Artificial Intelligence Hub to be Built in Fortitude Valley

Photo credit: IndustryWired

A $5.5-million+ Artificial Intelligence Hub will soon be built in Fortitude Valley, part of a training hub called The Precinct meant to support businesses, startups, and the innovation sector by providing skills training programs and jobs to people in Queensland.

The state government will provide seed funding for the hub out of its landmark $755-million Advance Queensland initiative, along with some investment from the private sector. The state will also be bringing in international experts in AI and innovation technology as experts-in-residence.

Key Initiatives

To be managed by AI Consortium, the AI Hub will have four key initiatives which are meant to provide jobs to talented AI professionals in the state for a more diversified QLD economy.

  • grow awareness and connect Queensland businesses, industry, government organisations and universities to local AI talent and technologies;
  • showcase local AI talent and businesses;
  • deliver programs to develop AI talent (tertiary students, researchers and emerging AI businesses);
  • connect Queensland’s AI talent and solutions to other global centres. 

(List of key initiatives from: AI Hub | Advance Queensland Initiative)

Annastacia Palaszczuk has been quite vocal about the shortage of talent in the AI industry in Queensland and the need to provide skills training to fill the skills gap.

“Currently we have up to eight times more AI jobs on offer in the state than people with the right skills available to fill them,” she has pointed out in a recent statement about the initiative.

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What to Expect

Specialised training and education will be available at the AI Hub for the state’s public sector and industry. Several Australian universities, along with local and international companies, have already expressed interest in participating in or initiating programs at the hub.

Kate Jones, Innovation Minister, explained that the seed funding from the government will act as a catalyst for private sector investment.

Photo Credit: https://www.dtu.dk/

Envisioned as a co-working place for startups involved in machine learning, advanced robotics, and speech recognition technology, the hub will also be a place for networking and mentoring as industry experts and talents from the technology sector gather together to teach and learn.

“It will also help to attract investment into Queensland startups and innovative local companies with AI-based solutions for global markets,” Ms Jones said.

Coming Soon

In a statement about the hub on its website, AI Consortium describes itself as “a group of technology-focused businesses…” which “…have been successfully operating, innovating and engaging in the development of artificial intelligence for many years.”

“Right now, due to the unprecedented global crisis we all face, Queensland AI Hub is embracing the virtual world of connection – as we should, given our interests. But, stay tuned, because later this year we will evolve from a just a digital platform to a physical hub where we can’t wait to collaborate face-to-face and build upon the strength of Queensland’s AI community.”