Merging with Australian businesses.
DIGITAL CAPABILITY CENTRES
The Australian government has announced its first multi-million dollar funding scheme to support the transfer of artificial intelligence research to small and medium-sized businesses.
Under the new scheme, the federal government will be investing $44 million across 2021-2022 to 2024-2025 to establish four ‘AI and Digital Capability Centres’.
These centres will connect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with AI equipment and tools, provide services and training, and link them to AI skills and expertise.
In turn, the centres will support the development, commercialisation, and adoption of new high-value AI products and services for the domestic and global marketplace.
The objectives of establishing these Capability Centres are to:
- Establish a ‘front door’ for SMEs to access capabilities, expertise and innovative technologies to adopt, adapt, test and deploy AI technologies.
- Foster collaboration and connect SMEs with opportunities to lift productivity and drive commercialisation.
- Coordinate and drive the growth of Australia’s AI ecosystem.
- Lift SME capabilities so they can confidently adopt AI solutions.
The centres will be run by private consortia, with bidding to operate them now open.
Each consortium will include a lead partner and relevant industry operators and will be expected to contribute 25 per cent of the costs, with A$11 million in grants available to each centre.
AI ACTION PLAN
The $124.1 million Artificial Intelligence Action Plan, established in December, sets out a vision for “Australia to be a global leader in developing and adopting trusted, secure and responsible artificial intelligence (AI)”.
The ultimate aim of this program is to boost the use of AI in Australia’s national ‘manufacturing priority areas’ and ‘digital growth priority areas’.
Manufacturing priorities, for example, include resources technology, critical minerals, food and beverages, medical products, defence, space, and recycling and clean energy.
The goal of this program is to ensure AI is incorporated into every facet of Australian business life.
As AI plays a greater role in our lives both at work and at home, how willing are we to trust AI systems?
AUSSIES DON’T TRUST AI
A nationally representative sample of more than 2,500 Australians in June and July 2020, produced with KPMG and led by Nicole Gillespie, shows Australians on the whole don’t know a lot about how AI is used, have little trust in AI systems, and believe it should be carefully regulated.
Nearly half of the respondents (45%) were unwilling to share their information or data with an AI system. Two in five (40%) are unwilling to rely on recommendations or other output of an AI systems.
Furthermore, current regulation and laws fall short of community expectations.
The findings also showed the strongest driver of trust in AI is the belief that the current regulations and laws are sufficient to make the use of AI safe.
What do Australians expect when AI systems are deployed?
Most respondents (more than 83%) have clear expectations of the principles and practices they expect organisations to uphold in the design, development and use of AI systems in order to be trusted.
- High standards of robust performance and accuracy.
- Data privacy, security and governance.
- Human agency and oversight.
- Transparency and explainability.
- Fairness, inclusion and non-discrimination.
- Accountability and contestability.
- Risk and impact mitigation.
Australians are sceptical of AI, and that is a good thing.
But will this be enough to combat the continued push by government and the tech-industrial-complex?
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