Deakin welcomes AI excellence commitment from State and Federal Labor

News / Glen Atwell / April 25, 2019

Just weeks after launching its new $33 million Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A²I²), Deakin University has welcomed funding commitments from State and Federal Labor to establish a National Centre of Artificial Intelligence Excellence in Melbourne.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO said Deakin stands ready to work with the State and a future Federal Government to ensure the centre is best positioned to help prepare local and global communities for the jobs of the future.

“Deakin is committed to supporting the communities we serve and we know there will be an increased demand for AI technology by business, industry and in the wider community,” Professor den Hollander said.

“Deakin’s sustained commitment to AI with a $32.7 million investment in A²I², along with the strong support of State and Federal Labor, means we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible between human interactions and artificial intelligence.

“Deakin looks forward to working with the State Government and a future Federal Government to participate in a process that will best locate the new National Centre of Artificial Intelligence Excellence.”

On Friday 12 April, Professor den Hollander joined Victorian Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula to launch A²I² at Deakin’s Burwood Campus.
A²I² (pronounced A squared, I squared) merges the capabilities of the University’s Centre for Pattern Recognition and Data Analysis (PRaDA) and the Deakin Software and Technology Innovation Laboratory (DSTIL), bringing together all aspects of AI research and development from fundamental science to how it translates into commercial products for real-world application.

Professor den Hollander said A²I² had a particular emphasis on developing the partnership between the human user and the artificial intelligence (AI) system, and would explore how AI can present information that builds trust, is easily comprehensible, useful and timely.

“The ability of machines to imitate intelligent human behaviour is already part of our lives. Just ask Siri, Alexa or Google. AI is helping hospital trauma centres make faster, better decisions, and researchers develop improved materials for manufacturing,” Professor den Hollander said.

“Much is made of the potential for AI to replace human intelligence, but AI’s true potential lies in its capacity to enhance human abilities rather than replace them. We’re not building robots to take the place of humans, but we are creating technology that will work alongside people to help them make more informed and better decisions.”

  • Projects currently underway from A²I² include:
    The redevelopment of the Trauma Reception and Resuscitation decision support system for The Alfred Emergency and Trauma Centre which assists the trauma teams with their decision making processes and protocol compliance, as well as reducing errors for better patient care.
  • Working with Dementia Australia developing new approaches to health training including Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE) using VR as a tool in workshops to build empathy by allowing people to experience what it is like living with dementia through their own eyes and The Dementia-Friendly Home using interactive 3D game technology to provide carers with information and ideas to make their home more accessible for people living with dementia.