National Artificial Intelligence Centre to be established in Melbourne

Melbourne will be home to an international-standard artificial intelligence centre, pending a formal agreement between the Victorian state government and the next federal government.

The state Labor government will contribute $1 million towards establishing the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne. Victorian Treasurer and economic development minister Tim Pallas said he welcomed federal Labor’s promise to establish the centre if elected.

“The Andrews Labor Government is ready to partner with the next federal government because Melbourne is the natural home to a national centre for artificial intelligence,” Pallas said.

“We are already attracting significant tech investment and we want to make Melbourne the drawcard for the best and brightest talent in the world.”

The state’s $1 million investment to the proposed centre would help identify and establish a location for the new national centre, bringing together a mix of world-leading businesses, startups and tertiary institutions.

Already, inner Melbourne is attracting a cluster of digital businesses, including Seek, carsales.com.au, MYOB, Tesla and Uber.

Victorian universities produce about 37 per cent of Australia’s tech graduates, which is more than any other state.

Worldwide expenditure on AI systems is forecast to reach US$77.6 billion a year by 2022. According to a recent AI Group report, artificial intelligence is also changing the skills that employers want, with skills shortages in big data and machine learning.

“This centre will help turbo-charge Victoria’s innovation ecosystem – it will be great to have it In Melbourne,” state innovation minister Martin Pakula said.

“Artificial Intelligence is becoming the defining technology that is changing the way business is done, from autonomous vehicles and healthcare robots to the latest agriculture technology.”