Google Australia has launched the Digital Future Initiative, a $1 billion investment over 5 years in Australian infrastructure, research and partnerships that aims to strengthen local capabilities, support jobs and help build Australia’s digital economy for the future.
Mel Silva, Google Australia MD, said the Digital Future Initiative was about helping accelerate Australia’s progress to becoming a leading digital economy:
“The Digital Future Initiative is about bringing significant technology resources and capabilities to Australia, investing in the infrastructure that benefits people and businesses, and helping the best talent thrive here”
Google Research Australia is Google’s first ever research hub here in Australia. Partnering with the research community across the country and Google Research hubs around the world, the company aims to build a team of local researchers and engineers to explore ways AI can help tackle issues that are important in Australia – and around the world.
Google Australia is also expanding its Australian collaborations, starting with a
multi-million partnership with the CSIRO – Australia’s national science agency – to bring
forward solutions to challenges, like natural hazard management, clean energy and protecting the health of the Great Barrier Reef.
Through this partnership, they’re exploring AI solutions to help CSIRO analyse underwater images of crown-of-thorn starfish (COTS) – a species that feeds on coral and is threatening the reef. While traditional reef surveys have been manual, with a diver towed behind a boat, AI technology will allow scientists to conduct more efficient, frequent and accurate monitoring of the reef.
In another partnership this time with Macquarie University, Google is deepening their investment in quantum computing in Australia. This research has a range of future applications such as designing more efficient batteries.
It’s a huge investment into the future from Google within Australia, what would you like to see next?