Deakin Uni’s $33m AI institute launches

A²I² merges PRaDA, DSTIL

Deakin University has formally launched its Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute.

The university has invested almost $33 million in the institute, dubbed ‘A²I²’, which merges the Pattern Recognition and Data Analysis (PRaDA) Strategic Research Centre and the Deakin Software and Technology Laboratory (DSTIL).

“Much is made of the potential for AI to replace human intelligence, but AI’s true potential lies in its capacity to enhance human abilities rather than replace them,” said Deakin vice chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander.

“We’re not building robots to take the place of humans, but we are creating technology that will work alongside people to help them make more informed and better decisions.

“Deakin is committed to supporting the communities we serve and we know there will be an increased demand for AI technology by business, industry and in the wider community. Through this sustained commitment to AI with a $32.7 million investment, we will also help ensure our local and global communities are prepared for the jobs of the future.”

The institute has a number of projects underway, including redeveloping the Trauma Reception and Resuscitation decision support system for the Alfred Emergency & Trauma Centre and working with Dementia Australia on health training including the Educational Dementia Immersive Experience (EDIE).

Gartner last year forecast that, globally, AI-derived business value would reach US$3.9 trillion in 2022, up from $692 billion in 2017.

Figures released last month by IDC reveal that the analyst firm expects worldwide spending on AI systems is forecast to reach US$35.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 44 per cent on 2018.

IDC expects global spending on AI to be led by the retail sector, which is predicted to this year invest US$5.9 billion on solutions such as automated customer service agents and expert shopping advisors and product recommendations. Retail is followed by banking, with discrete manufacturing, healthcare and process manufacturing rounding out the top five industries for AI spending in 2019.

“IDC is seeing that spending on both AI software platforms and AI applications are continuing to trend upwards and the types and varieties of use cases are also expanding,” said IDC research director, cognitive/artificial intelligence systems, David Schubmehl.

“While organisations see continuing challenges with staffing, data, and other issues deploying AI solutions, they are finding that they can help to significantly improve the bottom line of their enterprises by reducing costs, improving revenue, and providing better, faster access to information thereby improving decision making.”

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