During tonight’s speech by Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, he announced the 2021 – 2022 federal budget included funding for Artificial Intelligence (AI).
As part of a A$1.2 Billion digital economy strategy, the Australian Government will establish a new National Network of AI centers (or NNAIC for short), to drive business adoption of this new technology. The exact number of centers and locations are still a mystery, but it’s easy to assume they’ll be located in capital cities.
The Government wants to build the capabilities of Australians and is incentivising digital adoption, emerging technologies, and that includes artificial intelligence (AI). This is designed to build a digitally enabled Australian workforce and small business community.
Given AI is technology that is over the heads of most, I’d expect a significant part of the funding will go to the education of businesses to help them understand how AI can help improve their businesses by making better decisions, automating processes and more.
The Government is investing over $100 million in initiatives to build the digital skills of Australians to meet the needs of the modern Australian workplace. Australia’s research and industry capability in artificial intelligence will be boosted with $124.1 million, including a National Artificial Intelligence Centre led by CSIRO’s Data61.
Small businesses are being supported to adopt digital technologies through a $12.7 million expansion of the Digital Solutions – Australian Small Business Advisory Service. A further $15.3 million will be used to drive business uptake of e-invoicing, which can deliver up to $28.2 billion in net benefits over 10 years.
The Government is also providing $43.8 million to expand the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund. This will create a pipeline of cyber security professionals that can meet growing demand for cyber jobs across the