12.12.2019A Federal Government Roadmap for Artificial Intelligence

On 15 November, the Committee for Melbourne attended the Federal Government’s AI Summit Techtonic at old Parliament House in Canberra.

Techtonic was hosted by The Hon. Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Minister Andrews provided a positive message about the benefits of AI, for amongst other things, growth of new jobs and the economy as well as the improved provision of social services.

Many of the presenters at the Summit confirmed that AI can provide very positive outcomes for the community, in areas such as health. Kane Sajak’s presentation of the HomeGuardian.ai and its ability to detect and warn of falls in the home, demonstrates a practical application of technology to assist in saving lives*.

The Federal Government also launched its AI Roadmap “Artificial intelligence: Solving problems, growing the economy and improving our quality of life.” CSIRO Data61, Australia. The Roadmap identifies three high potential areas of specialisation in Australia: Natural resources and environment; Health, ageing and disability; and Cities, towns and infrastructure.   This provides helpful initial guidance and direction in the area of AI and approaches for government, business, academia and the community. Prior to the launch of the Roadmap, the Federal Government had also released AI ethics principles.

As part of the Committee’s Melbourne 4.0 strategy, questions of digital capability and competitive internet are being tackled by our members. The Committee for Melbourne’s AI Taskforce is led by a Steering Committee of industry leaders from a broad range of sectors and is chaired by the Committee’s Chair, Scott Tanner.

The AI Steering Committee’s draws on the expertise, unique methods and ideas of its members from the world of business, research, technology, finance, infrastructure, legal, academia and consulting firms. Steering Committee members are  EY , which is the program coordinator, Telstra, PwC, Deloitte, Jacobs, Commonwealth Bank, Allens, Monash University, Data61 and Nous Group.

The AI Taskforce work recognises that AI is already having a significant impact on the economy, lives and business activities, and that leadership is needed to ensure that the benefits of innovation can be captured whilst the privacy and rights of people are protected. The AI Steering Committee’s task is to write a report providing guidance and recommendations on approaches that business, academia, government and the community might take towards adapting and innovating for AI.

With assistance and advocacy from the Committee, members of the Victorian Parliament established an All-Party Parliamentary Group on Artificial Intelligence (VAPPGAI) in 2018 to learn more about AI and the impacts it will have on Victorians in the future. VAPPGAI is intended to play an essential bi-partisan role in educating the community, facilitating reform and advocating for important policy change on AI.

Meetings held by this group, as well as the Committee for Melbourne’s AI Summit on 27 October 2019, have started the discussion and education required towards finding the mechanisms to manage and make the most of AI innovation.

The Committee’s AI report will be published in 2020 and presented to the VAPPGAI.

For more information about the Committee’s AI agenda, please contact Leanne Edwards.

*Other presenters at Techtonic were Professor Genevieve Bell, Director of the 3A Institute (3Ai); Mikaela Jade, CEO, Indigital; Professor Janet Wiles, University of Queensland; Professor Mari Welonaki, Founder and Director of Creative Robotics Lab; Kyle Page, CEO, Ericom; Anothony Murfett, Australian Space Agency; James Gilmour, Director, Gilmour Space Technologies; Dr Stefan Hajkowicz, Principal Scientist in Strategy and Foresight, CSIRO’s Data61.

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