The current landscape

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the name given to a range of technologies that exhibit some characteristics of human intelligence. The benefit of AI is not that it can behave like humans can, instead it is about using it to complete a task more efficiently.

There are many fields of science within AI including: machine learning, natural language programming, deep learning (neural networks), computer vision and robotics -  all of which are applied at CSIRO’s Data61.

Machine learning, a technology often characterised as AI is used to make predictions and conclusions on the basis of data. Machines do not 'learn' as humans do. But they can be engineered to adapt to complex changing environments.

We write programs that learn to improve themselves using vast amounts of data and in some cases, not much data at all.

As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO’s work in artificial intelligence is 89% more cited than the global average, according to a Normalised Citation Impact, InCites (Web of Science Articles & Reviews, 2014-2018).

We act as a network and partner with government, industry and universities, to advance the technologies of AI in many areas of society and industry. Central to the wider deployment of these advanced technologies is trust, and much of our work is motivated by maximising the trustworthiness of these new technologies.

From emergency management of natural hazards, to planning for congestion and monitoring a city’s infrastructure – we’re working with our partners to solve today's problems, and build a safer and more efficient future for the next generation.

Dr Mahesh Prakash says the Sparks software as a highly flexible simulation environment.

Explore our work

Bushfire prediction with Spark
A fast-moving simulation of fire, demonstrating the spread of colour over several Australian landscape areas, simulated using the SPARK software. the colour starts as a small blob and quickly spreads in a long, thin shape across the landscape. The animation shows this over four different areas in rapid succession. 

Bushfires are complex processes, making it difficult to accurately predict their progress across the landscape. Spark, our software platform, uses simulation science to predict the future location of bushfires and the spread of those already burning. Spark can be used for real-time modelling of fire spread by emergency management decision makers for predicting risk, deploying firefighting resources or planning evacuation routes.

Learn more about Spark.

Platforms for Open Data

Ensuring that data is properly de-identified is essential for release as open data. We are working with the Australian government on a variety of projects to prepare data for machine learning and analytics, while respecting the privacy and ethical constraints around the use of that data.

Browse our projects.

Privacy Preserving Analytics

Much of the opportunity for generating value from data via machine learning is restricted by rules about sharing information between organisations. Our partners are investing in our distributed encrypted machine learning technology to enable new standards in privacy and security. Our technology enables the extraction of value from multiple data sets without violating either the privacy, or the rules governing privacy.

Read more about N1 Analytics.

Water pipe failure prediction

We’re working with more than 30 utilities from around the world to develop data-driven predictive analytics technology that accurately predicts pipe failure.Our technology equips utilities with the ability to better target repair and renewal programs, reduce operational costs of unexpected failure, and minimise the disruption to water supplies and the community.

Check out our work in predictive analytics for water pipes.

Advanced analytics in transport

We use analytics backed by machine learning to drive valuable insights into transport systems, leveraging data from surveys, traffic control system, transit system and telecommunication systems. That allows us to provide highly accurate, real-time information services and improve business efficiency.

Find out more about our timely tools for transport.

Structural health monitoring

Our cities are full of tremendous resources like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and authorities invest a lot of expenditure on reactive repairing for their failures. We're using advanced machine learning techniques to extend the service life of assets, provide a predictive maintenance approach and provide decision support for infrastructure owners.

Learn more about our structural health monitoring work.

Smart data acquisition with Determinant

A map of Australian Local Government Areas (LGAs) predicting the outcome of a survey taken only in Victoria. The prediction is a measure of average job satisfaction (purple is higher), and uncertain predictions are represented with transparency.

Determinant can be used to select which local government area to sample next to best reduce uncertainty of the model.

New data is expensive to collect, and can be a challenge to store. How can you make a decision using sparse data and under uncertainty? Determinant is a software platform that uses active learning to make accurate predictions. The platform also validates its uncertainty, using Bayesian machine learning algorithms to give robust estimates of its own confidence in predictions. This enables users to make better decisions with explicit risk/reward trade-offs.

Determinant can be used to select which local government area to sample next to best reduce uncertainty of the model.

Find out more about Determinant.

Research underway in machine learning and artificial intelligence

The projects listed above arose from long term fundamental research into machine learning and artificial intelligence. Here are more Data61-led projects currently underway:

Commercialising our research

Hivery is cloud-based artificial intelligence software that takes retail data from vending machines, stores and analyses it over a period of time and then prescribes the optimimum storage configuration of goods based on the location and usage of the vending machine. It was the first technology to be commercialised by Data61. Hivery now also uses artificial intelligence to design retail outlets, enhance shelf optimisation as well as plan elements of promotional campaigns such as price and product bundles based on patterns and behaviours.

Check out Hivery.

Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce
Report cover image with report title in black and a image of a laptop on a desk next to a stack of books.

The advances in AI technology will unquestionably have impacts on society. Data61 has recently published a foresight study that attempts to understand what those changes might mean for work and employment over the next 20 years.

Read the report.

Further CSIRO research into AI & Machine Learning

Find out more about our research into AI and Machine Learning across CSIRO domains.

Do business with us to help your organisation thrive

We partner with small and large companies, government and industry in Australia and around the world.

Contact us now to start doing business

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