MT Newswires Exclusive: Italian SMEs to Reap Greatly From Adopting Generative AI, Head of Microsoft Italy Says

MT Newswires Exclusive: Italian SMEs to Reap Greatly From Adopting Generative AI, Head of Microsoft Italy Says

(MT Newswires) -- Small and medium-sized enterprises in Italy stand to benefit the most from the adoption of generative artificial intelligence as their larger-sized counterparts have already made great strides in adopting the technology to boost productivity, chief executive of Microsoft (MSF.F) Italy Vincenzo Esposito told MT Newswires at the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio.

Generative AI can be especially helpful for small companies that lack the necessary funds to build up their own digital systems or infrastructure, as it has a "very low cost of implementation," Esposito said, citing as an example a medium-sized business that didn't provide round-the-clock customer service. By implementing an AI-enabled chatbot, the company was able to provide customer service with "very low risk," at a "very limited cost," Esposito said.

The new technology does not pose significant learning challenges as it is quite easy to implement with a minimal amount of digital competence, Esposito said, bearing in mind that many small-sized businesses in Italy have yet to jump on the digital bandwagon and embrace the benefits of digitalization.

Italy's multitude of issues associated with an aging population and a declining workforce could be resolved in part by the adoption of generative artificial intelligence, according to a study presented on Friday by the European House- Ambrosetti in collaboration with Microsoft's Italian unit.

The country, which is expected to lose approximately 3.7 million workers by 2040 as many go on retirement, could maintain its current level of "economic wellness" by adopting and implementing new technologies such as generative AI, the study said.

"Italy needs generative AI in order to boost the country's overall productivity and offset the adverse effects associated with an aging population," the study said as its main thesis.

Generative AI is seen as potentially boosting the productivity of the entire country in terms of gross domestic product by up to 18%, the study participants said during a panel Friday.

Italy needs "to spur digitalization of companies, with a specific focus on SMEs, and develop the right set of competencies," The European House - Ambrosetti partner Corrado Panzeri said at the event.

"The benefits that AI is able to generate have no precedent," surpassing even the benefits that Internet browsers and cell phones have provided, Vincenzo Esposito, chief executive officer of Microsoft Italia," according to a press release by the Ambrosetti Forum in Cernobbio.

Esposito also said Microsoft Italy is currently working on launching a national program together with its network of local partners called AI lab. It is designed to help businesses, academic institutions and the public sector identify ways they can innovate "within the context of AI" and quickly implement the technology.

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