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By Alice Trend 16 November 2022 4 min read

In this short series, we meet AI leaders who have taken the helm of the National AI Centre’s AI Think Tanks. 

“The Think Tank leaders and members have been carefully selected for their experience and the perspectives they bring from their diverse backgrounds” said Stela Solar, Director of the National AI Centre.

"Aurelie Jacquet has led global initiatives for the implementation of Responsible AI and will bring that knowledge to lead the AI at Scale Think Tank for the National AI Centre.”

Aurelie represents Australia at the International Standards Committee on AI. She co-chaired the first accredited global certification program for AI developed under the Global AI Action Alliance for the World Economic Forum, and works as an expert on the OECD working group on AI classification and risk.

Aurelie is also a Principal Research Consultant on Responsible AI for CSIRO’s Data61 and advises ASX 20 Companies on the responsible implementation of AI. Last year she was appointed by the European Commission as an expert and worked on their international outreach initiative for human-centric artificial intelligence.

Finally, Aurelie is a member of the NSW Government AI Committee and of the Australian Computer Society’s AI Ethics Committee, and is a privacy expert and a lawyer. In 2021, she won the Australia-New Zealand Women in AI and the Law award, and was recognised by Women in AI Ethics (WAIE) as one of the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics globally, and the Responsible AI Institute Leadership Awards.

So, let’s hear from Aurelie.

What does AI at Scale mean?

When AI becomes a tool that organisations use as part of their day-to-day business, a tool that helps deliver quality AI-powered products and services that are fit for purpose, helpful, and are adopted widely by all members of the community. That is AI at scale.

Why is this important?

By helping make sense of the data we have, AI can help us better understand the complexities of our world. AI can help us identify our blind spots, expose current challenges, and draw new insights.

Beyond cost efficiencies, AI’s transformative power offers bigger opportunities to improve, rethink and reinvent the way we do things. AI is often referred to as the new electricity. And just like electricity, if democratised and used appropriately, it can empower people and transform society for the better.

How can the AI at Scale Think Tank help to scale AI within organisations?

Because AI is a relatively new technology for organisations, many are still figuring it out. I find that every organisation that is experimenting with AI holds a piece of the puzzle, and a piece of the solution.

That’s where the Think Tank can make a real difference. By drawing on different AI experiences and initiatives to share valuable learnings, we will progress together faster, and better harness the power of AI.

Can you describe what companies are dealing with when trying to scale AI in their workplace?

As for any new technology, the challenge to adoption is often a mix of technological and organisational issues. On the technology side: data, computing, network, hardware, and tooling resources are essential considerations. We also need to consider the organisation’s AI strategy and the necessary processes to ensure appropriate oversight and governance of AI models.

What can we learn from overseas efforts to scale AI?

There is a great opportunity to learn about the challenges and successes that organisations are experiencing overseas and understand what type of international AI “ecosystem” can best support the development of AI at scale in Australia.

Because an AI system can be located at any point in the supply chain, and can be trained on data from anywhere, it is important for Australian organisations to keep an international view of AI development and regulation. We need a global vision for Australia.

From my work with international organisations, we know that having international standards for AI which set out robust and repeatable processes, and are recognised internationally can make it easier to develop AI in a globalised world. Having an aligned and global perspective can really help to get great Australian AI products into international markets.

You speak four languages; do you consider AI adoption to have its own language? How do we help more people understand this language?

Right now, if you asked a business person, a lawyer, a data scientist, a designer, a risk manager, and an ethicist, what is AI, if data can be biased, and what is fair, you will get very different answers.

Because AI is transdisciplinary - is taken up across industries - and knows no jurisdictional boundaries, having a common AI vocabulary is key to helping all stakeholders work together on the adoption and scaling of AI systems.

I see our AI at Scale Think Tank members as translators helping the various business disciplines, industries and countries understand and discuss AI and agree on common concepts, definitions, and responsible practices.

We're looking at initiatives that will help organisations upskill technically and organisationally. This means new ways to promote data accessibility and data maturity. Organisationally, we are looking at initiatives that can promote trust in AI use.

Our goal is to help organisations big and small use and scale AI, while tackling concrete current business problems. By creating actionable ideas for Australian businesses, we can all take part in the global AI acceleration.

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