The 3Ai was established to tackle AI applications and integration in advanced robotics, autonomous platforms, machine learning, and cyber-physical systems. (Image credit: 3Ai Institute via Twitter)


I wished this existed back in my old college days. Several years ago, Australia’s NICTA (National Information and Communications Technology Australia) merged with CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) to form Data61- a digital data sciences conglomerate of scientists and engineers brought together to solve data-driven challenges. In 2017, Data61 collaborated with ANU (Australian National University) to establish a new research institute to tackle the broad spectrum of problems associated with AI and its applications in a myriad of industries.


3Ai (Autonomy, Agency, and Assurance Institute) was founded by Professor Genevieve Bell (ANU’s College of Engineering and Computer Sciences) with the idea to create a safe, ethical, and practical design, integration, management, and regulation of cyber-physical systems. In short, as a way to effectively handle AI applications and advancements within Industry 4.0, including advanced robotics, autonomous platforms, smart grids, machine learning systems, and more.



3Ai’s doctrine is to establish a new branch of engineering to handle the AI aspects of Industry 4.0, stating, “Building a new intellectual approach is critical—and a large part of finding the answers we seek is by ensuring we’re asking the right questions. As such, our research centers around the questions we should ask of cyber-physical systems. We were established with the 3 A’s— and since then, we have been exploring two more. As we discover and develop our research we expect that to change again!” The other three core factors include Indicators (Measuring Performance and Success), Interfaces (Analyzing how Technologies, Systems, and Humans work Together), and Intent (Looking at Existing AI Platforms- Their Construction and Purpose).


To help coalesce this new branch of engineering, Bell developed a new Masters Program of Applied Cybernetics- “a graduate program to handle the challenges of taking AI and intelligent cyber-physical systems safely to scale.” This new undertaking has attracted the attention of industry heavyweights, including Microsoft, KPMG, and Macquaire, who have funded the new endeavor in the hopes of producing graduates with knowledge needed to handle AI and its role in Industry 4.0. 


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