The new head of the CSIRO’s National AI Centre, Stela Solar, is doing a lap of the country to hear from industry and founders on the barriers and opportunities for Australia’s growing artificial intelligence ecosystem.
The tour will spans five states and she will meet with a cross-section of industry, research, and business leaders in the sector.
Solar said Australia has some of the best AI research and patent development in the world, but the sector has faced a number of challenges to translate this into commercial impact, from a lack of coordination to a shortage of talent, with the country needing an estimated 161,000 additional skilled AI professionals by 2030.
“The National AI Centre is designed to bring a cohesive voice and collaborative direction to Australia’s AI efforts, with the first step being our national listening tour,” she said.
“The listening tour will help us capture as many voices as possible, their expertise and experiences, to ensure the Centre reflects the diversity of Australian AI and the real experiences the ecosystem and industry are facing.
“Australia’s experience in developing AI solutions, implementing their use, and leveraging the impact of this technology is something that should involve a wide representation of voices and perspectives. As part of this listening tour, we are working to elevate those voices and get to understand the leaders who will help Australian AI accelerate.”
One key focus area for the Centre will be to improve AI adoption for small-to-medium enterprises.
“It is estimated AI could contribute more than $20 trillion to the global economy by 2030 and Australian businesses have the opportunity to not only benefit from adopting this innovation, but to also create AI technology,” Solar said.
“We know many SMEs are eager to understand how AI can improve their businesses but don’t know where to start.
“Our approach at the NAIC will help SMEs with a map of high-impact use cases and the AI providers, and service options for businesses who want to take the next step towards AI adoption.
“Over time, we want to help SMEs become more confident about the options that are available and break-away from the perception that the only path to AI is to build your own.
“The Centre will also elevate and amplify the work already being done across the Australian AI ecosystem, connecting industry, researchers, institutes and centres with SMEs.”
The listening tour kicked off this week in Brisbane. Future dates and locations are:
- Adelaide – 6-7 June
- Melbourne – 9-10 June
- Perth – 19-21 July TBC
- Sydney – 29 July TBC
The Centre is also offering virtual sessions to the public on 21 June, 11, 14 and 26 July and 1, 4 and 11 August.
Participants can register for virtual sessions by emailing [email protected]
Solar will share some of her insights from the tour on her Twitter feed
Daily startup news and insights, delivered to your inbox.