New Deakin Institute to drive artificial intelligence research and application

Media release
13 December 2017

Deakin is continuing to drive the digital frontier to support future jobs, with the University today announcing it will invest $20 million to establish a new Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute.

The Institute will conduct world-leading research into artificial intelligence (AI) systems and develop tools to support the practical application of AI discoveries to benefit industry and society by driving economic growth and job creation.

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO said the new institute, known as A2I2, will become Australia's go-to Institute for innovative AI research for government and industry and cement Victoria as the Asia-Pacific leader in AI.

"Big data analysis is described as the 'new oil' for its ability to create innovative and valuable solutions to the challenges facing industry, government and communities, and artificial intelligence is key to unlocking big data's full potential," Professor den Hollander said.

"Deakin's Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute will allow the University to leverage our existing strengths to support research and the practical application of AI, providing a range of transformational benefits in fields diverse as health, manufacturing, finance, and defence.

"Backed by Deakin's proven strength in commercialising research and working in partnership with industry, A2I2 will support the development of innovative new products and human-in-the-loop solutions that create jobs and drive economic growth."

Professor den Hollander said the new Institute will be co-located at Deakin's Melbourne and Geelong campuses, with the existing Pattern Recognition and Data Analytics (PRaDA) Strategic Research Centre and Deakin Software and Technology Innovation Lab (DSTIL) forming the core of A2I2.

"This new Institute builds upon PRaDA and DSTIL's successes, such as research into applying machine learning to detect mental illness and the design of stronger and lighter aluminium alloys, exemplifying how Deakin is driving the digital frontier," Professor den Hollander said.

"Research required for future advances in AI needs to be truly cross disciplinary, which is why A2I2 will bring together skills and strengths from across Deakin and cover all aspects of AI research and development from fundamental science to translation and commercialisation."

PRaDA Director ARC Laureate Alfred Deakin Professor Svetha Venkatesh and DSTIL Director Professor Kon Mouzakis have been appointed co-directors of the new Institute, which will be governed by an advisory board featuring industry leaders.

More information about A2I2 is available here.

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