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Centre for Augmented Reasoning opens at AIML in Adelaide

augmented reasoning

The Centre for Augmented Reasoning, a new research centre based at the University of Adelaide, was launched on 19 November to develop expertise in next-generation AI technology and compete in the future machine learning-enabled global economy. 

The Centre for Augmented Reasoning, funded by $20 million from the federal government, is headquartered within the Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML). It focuses on augmented reasoning, which is an emerging field of AI combining an advanced ability to learn patterns using traditional machine learning, with an ability to reason. 

“Artificial intelligence is right now being used to improve the productivity of every industry sector. If Australia wants to participate in a future AI-enabled global economy, we need to be applying AI to improve our productivity. That’s the way that we maintain Australian jobs,” Centre for Augmented Reasoning director Professor Anton van den Hengel said. 

“In every industry, the jobs that AI supports aren’t AI jobs. They’re jobs in mining, agriculture, building and service industries. All of those industries will be impacted by the productivity gains from AI. By using AI to improve their efficiency, productivity and quality, Australian businesses will remain competitive in an increasingly automated global economy. 

“If Australia is too slow in adopting new technology, then our industries will not be able to compete against regions that have already embraced the changes brought about by AI.” 

The four-year investment by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment will train a new generation of experts in machine learning and support the growth of new high-tech jobs at the university and Lot Fourteen. 

“Centres like this cement Lot Fourteen as the innovation centre of the nation,” South Australian premier Steven Marshall said. 

“Nowhere else can you find a site which presents collaborative opportunities for so many high-tech and high-growth sectors, creating jobs and boosting the economy.” 

A $3.5 million innovation fund for AI commercialisation will provide seed funding to launch new start-ups, as well as support local collaboration opportunities, strategic development programs and new business ventures. 

“The Centre for Augmented Reasoning is a vital new hub within the university’s Australian Institute for Machine Learning, for Australia’s high-calibre machine learning expertise,” University of Adelaide vice-chancellor and president Professor Peter Høj said. 

“Building on the university’s existing research strengths at AIML, the centre will support high-performance machine learning research, provide valuable scholarship opportunities, support AI commercialisation initiatives and become a leading voice in Australia’s AI landscape. 

The Centre for Augmented Reasoning will lead the research and development of new augmented systems and improve machine learning technology across a range of applications, which could include: 

  • machines that continually learn new things while interacting with the environment; 
  • machines that work with data analysts to optimise business processes; 
  • machines that can ask people questions in ways that are more natural and easier than filling in forms; 
  • robots that can understand and follow instructions from people; and 
  • factories where people and machines work seamlessly together without the need for constant reprogramming of software. 

“AI is already having an impact on every academic area of the university,” Høj said. 

“Just as computers are now the standard tool in all workplaces, machine learning will soon become a new standard for every industry. It’s a critical part of the future.” 

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