Monday, 17 December 2018 11:05

KPMG, Macquarie Group, Microsoft put support behind ANU AI project

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KPMG, Macquarie Group, Microsoft put support behind ANU AI project Image courtesy of COOLDESIGN at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Three big companies — KPMG Australia, Macquarie Group and Microsoft — have said they will support to an experimental project for creating new ways of thinking about artificial intelligence by the Australian National University’s Autonomy, Agency and Assurance Institute (3Ai).

3Ai director Professor Genevieve Bell said 3Ai was established in September 2017 to tackle complex problems emerging around artificial intelligence, big data, technology and their impact on humanity.

The project being run by the institute, which seeks to pilot the first curriculum in a new applied science, is claimed to be a major step towards developing the framework for managing an AI-enabled future. With the support of the three major new backers, the 3Ai will teach students to think beyond machine learning and data analytics to “AI at scale”.

Professor Bell said the project was launched in September 2018 and represents an innovative way to quickly prototype a completely new educational offering to tackle fast-changing needs in the workplace.

“We’ve always said we can’t do this alone. We need the support and buy-in from industry,” she said.

“Every other applied science created in the last 150 years from engineering, to management science to computer science, has been the result of collaboration between academia, industry and government.

“With our founding partner CSIRO’s Data61, and now with our new supporters, we are well on the path to proactively creating the world we want to live in.”

James Mabbott, partner, KPMG Innovate, said, “Backing this project is a logical extension of our work around innovation, data and digital transformation and ties in with areas such as trust and the future of technology-enabled business models.

“Our clients and our firm are also undergoing changes due to the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and we are keen to lean-in and be at the leading edge of creating the future."

Steven Worrall, managing director, Microsoft Australia, said Microsoft was proud to be a partner of the ANU 3Ai and its pioneering endeavour to bring the best of the technology industry’s entrepreneurial culture inside a university to create the next generation of leaders.

“Microsoft recognises AI has the potential to impact every person, organisation and business, as well as advance every field of human ability, solving some of society’s greatest challenges – but in order to do so it will need leaders in every field who understand not only this changing domain of knowledge but how to frame and ask the right questions.”

Steve Brown, chief technology officer, Macquarie Group, said emerging technology such as AI continues to grow in importance – “for us, our clients, our shareholders and the global community.

“Macquarie supports this project in recognition of the impact initiatives like this have on encouraging a new generation of students to think differently and with an innovative mindset,” Brown said.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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