The Australian Government has launched two new research projects to focus on the emerging areas of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Minister for Education and Training, Simon Birmingham, and Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash, said the new projects would put Australia at the forefront of research into these two scientific and technological developments.

“We want to make sure Australia continues to be a world-leading research nation,” Mr Birmingham said.

“That’s why it’s important Australian researchers are supported in exploring emerging areas of science and technology and are able to evaluate their potential future economic, social and cultural impacts.

“With advances in the use of robots and machines and the internet allowing greater interaction between humans and devices, it’s vital we learn more about their possible practical applications and uses in Australia.”

Ms Cash said the new projects will help guide government decision-making across a breadth of policy areas that impact all Australians and create jobs.

“AI and IoT devices have and continue to advance all parts of our lives – from creating more productive farms, through to diagnosing rare cancers earlier, and on to creating more tailored services for business and their customers.

“This research will inform the Government’s planned artificial intelligence roadmap and ethics framework commissioned as part of the budget and ensure Australia optimises the opportunities these technologies can provide.”

The Australian Council of Learned Academies will receive $209,346 to examine the opportunities, risks and benefits of AI applications and uptake, and consider its impact.

Key findings will cover economic, social, environmental, ethical and cultural impacts that will help guide AI development in Australia over the next decade.

The Australian Council of Learned Academies will also receive $208,595 to examine the opportunities, risks and consequences of the IoT, and consider ways to foster technological leadership while ensuring responsible deployment.

Key findings will explore the economics of IoT, social and cultural perspectives of deployment, educational needs, governance requirements and technological standards. 

Charlotte Pordage is Editor of Utility magazine, a position she has held since November 2018. She joined the team as an Associate Editor in October 2017, after sharpening her writing and editing skills across a range of print and digital publications. Charlotte graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, in 2011 with joint honours in English and Latin. When she's not putting together Australia's only dedicated utility magazine, she can usually be found riding her horse or curled up with a good book.

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