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Australia Releases Artificial Intelligence Technology Roadmap

Australia Artificial Intelligence Technology Roadmap
Photo Credit: CSIRO

The Australian Government released its artificial intelligence (AI) technology roadmap during Australia’s inaugural AI summit Techtonic, held recently in Canberra.

As reported, ‘Artificial Intelligence: Solving problems, growing the economy and improving our quality of life’ was developed by CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

About the Roadmap

The roadmap outlines the importance of action for Australia to capture the benefits of AI, which is estimated to be worth AU$ 22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

It leverages the expertise of CSIRO’s data science and digital arm, Data61. It was developed for the Australian Government in consultation with industry, government and academia.

It identifies strategies to help develop a national AI capability that will:

  1. Boost the productivity of Australian industry
  2. Create jobs and economic growth
  3. Improve the quality of life for current and future generations

The roadmap is intended to help guide future investment in AI and machine learning, and accompanies Artificial Intelligence: Australia’s Ethics Framework, a discussion paper prepared by CSIRO’s Data61 and published by the Australian Government in April 2019.

Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, senior research scientist at CSIRO’s Data61 and lead author of the roadmap explained that the key to Australia’s AI-enabled future is through technological specialisation.

Technological Specialisation

This will create targeted areas of AI capability to gain a comparative advantage in the global marketplace.

Three AI specialisations have been identified based on the opportunity to solve significant problems at home, export the solutions to the world, and build on the country’s existing strengths. These are:

  1. Health, ageing and disability

AI for health, ageing and disability support can reduce costs, improve wellbeing and make quality care accessible for all Australians.

  1. Cities, towns and infrastructure

AI for better towns, cities and infrastructure can improve the safety, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and quality of the built environment.

  1. Natural resources and environment

AI for enhanced natural resource management can reduce the costs and improve the productivity of agriculture, mining, fisheries, forestry and environmental management.

Benefits of Utilising Artificial Intelligence

  • CSIRO’s Chief Executive, Dr Larry Marshall, shared how AI accelerated the pace and scale of solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.
  • AI represents a significant opportunity to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits.
  • It can boost productivity through its strong potential to enable industry to make better products, deliver better services, faster, cheaper and safer.
  • Additionally, it is central to the increasingly data-driven world and, when combined with other digital technologies, could grow Australia’s economy by $315 billion if they coordinate their AI activities nationally to accelerate research and drive scale.
  • AI technologies have already been used to restore sight to the vision-impaired with a bionic eye and to model the spread of bushfires in real-time to support firefighters in their tactical response.

What Must be Done?

There is a need for Australia to act now to get the full benefits of AI by 2030 and beyond.

AI will create more jobs than it will displace. However, there is a need to transition and upskill the existing workforce.

There is also a need to build trust in AI and ensure it is developed to safe and ethical standards.

Improving access to data is essential as AI is data-hungry. Increasing cybersecurity privacy concerns should also be addressed.

Greater investment in applied research and development will underpin these foundations and help shape an AI-enabled future for the benefit of all Australians.

Interested parties may download the AI Roadmap here.

OpenGov Academy

In line with smart nation efforts of encouraging AI technology adoption, OpenGov has launched its OpenGov Academy, in collaboration with AlphaZetta.

The OpenGov Academy facilitates and promotes AI masterclasses, workshops and customised courses that are conducted by AlphaZetta and supported by OpenGov.

This academy will feature masterclasses across various levels: C-suite, management, business, and, expert.

The classes have been created to impart understanding – taught in an intuitive, accessible way, keeping formulae and mathematics to a bare minimum and taking an innate, visual approach.

Data literacy, AI and data science, and strategic decision making with data are some of the classes offered by the academy.

For more information, visit: OpenGov Academy

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