Nov 22 2021Reviewed by Alex Smith
A new research center focusing on next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) technology will create the high-caliber expertise that Australia needs to be competitive in the approaching machine learning-enabled global economy.
The Centre for Augmented Reasoning—launched on Friday, November 19th, 2021, by the Hon. Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia—was financially supported with $20 million from the Australian Government.
The new center has been headquartered inside the internationally acclaimed Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML) at the University of Adelaide. This was collaboratively established with the Government of South Australia at Adelaide’s Lot Fourteen innovation precinct.
Augmented reasoning, a new and rising field of AI, integrates an advanced potential to learn patterns with the help of conventional machine learning, with a potential to reason.
The four-year investment done by the Department of Skills, Education, and Employment in people and studies will train a new generation of experts in machine learning. This is the AI technology that powers real economic impact at present—and aids the growth of new high-tech jobs at the University and Lot Fourteen.
Thanks to a $3.5m innovation fund for AI commercialization, seed funding will be available to set up new start-ups, as well as aid strategic development programs, local collaboration opportunities, and new business ventures.
The center will head the research and development of new augmented systems and enhance machine learning technology over a wide array of applications, which may include the following:
- Machines that constantly learn new things by interacting with the environment
- Machines that collaborate with data analysts to improve business processes
- Machines that can question people more naturally and simpler compared to filling in forms
- Robots with the ability to understand and follow instructions from humans
- Factories in which people and machines work smoothly together without requiring constant reprogramming of software
Centers like this cement Lot Fourteen as the innovation center of the nation. Nowhere else can you find a site which presents collaborative opportunities for so many high-tech and high-growth sectors, creating jobs and boosting the economy.
Steven Marshall, Premier of South Australia
According to Senator Rex Patrick, Senator for South Australia, “I am pleased to have played a part in delivering this center for South Australia. It will be a major drawcard for the smartest young minds in the state to stay here in SA. AI is a critically important emerging technology that Australia must embrace. The jobs of the future will incorporate AI, not be replaced by it.
Governments should be working to greatly increase Australia’s technological capabilities, all the more so as we work our way out of the COVID-19 disrupted economy and this Centre should play a big part in this. The Center for Augmented Reasoning is a vital new hub within the University’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning, for Australia’s high-calibre machine learning expertise.
Peter Høj AC, Professor, Vice-Chancellor, and President, University of Adelaide
Høj continued, “Building on the University’s existing research strengths at AIML, the center will support high-performance machine learning research, provide valuable scholarship opportunities, support AI commercialization initiatives, and become a leading voice in Australia’s AI landscape.”
“AI is already having an impact on every academic area of the University. Just as computers are now the standard tool in all workplaces, machine learning will soon become a new standard for every industry. It’s a critical part of the future,” added Høj.
According to Professor Anton van den Hengel, Director of the Center for Augmented Reasoning, University of Adelaide, “Artificial Intelligence is right now being used to improve the productivity of every industry sector. If Australia wants to participate in a future AI-enabled global economy, we need to be applying AI to improve our productivity. That’s the way that we maintain Australian jobs.
“In every industry, the jobs that AI supports aren’t AI jobs. They’re jobs in mining, agriculture, building and service industries. All of those industries will be impacted by the productivity gains from AI,” added Professor van den Hengel.
By using AI to improve their efficiency, productivity and quality, Australian businesses will remain competitive in an increasingly automated global economy. If Australia is too slow in adopting new technology, then our industries will not be able to compete against regions that have already embraced the changes brought about by AI.
Anton van den Hengel, Professor and Director, Center for Augmented Reasoning, University of Adelaide