New research centre to investigate safer automated decision-making

RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement and Vice-President Melissa Sweetland, Professor Julian Thomas, Australian Red Cross CEO Judy Slatyer and RMIT Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation and Vice-President Professor Calum Drummond.

A major new research centre will investigate how rapidly emerging autonomous decision-making technologies can be used safely and ethically for all Australians.

Minister for Education, the Honourable Dan Tehan, today announced $31.8 million in Government funding for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, to be hosted at RMIT University.

Led by RMIT Professor Julian Thomas, the Centre of Excellence will bring together national and international experts from the humanities, and the social and technological sciences.

RMIT Vice-Chancellor and President Martin Bean CBE said this substantial investment would position Australia at the forefront of global research.

“This exciting new centre will be the only one of its kind, and RMIT is proud to host it,” he said.

“We have a long history of operating at the intersection of technology and the human experience and, working closely with industry and other partners around the world, we’re focused on improving life for our communities in a time of constant change.

“We are delighted that the centre encapsulates RMIT’s approach to tackling challenging problems in both policy and practice.”

Minister Tehan said automated decision-making technology was being used in self-driving cars or algorithms that were used to make medical diagnosis and business decisions.

“This technology has great potential to transform the efficiency of industry, as well as public and private services, however, as with all technology, it is prudent to explore how to mitigate any possible risks,” he said.

“Our Government is funding research into automated decision-making to ensure this technology provides the best possible outcomes for society and industry.

“Researchers will formulate world-leading policy and practice, inform public debate, and train a new generation of researchers and practitioners.”

/RMIT University News Release. View in full here.