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By Alice Trend 4 August 2022 7 min read

Some of the brightest minds from across Australia's AI ecosystem are set to come together to tackle the barriers to unlocking Australia’s AI opportunity.

Experts across human rights, technology development, commercialisation and representatives from businesses of all sizes and sectors, Government, and Universities are part of the National AI Centre’s (NAIC) Think Tank initiative, which fosters a collaborative approach to solving the shared challenges of AI adoption and innovation.

The diverse talent on the National AI Centre Think Tanks

The diverse talent that makes up membership of the National AI Centre Think Tanks

What is the driving force behind the Think Tanks?

Lagging levels of AI adoption in Australian businesses are a wakeup call for the future of our global competitiveness.

“We know that companies who adopt AI technologies experience higher profitability, higher customer satisfaction, and faster decision making,” said Stela Solar, Director of the National AI Centre (NAIC).

“On our recent national Listening Tour, we heard from SMEs that AI provides an opportunity for them to compete with large enterprises: they want to use AI but need more support.”

By bringing together expertise from across the business, academia and community ecosystems, and collaborating with local and global organisations, the NAIC Think Tanks aim to unlock Australia's AI opportunity with the development of practical guidance and frameworks to support Australian business in their AI implementation journey.

Keith Strier, Vice President of Worldwide AI Initiatives at NVIDIA, Inc said that he was honoured to serve on the Think Tank, helping Australia to fully realise the benefits of AI for its people and society in a responsible and inclusive way.

“I hope to leverage my global perspective to support the NAIC through enhanced collaboration with regional allies and like-minded nations across the world.”

Stefanee Lovett, Google’s Head of Government Affairs & Public Policy Cloud says that the NAIC and the Think Tanks have an important role to play in helping set the future of Australia's AI agenda.

“What is most exciting is the opportunity to raise greater awareness of the benefits of AI to our community and economy, and support greater adoption of AI as part of a technology solution, alongside human intelligence.”

When will the Think Tanks meet?

Each of the National AI Centre Think Tanks will hold its first meeting in August. Think Tank members will collaborate to provide considered advice, recommendations, and counsel to create trusted and practical paths to AI adoption and innovation across a range of sectors.

“I am passionate about the opportunity to translate AI technologies into better healthcare experiences for all Australians,” said Helen Frazer, Clinical Director at St Vincent’s BreastScreen.

AI at Scale Think Tank

The AI at Scale Think Tank will develop practical pathways to enhance Australian businesses’ ability to implement AI and move from pilot AI projects to full scale production implementation.

  • Leader: Aurelie Jacquet, Principal Research Consultant on Responsible AI for CSIRO’s Data61|Co-chair of the first accredited global certification program for AI developed under the Global AI Action Alliance for the World Economic Forum|Member of OECD expert working group on AI classification and risk
  • Leila Alem, Adjunct Professor Human Computer Interaction, University of Technology Sydney
  • Hanno Blankenstein, CEO and Founder, Unleash Live
  • Tim Bradley, Strategic Advisor, Digital Economy, AWS
  • Michael Briers AO, Chairman, The Salmon Project
  • Brendan Dalton, CIO, CSIRO
  • Camille Goldstone-Henry, Co-Founder and CEO, Xylo Systems
  • Roshan Khozouei, Head of Data Science, Australia Post
  • Aruna Kolluru Chief Technologist, AI, Dell Technologies
  • Christopher Lane, CEO, Smart AI Connect
  • Stefanee Lovett, Head of Government Affairs & Public Policy, Cloud, Google
  • Ian Oppermann, NSW Chief Data Scientist, NSW Department of Customer Service
  • Natalie Smith, Research Fellow, University of Queensland |Board member, UnitingCare Queensland
  • Keith Strier, Vice President, Worldwide AI Initiatives, NVIDIA, Inc.
  • Rupert Taylor-Price, CEO, Vault Cloud
  • Anton van den Hengel, Director, Centre for Augmented Reasoning (CAR), Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML), The University of Adelaide
  • Shujia Zhang, Chief Data Scientist & Co-founder, REEJIG

Diversity and Inclusion in AI Think Tank

The Diversity and Inclusion in AI Think Tank will focus on driving diversity in talent and delivering principles and tools to ensure that AI systems are inclusive - all the way from how they're created, to how they run, and the impact that they create.

  • Leader: Didar Zowghi, Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO's Data61|Conjoint Professor at the University of New South Wales. Didar has previously held leadership positions at UTS, including Deputy Dean of Graduate Research School, Director of the Research Centre for Human-Centred Technology Design, Director of Women in Engineering and Information Technology, and Associate Dean Research
  • Marissa Bond, Head of Technology, Lumination 
  • Kate Bower, Consumer Data Advocate, CHOICE
  • Cathy Brown, Director Communications & Advocacy, Diversity Council Australia 
  • Fang Chen, Executive Director UTS Data Science & UTS Data Science Institute, University of Technology Sydney
  • Benedict Chiu, Head of Data and Technology, Australian Conservation Foundation
  • Helen Frazer, Clinical Director, St Vincent’s BreastScreen, St Vincent’s Hospital
  • Abhishek Gupta, Founder and Principal Researcher, Montreal AI Ethics Institute|Senior Responsible AI Leader & Expert @ BCG, Montreal AI Ethics Institute, Boston Consulting Group
  • Joanna Gurry, Executive Data Delivery, National Australia Bank
  • Habibah, Cloud Solution Architect - Data & AI, Microsoft
  • Jo Keiko Terasawa, Head of Inclusion and Equity Programs APAC, Google​ 
  • Cheng Soon Ong, Director of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Future Science Platform, CSIRO's Data61
  • Jodi Phillips, Strategic Advisor, Digital Skills, AWS
  • Cathy Robinson, Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO 
  • Nicole Robinson, Co-Founder LYRO Robotics|Research Fellow Monash University, Adjunct Lecturer QUT Centre for Robotics
  • Jo Keiko Terasawa, Head of Inclusion and Equity Programs, APAC, Google
  • Justin Trounson, Senior Research Fellow, National Centre for Reconciliation Practice, Swinburne University of Technology
  • Edward Santow, Industry Professor, Responsible Technology, University of Technology Sydney
  • Catriona Wallace, Founder & CEO, Responsible Metaverse Alliance
  • Toby Walsh, Scientia Professor of AI and Laureate Fellow, UNSW Sydney 

Responsible AI Think Tank

The Responsible AI Think Tank is about delivering gold standard principles, tools, and practices to help business develop, adopt, and operationalise responsible and ethical AI into their business.

  • Leader: Judy Slatyer, Entrepreneur-in-Residence at CSIRO’s Data61|Member of the Net Zero Emissions & Clean Economy Board | Member of The AI Coalition (part of The B Team Australia). Judy was previously the CEO of the Australian Red Cross, and COO of the Worldwide Fund for Nature
  • Melinda Cilento, CEO, Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA)
  • Lorraine Finlay, Human Rights Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Ben Hutchinson, Lead of Trustworthy AI, Google Research Australia
  • Nicole Gillespie, KPMG Chair in Organisational Trust, Professor of Management, University of Queensland
  • Dan Jermyn, Chief Decision Scientist, Commonwealth Bank
  • Kaaren Koomen AM, Director, Government & Regulatory Affairs, IBM Australia/New Zealand 
  • Min Livanidis, Digital Trust Public Policy Lead, ANZ, AWS
  • Louis Martin, General Manager, Privacy & Customer Trust, Wesfarmers OneDigital
  • Louise McGrath, Head Industry Development and Policy, The Australian Industry Group
  • Aruna Pattam, Head of AI Analytics and Data Science - Insights and Data, APAC, Capgemini
  • Katherine Pounder, CEO, Tech Council of Australia
  • Julia Powles, Director, UWA Minderoo Tech & Policy Lab, Law School, The University of Western Australia
  • Amanda Robinson, Director, PwC
  • Javen Shi, Director, Probabilistic Graphical Model Group & Research, School of Computer Science, University of Adelaide | Director in Advanced Reasoning and Learning, Australian Institute for Machine Learning
  • Justin Tauber,, A/NZ Strategic Innovation Practice Lead, Salesforce
  • Malcolm Thatcher, Chief Technology Officer, Australian Digital Health Agency
  • Kendra Vant, Executive General Manager, Data, Xero
  • Liming Zhu, Research Program Director, CSIRO Data61
  • Min Zhu, Executive Manager, Customer Analytics, Insurance Australia Group (IAG)

Javen Qinfeng Shi, Director in Advanced Reasoning and Learning, Australian Institute for Machine Learning best sums it up:

“When we are responsible, our AI will be responsible as the systems learn from us. Together we shall build wonders.”

In the next blogs, you’ll hear from the leaders of the Diversity and Inclusion and AI at Scale Think Tanks to hear more about the importance of these areas for Australia’s AI standing.

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