Action Plan to accelerate AI in Australia


Tuesday, 22 June, 2021


Action Plan to accelerate AI in Australia

The Australian Government has released the country’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Action Plan to help accelerate the development and adoption of AI technologies. The Action Plan is backed by $124.1 million in funding announced in the 2021–22 Budget and sets out four key focus areas for government that will help to position Australia as a global leader in AI.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said the government’s focus areas included supporting businesses to adopt AI, growing and attracting the world’s best AI talent and using AI to solve significant national challenges.

“We are already seeing so many benefits of AI in our everyday lives, from supercharging our economic recovery from the pandemic and unlocking new jobs to protecting our environment, improving health outcomes and making our cities and homes smarter,” Porter said.

“AI could contribute more than $20 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and the AI Action Plan will help us leverage opportunities for AI to further strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of all Australians, while ensuring that the development and adoption of AI is guided by appropriate safeguards, privacy and ethical considerations.

“The Action Plan is also supported by a whole-of-government agenda that sets the right foundations to support the growth of Australia’s digital economy, and forms part of our Digital Economy Strategy.”

Under the plan, the government is investing $53.8 million to create a National Artificial Intelligence Centre to coordinate the nation’s AI expertise and capabilities, and foster greater collaboration between industry and research institutions. Additionally, the government will invest $24.7 million in the skills of the future by establishing the Next Generation AI Graduates Program to attract and train home-grown, job-ready AI specialists.

The government will also provide $33.7 million to support Australian businesses to partner with government on pilot projects for AI-based solutions to national challenges. A further $12 million will be used to promote AI opportunities in regional areas by co-funding up to 36 competitive grants to develop AI solutions that address local or regional challenges.

Looking to 2030, the AI Action Plan brings the Australian Government’s investment in AI to almost half a billion dollars since 2018.

The AI Action Plan is now available at http://industry.gov.au/ai-action-plan.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/The KonG

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