for many years. “Apart from increasing the productivity of our SMEs, digital technologies are an effective response to the challenges posed by the labor shortage,” he re -declared on Wednesday when the Get started Montreal -based company Worximity announced that it received $ 14 million from a group of investors that includes, among others, Investissement Québec.
Worximity says it can improve the productivity of manufacturing companies by 20 to 30% without any particular effort on their part … other than agreeing to take over the popular digital shift that Minister Fitzgibbon so dearly loved . Worximity helps SMEs take their first steps in the so -called “Industry 4.0”, where so much data obtained in real time from all over the company helps in providing advice to managers, so speeding up their decision making.
A shift that could pay off, says Yannick Desmarais, founder and CEO of Worximity. “We make information readily available. This is an efficiency advantage that can be achieved without excessive investment. »
Better explain AI to SMEs
Despite these promises, Quebec SMEs continue to neglect the use of new technologies.
These are two studies published a few days apart that draw this relatively unfortunate picture of the underutilized use of technologies by Quebec organizations. In mid -May, the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) published the results of a survey according to which 91% of SMEs in the country have invested significantly in technology in recent years, but only 5% of them effectively using them.
BDC found that this situation is increasingly creating a digital divide between companies increasing their competitiveness through proper application of technology and those that are slow to do so. Citing the challenges associated with the costs and uncertain benefits of using these technologies, close to 40% of the companies surveyed by BDC said they did not have a website, and two out of three SMEs did not review relevant data. to their clients.
Then, last Wednesday, the Order of Chartered Human Resources Advisors (CRHA) shared the results of a survey more specifically focused on the role of artificial intelligence in business in Quebec. His observation: this paper is almost nonexistent. This concerns the order because AI is an effective way to help reduce the impact of labor shortages by automating certain repetitive tasks and increasing the capacity of workers to produce more. work.
“However, we have an advantage in Montreal as a global hub in AI development,” said Have Manon Poirier, executive director of the CRHA order. “Why does it disconnect between AI development and application?»
A doubly intriguing question given that the SMEs surveyed by the order seem to be well aware of the potential of AI to improve their businesses: two out of three companies admit they can improve productivity, and four out of five companies believes they can automate internal processes. and thus reduce the workload for their employees.
“There are so many new young companies these days that offer AI tools, these companies should be able to better explain to SMEs the potential of their technology”, continues Manon Poirier, who thinks a facilitating agent with the ability to review companies ’processes to guide them to the right tools to use quickly.
On the human resources side alone, the adoption of digital technologies has become important not only for better recruitment, but also to avoid hasty departure, he says.
Yannick Desmarais nodded. “Now, attracting young workers by promising them paper and pencils doesn’t work”, he describes.