Queensland announces artificial intelligence hub

| October 29, 2018

The Queensland State Government will build a cutting-edge artificial intelligence hub as part of a plan to upskill more of the state’s workers to take jobs in a fast growing AI sector which is “crying out” for properly trained people.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said plans for the hub had already attracted great interest from global corporate giants, keen to invest in the Advance Queensland AI Hub at the newly expanded Precinct in Fortitude Valley.

“Queensland has a shortage of talent in the artificial intelligence space. Currently we have up to eight times more AI jobs on offer in the state than people with the right skills available to fill them,” the Premier said.

“That’s why we’re investing now to make sure we keep those jobs in Queensland.”

Artificial Intelligence is an umbrella term for a range of technologies that allow machines to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence.

“This can include robotics, machine learning, speech recognition and other technologies like remote monitoring of the growth needs of agricultural crops,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We are working hard to train and skill workers to embrace this technology which is changing the way we do business.

“We’ve provided seed funding and have allocated floorspace in the expansion of The Precinct to accommodate the new AI Hub as part of our $650 million Advance Queensland initiative.”

Advance Queensland is a whole-of-government program to foster innovation and build a more diversified Queensland economy, creating jobs now and for the future.

Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the new AI Hub would serve as a training centre and a place for businesses to network.

“Not only will this hub create jobs for Queenslanders by upskilling them to fill the AI skills gap, it will also help AI startups to scale up to meet global demand for this technology,” Ms Jones said.

“The AI Hub will provide a co-working space for startups along with mentoring and international networking opportunities.

“It will also help to attract investment into Queensland startups and innovative local companies with AI-based solutions for global markets.

“The seed funding provided by the government will act as a catalyst for co-investment by the private sector.

“Already we have seen expressions of interest from major international corporations as well as Australian companies and universities.

“Specialised training courses will also be offered out of the AI Hub for Queensland industry and public sector organisations.”

Griffith University Institute for Integrated and Intelligent Systems Adjunct Associate Professor Dr Kelvin Ross said there was massive industry investment in AI and those organisations using AI technologies would have a market advantage.

“Over coming decades we will see an explosion of AI and machine learning technologies changing the way we work, which will lead to incredible economic and community benefits,” Dr Ross said.

“As a researcher, investor and employer I am excited about the global opportunities available in pursuing AI innovation in Queensland given our local capabilities for talent, technology and entrepreneurship.”