Australia’s Government has launched the National Artificial Intelligence Centre 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, which sets out a vision for Australia to become a global leader in developing and adopting trusted, secure and responsible artificial intelligence.
Helping businesses make the most out of AI
The AI centre, based within CSRIO's Data61, will coordinate national AI activity, expertise, and capabilities with the hopes of improving productivity and lifting competitiveness. It will also perform work on reducing barriers faced by small to medium-sized businesses in adopting and developing AI and emerging technology.
"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," said Melissa Price, Minister for Science and Technology.
"This investment will strengthen Australia's ability, lift our global competitiveness through AI, and attract new investment and world-leading specialists."
Investing in technologies to help economic growth
Last month, AI was classified as one of 63 critical technologies by the federal government in its blueprint for critical technologies. Other technologies included in that list were 5G and 6G, advanced imaging systems, blockchain, high-performance computing, protective cybersecurity technologies, robotics, and various areas of quantum.
The Blueprint sets out the vision, while the Action Plan outlines what Australia is doing to protect and promote critical technologies. These technologies can facilitate economic and jobs growth, secure our manufacturing and agricultural competitiveness, improve our health outcomes, enable our energy transition, strengthen our defence forces and much more.
CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said the world was racing to find the next big breakthrough in AI. "Here in Australia, we're focused on using AI to solve key national challenges that can really make a difference for all Australians," Dr Marshall said.
The national AI centre will be run by Stela Solar, who previously was Microsoft's AI solution sales and strategy director.
Under the AI Action Plan and the Government’s Digital Economy Strategy, the CSIRO is also delivering $47.3 million in scholarship programmes for AI and emerging technologies to attract and retain over 460 home-grown, job-ready specialists.