Dr Sue Keay is one of Australia’s most influential leaders in artificial intelligence and robotics. She led the development of Australia’s first robotics roadmap, highlighting how advances in robotics impact on every sector of the Australian economy. Sue is also fellow at ATSE, one of the supporters of Day of AI Australia.
We put these Fast Five questions to Sue about AI.
Why is AI important in your career?
AI is the key to making robots truly useful and able to work safely side-by-side with humans. Useful robots are key to making significant improvements in both our work and home lives to diminish dirty, dull and dangerous tasks and to allow us to focus on creative and caring activities.
What aspect of AI are you most interested in or passionate about?
The ability of AI to be applied at scale is what excites me the most as it will give us the support we humans need to tackle seemingly intractable problems such as climate change. For example, imagine being able to deploy robots to catalogue our biodiversity and to aid in the protection and remediation of the environment, and similar grand challenges which humans alone are unlikely to be able to solve.
In your daily life, what are the positive impacts of AI that you see playing out in our society?
AI is allowing increasing levels of personalisation of services, including health services, which will help us move towards prevention of disease rather than treatment, and will support us to live longer, healthier and more fulfilling lives.
Why do you think it is important to empower young Australians with access to AI education?
Fear of AI is often fear of the unknown. As AI becomes more ubiquitous, young Australians need to understand what AI is, what are its limitations and how AI may be influencing their lives and for them to be empowered to choose how AI is applied to them.
What advice would you give young Australians who want to learn more about and eventually work in AI?
If you can access the internet you can access plenty of information about AI and both its good and bad sides as well as seeing the diverse range of careers available in the field, which are really only limited by the imagination.