Professor Anton van den Hengel

Professor Anton van den Hengel


What are you working on?

I’m trying to make computers see. The technologies we’ve developed, and are developing, will change the world in many ways, including improving patient outcomes and reducing healthcare costs… helping the poorest people on Earth protect their forests and mitigate climate change… and helping feed the world past ‘peak human’.

Some people’s immediate reaction to machine learning seems to be that it’s either going to take their jobs or steal their health records. The truth is that there will be changes brought about by the new technology, but most will be good. In reality the changes will come whether we like it or not; the choice we need to make is whether we’re going to participate actively, or just be swept along.

How did you come to be here?

I did a law degree, a maths degree and then two computer vision degrees at the University of Adelaide. I established AIML’s predecessor, the Australian Centre for Visual Technologies, here in 2009, was named AIML’s founding director in 2017, and have been running it ever since.

What do you like about AIML?

It’s great to work with smart people doing incredible things in a really high-impact area. The University of Adelaide is a great institution, in a great city that offers an incredible quality of life.