Australia has launched its first national AI centre that was first announced in the federal government's 2021-22 Budget under its AI action plan.
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.
The national AI centre will be run by Stela Solar, who previously was Microsoft's AI solution sales and strategy director.
Under the federal government's AU$124 million AI action plan, the new AI centre sits alongside other initiatives such as an AI graduates program aimed at attracting and training "home-grown, job-ready AI specialists", funding for partnerships with industry to conduct AI pilots, and grants for developing AI solutions that address local or regional problems.
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.
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