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Foreword from Stela Solar

As the inaugural Director of the National Artificial Intelligence Centre (NAIC), my objective is to establish the foundations, connections and paths to responsible AI adoption and innovation that benefits business and community, both today and in the decades to come. The National AI Centre Listening Tour which spanned June – October 2022 was a fantastic start to ensure our efforts are grounded in the real experiences and expertise of Australia’s industry and the broader AI ecosystem.

The listening tour was inspiring and reaffirmed that Australia is home to world-leading AI expertise that our industry is eager to leverage for positive impact that benefits business, customers and communities.

Thank you to the 135 organisations across industry, academia, government, and community, who shared their insights with us during the listening tour. Thank you also to organisations who hosted us during the tour, including ARM Hub, QLD AI Hub, CSIRO’s Data61, Monash University, RMIT, Australian Institute of Machine Learning, The University of Western Australia, and Cicada Innovations.

The round table discussions spanned topics such as commercialisation, industry adoption of AI, unique SME needs, regulation and standards, skills and education, research to industry connection, community understanding, responsible AI and trust, and Australia’s AI strengths.

We heard that AI technology can be a catalyst for positive business and community outcomes such as differentiated products and services, increased customer and employee satisfaction, improved productivity, and improved access to services. We also heard that that SMEs face challenges with AI adoption and innovation, that there is a need for greater investment in skills and community understanding, and that there is a greater need for robust guidelines for responsible AI.

We saw Australia’s AI ecosystem creating world-leading outcomes with an awareness of trustworthy, responsible AI – a critical global need and a differentiating capability for Australia that’s grounded our core values of ‘a fair go’.

The insights from the discussions became the foundations of the National AI Centre strategy, programs and initiatives, and helped us form our mission to accelerate positive AI adoption and innovation that benefits Australia’s business and community. They also inspired the formation of the National AI Centre Think Tanks through which we continue the listening across industry, academia, government and community representation.

Stela Solar Director, National Artificial Intelligence Centre CSIRO

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