The Queensland government has unveiled plans to build an artificial intelligence hub in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley.
The new training hub, dubbed The Precinct, will aim to help fill the skills gap created by the surging artificial intelligence sector.
The government will provide seed funding out of its $650 million Advance Queensland initiative to fund the hub, but is relying on investment from the private sector.
Advance Queensland is a whole-of-government program fostering innovation and building a more diversified Queensland economy, with the target of creating jobs now and for the future.
“Queensland has a shortage of talent in the artificial intelligence space,” Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“Currently we have up to eight times more AI jobs on offer in the state than people with the right skills available to fill them.”
The AI Hub will provide a co-working space for startups undertaking advanced robotics, machine learning and speech recognition along with mentoring and international networking opportunities.
Specialised training courses will also be offered out of the AI Hub for Queensland industry and public sector organisation.
Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the new AI Hub would serve as a training centre and a place for businesses to network.
“It will also help to attract investment into Queensland startups and innovative local companies with AI-based solutions for global markets,” Jones said.
“The seed funding provided by the government will act as a catalyst for co-investment by the private sector.”
The new initiative has already received interest from a number of international corporates, as well as Australian companies and universities.
“Over coming decades we will see an explosion of AI and machine learning technologies changing the way we work, which will lead to incredible economic and community benefits,” Griffith University professor Dr Kelvin Ross said.
“As a researcher, investor and employer I am excited about the global opportunities available in pursuing AI innovation in Queensland given our local capabilities for talent, technology and entrepreneurship.”
While the government has allocated seed funding and floor space for the hub, it is now calling for co-investment from the private sector.