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Improving automated decision making

Australian researchers will make the world a safer place to use automated decision making.

Minister for Education Dan Tehan today announced the Morrison Government was providing $31.8 million to establish a research centre to investigate responsible, ethical, and inclusive automated decision making.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society will be based at RMIT University and led by Professor Julian Thomas.

“Automated decision making is the process where machines make decisions without human involvement,” Mr Tehan said.

“This technology is being used in self-driving cars or algorithms that are used to make medical diagnosis and business decisions.

“This technology has great potential to transform the efficiency of industry, as well as public and private services, however, as with all technology, it is prudent to explore how to mitigate any possible risks.

“Our Government is funding research into automated decision making to ensure this technology provides the best possible outcomes for society and industry.

“Researchers will formulate world-leading policy and practice, inform public debate, and train a new generation of researchers and practitioners.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the new Centre of Excellence will play an important role in making sure Australians benefit from cutting-edge technology. 

“Automated decision-making, like all technology, is making a significant difference to the way we work and the way we live, and it’s important that we get the settings right,” Ms Andrews said.

“It’s easy to fear technology when it comes to how it will impact industry and jobs, but embracing technology like this and investing in this Centre of Excellence will grow our economy and create Australian jobs.”

RMIT University Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE said this substantial investment would position Australia at the forefront of global research.

“This exciting new centre will be the only one of its kind, and RMIT is proud to host it,” he said.

“We have a long history of operating at the intersection of technology and the human experience and, working closely with industry and other partners around the world, we’re focused on improving life for our communities in a time of constant change.

“We are delighted that the centre encapsulates RMIT’s approach to tackling challenging problems in both policy and practice.”

Researchers from RMIT University will collaborate with experts at seven Australian universities, and 22 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, Asia and America. Together they will provide an additional $39.3 million in cash and in-kind support to the centre. 

More information about the ARC Centres of Excellence program is on the ARC website.

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