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News - The Great Disrupter: eight things you need to know about Artificial Intelligence

18th May 2017

If it hasn’t already, AI is going to change a whole lot of things in your life, says QUT Associate Professor Michael Milford who every day has multiple requests to explain to all of us how AI is seeping into every corner.

“Australian industry and government is voraciously seeking out the truth about the hype around artificial intelligence (AI) technology and, particularly, self-driving cars,” says Professor Milford.

He will talk about the realities and hype surrounding AI and self-driving cars at the Queensland Transport Infrastructure Conference this Tuesday and Wednesday.

  1. Data is the bitcoin of AI. Professor Milford: “Data is just as important and often more important than the AI tech itself.”
  2. Transport, motoring, energy, waste and recycling, financial technology, ageing, law, public science all use or can benefit from AI.
  3. AI technologies, especially those based on deep learning (large neural networks), are data hungry – they learn how to do their task using immense quantities of data.
  4. Large companies with years of unique data have a huge competitive advantage because they can train their AI in ways no-one else can.
  5. Talent is a major challenge. Traditionally, big industries like defence and mining had the big dollars and resources that attracted top talent, now tech companies are getting the cream of the crop.
  6. Tech companies and start-ups command budgets that traditional industries can’t compete with eg the billion-plus to be spent on new defence technology research in Australia is loose change compared with the investment that fledgling tech start-ups are attracting.
  7. Companies could be better off being a fast follower and buying or licensing AI technology developed in the flagship AI domains like consumer tech and self-driving cars.
  8. Australia, especially Queensland, has had sustained investment in entrepreneurial and technology initiatives that is starting to bear fruit.

Professor Milford said it was particularly heartening that government and industry were pro-active in seeking out information about these disruptions and opportunities.

“That, plus the burgeoning start-up space in Brisbane means that we are setting up the region to be resilient to these changes.”












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