Australian Government releases the Artificial Intelligence Action Plan
The Government has just released the Artificial Intelligence Action Plan, setting out a vision to turn Australia into a global leader in the AI sector.
The Artificial Intelligence Action Plan is backed by $124.1 million in funding that was announced in the May Budget. The Plan sets out four key focus areas that will help to position Australia as a global leader in the development and adoption of trusted, secure and responsible AI.
The four key focus areas of the Artificial Intelligence Action Plan are the following:
- lift the development and adoption of AI to create jobs and boost productivity
- grow and attract world-class talent and expertise
- harness our world-leading AI capabilities to solve national challenges and benefit all Australians
- ensure AI technologies are responsible, inclusive and reflect Australian values
This includes progressing the work the Government has already been doing to promote ethical approaches to AI.
‘We are already seeing so many benefits of AI in our everyday lives, from supercharging our economic recovery from the pandemic and unlocking new jobs, to protecting our environment, improving health outcomes and making our cities and homes smarter,’ Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Christian Porter said.
‘AI could contribute more than $20 trillion to the global economy by 2030, and the AI Action Plan will help us leverage opportunities for AI to further strengthen the economy and improve the quality of life of all Australians while ensuring that the development and adoption of AI are guided by appropriate safeguards, privacy and ethical considerations.’
As a key feature of the Australian Government’s Digital Economy Strategy, the Artificial Intelligence Action Plan will deliver a modern and leading digital economy by building on whole-of-economy foundations and technology and digital policy settings.
As part of the plan, the Australian Government is investing a targeted $124.1 million to build Australia’s AI capability. This includes the following:
- $53.8 million over 4 years to create the National AI Centre and 4 AI and Digital Capability Centres, driving up the adoption and use of AI technologies by businesses to improve productivity and lift competitiveness. This measure will use a national approach to coordinate Australia’s AI expertise and capabilities, and lay the foundations for a strong AI and digital ecosystem.
- $33.7 million over 4 years to support businesses to partner with the government to pilot AI projects that are focused on developing AI‑based solutions to national challenges that will also have job creation, economic recovery and social benefits.
- $24.7 million over 6 years to establish the Next Generation AI Graduates Program, attracting and training home-grown, job-ready AI specialists. The program will address industry skills shortages and develop a diverse pipeline of talented specialists.
- $12.0 million over 5 years to catalyse the AI Opportunity in our Regions program which will provide up to 36 co-funded competitive grants. Funding will incentivise AI practitioners to engage with regional businesses to develop AI solutions for regional problems. It will provide opportunities to build greater awareness of the benefits of AI throughout regional communities.
Looking to 2030, the Artificial Intelligence Action Plan brings the Australian Government’s investment in AI to almost half a billion dollars since 2018.