Brisbane, Australia – April 5, 2024

Artificial intelligence has come a long way since the far-off imaginings of the Terminator movies of the 80s.

AI has infiltrated almost every aspect of our daily lives – from healthcare and business to education, entertainment, agriculture and more – and it shows no signs of slowing down.

But rather than following the footsteps of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character into a battle against the machines, how can we learn to work with and alongside the technology available to us?

To explore this question, the University of Southern Queensland (UniSQ) will host a panel of leading AI experts in its next Thought Leadership Series event, How AI is Changing the World.

The panel discussion will be moderated by UniSQ Associate Professor in Electronics and Communications Engineering Andrew Maxwell, who said he was most excited by AI’s potential combination with robotics.

“What this pairing means is that AI can not only think inside its own little box, but it can now interact with the world, and consequently, interact with us,” Associate Professor Maxwell said.

“Rather than being computer or desktop-bound, I am really looking forward to finally having real walking, talking robots, rather than the fantasies of those stuck in movies.”

Associate Professor Maxwell said those walking, talking robots could become our biggest household helpers.

“Having an AI assistant in the home to help the family with house duties and schoolwork is surely the dream of any parent. That little bit of extra help (a happy HAL 9000) would make a huge difference to the opportunities for households,” he said.

The UniSQ Thought Leadership Series event will discuss how AI technologies are unlocking new possibilities for innovation, driving productivity, and addressing complex challenges while also creating new ethical and safety issues.

The expert panel will include a selection of UniSQ academics, as well as representatives from Deloitte, Future Work Group, and private AI companies leading the way in the field.

Panellist Toni Peggrem, CEO of the Queensland AI Hub, said she was most excited by the versatility of AI and its applications in Queensland and beyond.

“One of the most exciting aspects of AI advancement in recent years is its incredible versatility, adaptability, and the speed at which it is advancing,” Ms Peggrem said.

“We’re witnessing AI algorithms and tools being integrated into almost all industry sectors in Queensland, from healthcare to agriculture, revolutionising how we approach problem-solving and innovation.

“What excites me the most about the future of AI, not only here in Queensland but globally, is its potential to drive positive societal impact.”

Fellow panellist Aaron Zamykal, founder and CEO of Actualisation, one of Australia’s largest privately owned AI firms, said with all those developments and advancements, it was essential for companies to embrace AI regulations.

“Responsible AI and how companies build these solutions is critically important. Ultimately, AI is a reflection of a human – good or bad. So, we need to have guardrails in place to ensure the outputs are overall good,” Mr Zamykal said.

“My priority is designing, training, and deploying AI solutions that achieve the goal while being safe and good for humanity.”

Associate Professor Maxwell agreed it was crucial to consider the other significant hurdles ahead: human acceptance, legal ramifications, and complex ethical considerations.

“Ethics will be the biggest priority for future AI; the big question will be how to install non-mutable ethics into our machines to prevent them from becoming monsters,” he said.

The panellists include:

  • Associate Professor Andrew Maxwell – Electronics and Communications Engineering, UniSQ    
  • Dr Kellie Nuttall – AI Institute Leader, Deloitte          
  • Dr Sue Keay – Director of the Future Work Group   
  • Aaron Zamykal – CEO of Actualisation         
  • Toni Peggrem – CEO of the Queensland AI Hub     
  • Professor Catherine Prentice – Marketing, UniSQ   
  • Professor Rajib Rana – Computer Science, UniSQ 

The University of Southern Queensland’s Thought Leadership event, How AI is Changing the World, will be held on Thursday April 18 from 5.30pm at UniSQ Brisbane (293 Queen Street, Brisbane).

Find out more or register your attendance for the Thought Leadership Series event.

-ENDS-

Caption: UniSQ School of Engineering Associate Professor Andrew Maxwell will moderate the Thought Leadership Series discussion on AI.

Media contact:
Sophie Volker, Email: sophie.volker@unisq.edu.au; Phone: 0431 579 370

Chris Walker, Email: chris.walker@usq.edu.au; Phone: 0473 578 214