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Artificial intelligence in construction could be Australia’s tech future

Australia could become a leader in using Artificial intelligence (AI) to design and build better cities, towns and infrastructure, according to a roadmap developed by CSIRO.

Australia could become a leader in using Artificial intelligence (AI) to design and build better cities, towns and infrastructure, according to a roadmap developed by CSIRO.

The roadmap, Artificial Intelligence: Solving problems, growing the economy and improving our quality of life, outlines how important it is for Australia to capture the benefits of AI, which is estimated will be worth $22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030.

CSIRO’s data science and digital arm, Data61, developed the roadmap in consultation with industry, government and academia.

It identifies ways to develop capability for AI to boost productivity, create jobs and improve quality of life.

Data61 Senior Research Scientist and lead author of the roadmap Stefan Hajkowicz said the key to Australia’s AI-enabled future is through technological specialisation, creating targeted areas of AI capability to gain a comparative advantage in the global marketplace.

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“The three AI specialisations we’ve identified are based on the opportunity to solve significant problems at home, export the solutions to the world and build on Australia’s existing strengths,” he said.

The three specialisations include using AI to improve the safety, efficiency and cost effectiveness of construction and development, along with using AI for the medical and natural resources sectors.

Hajkowicz said that Australia needs to act now to get the full benefits of AI by 2030 and beyond.

“AI will create more jobs than it will displace, but we’ll need to transition and upskill the existing workforce. We also need to build trust in AI and ensure it’s developed to safe and ethical standards,” Hajkowicz said.

“AI is data hungry, so we need to improve access to data and also address increasing cybersecurity privacy concerns. Greater investment in applied research and development will underpin these foundations and help us shape an AI-enabled future for the benefit of all Australians.”

CSIRO’s Chief Executive, Larry Marshall, said AI accelerated the pace and scale of solving the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology.

“AI represents a significant opportunity to deliver social, environmental and economic benefits. It can boost productivity through its strong potential to enable industry to make better products, deliver better services, faster, cheaper and safer,” Marshall said.

“AI is central to our increasingly data-driven world and, when combined with other digital technologies, could grow Australia’s economy by $315 billion if we coordinate our AI activities nationally to accelerate research and drive scale.”

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