Tuesday, 28 January 2020 12:09

Western Sydney Uni gets $700K grant for AI research project

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Western Sydney University has been awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant worth over $700,000 to investigate how future Artificial Intelligence (AI) developments and policy can ensure economic, social and cultural inclusion for Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse (CaLD) backgrounds who are living with disabilities.

The project aims to assist the over 1 million Australians from CaLD backgrounds with disabilities who face exclusion from the digital technologies they rely on for vital support by making AI more adaptable, accessible and affordable.

The grant includes contributions by partner organisations Western Sydney Migrant Resource Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Gallery Lane Cove + Creative Studios, Your Side Australia and Microsoft Corporation.

The ARC’s Linkage program is designed to promote national and international research partnerships and transfer knowledge, skills and ideas.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Karen Soldatic from the Institute for Culture and Society and School of Social Sciences, explained the importance of the research.

“This project brings together people with disabilities from culturally and linguistically diverse communities, key social services, public galleries and the technology industry, to better understand the societal impacts of technologies of automation,” Associate Professor Soldatic said.

“Artificial intelligence, robotics and other autonomous systems can foster inclusive participation, or alternatively erect new barriers of exclusion.

“Our goal is to provide pathways for communities to voice their aspirations and their criticisms towards the platforms that are now integral to everyday life.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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