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“The sky is the limit and that’s what we should be aiming for.”


This was the take-away message from the Artificial Intelligence Research panel discussion at CSIRO’s D61+ LIVE last week.

Held at the ever retro Carriageworks in Sydney, D61+ LIVE was a two-day forum and exhibition focussed on examining cutting-edge data science and technology that is shaping industries, experiences and society.

The event brought together a mix of government officials, digital entrepreneurs and academic researchers together to engage and spark conversations on tech trends and solutions to some of the most pressing concerns of the field today.

CSIRO is an Australian Government entity whose aim is to work with different industries to drive innovation using technology and data science.

This year’s event theme was Intelligence Amplified, focussing on the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and how ‘collaboration and collective intelligence across the innovation ecosystem enables large-scale impact.’

There were a number of interesting exhibitions on display including:
  • Marine Visual Technologies: CSIRO is developing new technologies that could revolutionise the wild-caught fishing industry – making it safer and more sustainable
  • Fusemate: This booth exhibited a software development and application project on situational awareness for industrial operations.
  • AI for Health: This display zoomed in on the application of modern sophisticated algorithms to achieve rapid and accurate interpretation of medical images.
  • Open IoT Mash-Up: This booth displayed an IoT (internet of things) Mashup platform that aims to establish IoT devices into an autonomous network organised to best serve users for their particular situations.

Team Mobi also attended a key panel discussion highlighting the latest development in AI and machine learning.

The panel was made up of some of the biggest names in AI research in Australia including, Dr. Cheng Soon Ong, Dr. Sue Keay, and Dr. Olivier Salvado, all of whom play a major part in CSIRO’s Data61 research agenda.

The panel was moderated by CSIRO’s senior product manager, Alezeia Brown, and the session was focused on the latest developments in AI and machine learning, what the future has in store, and the big research questions that remain.

At first, it was difficult to hear what was being said as the excitement from the exhibition still lingered, but once Dr. Keay started speaking about the developments in machine learning all attention was undivided.

Dr. Keay continued, explaining that there is more deep learning research happening especially with regards to robotics. Dr. Keay developed Australia’s first Robotics Roadmap last year, so she is incredibly up to date with how advances in robotics, computer vision, sensing (and AI) will impact on every sector of the Australian economy.

Although each panellist brought a unique perspective on what the future of AI holds, it was clear from audience questions there was a lingering concern. Trust.

Three different questions from the crowd left a clear feeling that there is still a lot of distrust when it comes to machine learning and data capturing.

Considering the the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal from last year, it’s not hard to understand why.

Bias, fairness and AI has also been a subject discussed more and more recently.

To quell concerns Dr. Soon Ong said that what will help is if those working in these areas acknowledge that machine building is based on an algorithm made up of data which is biased.

Dr. Keay insisted that there are many institutions who are now unpacking bias from an ethical sense but admits there are definitely gaps that need to be considered.

Overall, the discussion definitely left the room with a sense of optimism and excitement for what the future holds, as Dr. Keay mused, the sky is the limit.

And we agree!

Thinking of embracing some new tech mentioned but not sure what technology is best suited for your business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Mobiddiction. Our customised consultancy offering is suited to investigate and meet individual business demands. We’re based in Sydney’s CBD so pop in and see us any time.

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