Mining gets AI boost with new research centre

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A new artificial intelligence (AI) research centre based at the University of Adelaide will develop the technological expertise to assist the mining industry in its future machine learning pursuits.  

Funded with $20 million from the Australian Government and located within the renowned Australian Institute for Machine Learning (AIML), the Centre for Augmented Reasoning seeks to strengthen Australia’s ever-advancing AI sector. 

“Artificial intelligence is right now being used to improve the productivity of every industry sector,” Centre for Augmented Reasoning director Anton van den Hengel said. 

“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. 

“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.” 

Augmented reasoning is a new and emerging field of AI that combines an advanced ability to learn patterns using traditional machine learning with an ability to reason. 

The four-year investment by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment will train a new generation of experts in machine learning – which is the AI technology driving real economic impact today – and support the growth of new high-tech jobs. 

“Governments should be working to greatly increase Australia’s technological capabilities, all the more so as we work our way out of the COVID-19 disrupted economy and this centre should play a big part in this,” South Australia Senator Rex Patrick said. 

The centre will lead the research and development of new augmented systems and improve machine learning technology across a range of applications.

This includes machines able to continually learn new things while interacting with the environment, 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. 

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