Queensland is building an artificial intelligence (AI) hub in Brisbane and one of its first tasks will be looking at how AI can help tackle coronavirus.
The AI Hub is based at Queensland government’s innovation and investment hub, The Precinct in Fortitude Valley, as part of a multi-million dollar expansion of the site in the TC Beirne building, which is also home to River City Labs and the CSIRO’s Data61.
The new hub will take up more than 500 square metres of the new floor space and the state government is tipping in $5 million to get it up and running and for programs such as experts-in-residence.
In keeping the with times the hub’s launch was virtual and began with a webinar on covid-19 and AI work in the area.
Its focus is on four key initiatives: building on the existing AI community, developing local AI talent, providing a launch pad for AI-based startups by connecting them with end-user industries, and assisting local businesses and government organisations to better understand and engage with AI technologies.
AI startups will be nurtured by the centre’s managers, AI Consortium, a group of the state’s leading AI-focused technology ventures including Max Kelsen, IntelliHQ, KJR, 9 Points and AiKademi. Their partners will include the University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology and KPMG.
AI Consortium’s Dr Kelvin Ross, co-founder and chairman of KJR, a tech company formed 23 years ago in response to the Millennium Bug, believes that AI can play a crucial role in how coronavirus is detected and managed.
“Technology could be used to help screen and monitor disease progression, and recommend personalised treatments, which could save lives and health costs,” he said.
AI researchers are investigating mechanisms to detect covid-19, mine medical literature for diagnostics and treatments, model molecular structure of drugs and vaccines, and help with planning within our hospitals”