Aus Govt launches National Artificial Intelligence Centre


Friday, 17 December, 2021

Aus Govt launches National Artificial Intelligence Centre

The Australian Government has officially launched the National Artificial Intelligence Centre, in order to help unlock the potential of AI for business by coordinating Australia’s AI expertise and capabilities.

The centre is part of the government’s $124.1 million investment under its AI Action Plan, released in June this year, which sets out a vision for Australia to become a global leader in developing and adopting trusted, secure and responsible artificial intelligence. Minister for Science and Technology Melissa Price said the government was delivering on the AI Action Plan, ensuring Australia was charging ahead in developing and adopting AI products and services.

“The launch of the National Artificial Intelligence Centre positions Australia as a global leader in AI technology, harnessing our collective capabilities, talent and resources to be developers and drive early adoption of AI by our businesses,” Price said.

“The National Artificial Intelligence Centre will play a pivotal role in ensuring we can take advantage of AI technologies, which has been forecast to contribute more than $20 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

“This investment will strengthen Australia’s ability, lift our global competitiveness through AI and attract new investment and world-leading specialists.

“The National Artificial Intelligence Centre will also help address barriers that small and medium enterprises face in developing AI and other emerging technologies by connecting business with the talent, knowledge and tools to succeed.”

The National Artificial Intelligence Centre has been established within CSIRO’s data and digital specialist arm, Data61. Data61 Director Professor Jon Whittle explained that the role of the centre is to bring Australia’s AI expertise together and provide a coordinated approach.

“Australia has world-class expertise in AI, but to fully realise the benefits of this technology we need a strong, collaborative and focused AI ecosystem that provides Australian businesses with the knowledge and skills they need to grow,” Prof Whittle said.

“This centre will provide a once-in-a-generation opportunity to focus our AI capability on solving Australia’s greatest challenges and leading the world in ethical AI.”

Directorship of the centre has been appointed to Stela Solar, who has previously worked with Microsoft as Global Director – Artificial Intelligence Solution Sales and Strategy. Solar will commence the role in late January 2022 and will be based in Sydney.

“I’m really excited to say that an exceptionally talented Australian, Stela Solar, will leave the US and come back home to lead our new National AI Centre,” said CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall.

“Stela has the vision and industry knowledge to work with CSIRO to continue bridging the gap between industry and our world-leading AI specialists.”

Cheryl George, Executive Manager of the National AI Centre, added that Solar’s appointment will “link up our National AI Centre with the wider AI ecosystem and help us establish Australia as a focal point for AI investment and adoption”.

“By connecting our AI ecosystem and collaborating with local and global organisations, we can unlock Australia’s AI opportunity,” George said.

For more information on the National Artificial Intelligence Centre, visit www.csiro.au/naic.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/immimagery

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