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Artificial intelligence centre planned for Melbourne

Melbourne will become the epicentre of Australia’s burgeoning artificial intelligence (AI) industry, if Labor wins at the polls in the coming federal election on May 2.

The centre would bring together a mix of world-leading businesses, startups and tertiary institutions, the Andrews Labor government said, and would help to attract talent from around the country and the world and boost employment opportunities in new and emerging tech sectors.

“We are already attracting significant tech investment and we want to make Melbourne the drawcard for the best and brightest talent in the world,” Tim Pallas, Treasurer and Minister for Economic Development in Victoria, said.

The Labor government said it would contribute $1 million to help identify and establish a location for the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Melbourne.

The government noted that inner Melbourne is already attracting a cluster of digital businesses, including Seek,, MYOB, Tesla and Uber, and that 37 per cent of Australia’s tech graduates come from Victorian universities, more than any other state.

The proposal comes at a time when worldwide expenditure on AI systems is forecast to reach US$77.6 billion a year by 2022. According to a recent AI Group report, artificial intelligence is also changing the skills that employers want, with skills shortages in big data and machine learning.

“Artificial Intelligence is becoming the defining technology that is changing the way business is done, from autonomous vehicles and healthcare robots to the latest agriculture technology,” Martin Pakula, Victoria’s Minister for Innovation, said.

“This centre will help turbo-charge Victoria’s innovation ecosystem – it will be great to have it in Melbourne.”


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