Reshaping virtually every industry, profession and life, artificial intelligence (AI) has already had a profound impact on our future and will continue to do so.

Natural language processing algorithms that convert speech to text are found your smart home applications, while predictive analytics that use deep learning to forecast behaviour can be found on every digital platform and device.   

Fourteen of the world’s most advanced economies have announced a total of $86 billion in funding for AI programs and activity, while digital innovation has been slated to deliver $315 billion in gross economic value to Australia over the next decade. This illustrates just how critical an ingredient AI is in our ongoing economic success.

What is AI?

AI is a broad term used to describe a collection of technologies able to solve problems and perform tasks without explicit human guidance. Some of these include: machine learning, computer vision, natural language processing, robotics and deep learning.

A general-purpose technology, AI uses data-driven algorithms to autonomously solve problems and perform tasks without human guidance. The algorithms that underpin artificial intelligence have existed for quite some time, however exponentially growing volumes of data and the widespread availability of affordable computation mean that Australia, and the world, can operate this revolutionary technology at a scale and speed never seen before.                                                                          

AI represents a significant opportunity to boost productivity and improve the national economy through its strong potential to enable industry to make better products, deliver better services, faster, cheaper and safer.

Our work in AI

As Australia’s national science agency, our work in artificial intelligence is 89 per cent more cited than the global average, according to a Normalised Citation Impact, InCites (Web of Science Articles & Reviews, 2014-2018).  

AI is being used across all domains at CSIRO including: gene sequencing in crops to improve grains in response to changing environments and market needs. In our oceans, it is used to identify fish species to improve seafood provenance and provide more accurate data for sustainable fishing. In cities, it is used to predict the failure of infrastructure like the Harbour Bridge or water pipes and sewage systems. In hospitals, it helps to forecast demand to ensure access to emergency care.  

We have invested $19M into an Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning Future Science Platform, to target AI-driven solutions for areas including food security and quality, health and wellbeing, sustainable energy and resources, resilient and valuable environments, and Australian and regional security. We are uniquely placed to deliver national AI value because it is at the intersection of government, industry and the research community, leveraging the best talent in the country to tackle problems.

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