Machines Rising

For some, it’s a source of boundless possibility; for others, fear and anxiety. Whichever view you lean towards, however, machine learning is a reality.

Machines Rising

For some, it’s a source of boundless possibility; for others, fear and anxiety. Whichever view you lean towards, however, machine learning is a reality. All over the world, technology is performing complex tasks, ‘learning’ from the outcomes, and improving its future performance accordingly.

There are undoubted benefits. Machine learning is already speeding disease diagnosis and treatment. It’s accelerating identification of viable new crops. And, through autonomous vehicles, it promises to drastically reduce road accidents and fatalities.

But it also presents challenges, including for our wellbeing. Research indicates it may be more important to retain a human touch in some areas than many realise.

In this mind-expanding presentation, leading University of Adelaide researchers, including from the Australian Institute for Machine Learning, will explore every facet of this brave new world—from advances to opportunities to critical concerns.

The Presenters

Professor Anton Van Den Hengel directs the University of Adelaide's Australian Institute for Machine Learning. He has over 250 publications, nine commercialised patents, and is a winner of a 2017 SA Science Excellence Award for Research Collaboration.

Dr Fiona Kerr is Industry Professor, Neural and Systems Complexity at the University of Adelaide. She collaborates across multiple faculties on the neurophysiology of direct human interaction and the impacts of technologisation, to help build quality human-technology partnerships.

Professor Ian Reid is a professor of computer science at the University of Adelaide, and Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Robotic Vision. He is also a former professor of engineering science at the University of Oxford, where his group invented, and was the world's leading facility for, visual SLAM, a key technology component in self-driving vehicles.

Associate Professor Jeremy Woolley directs the University of Adelaide's Centre for Automotive Safety Research. He has over 20 years experience in the field, and is Immediate Past President of the Australian Institute of Traffic Planning and Management (SA).


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Machine learning is already speeding disease diagnosis and treatment. It’s accelerating identification of viable new crops. And, through autonomous vehicles, it promises to drastically reduce road accidents and fatalities.

2018 Events

13 February, 5:30pm

Where The Wild Things Were

Hidden away in SA’s South East is a national, and global, treasure. The World Heritage-listed Naracoorte Caves house tens of thousands of beautifully preserved fossils, and paint a remarkably vivid picture of life during the last 500,000 years.

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13 March, 5:30pm

Machines Rising

For some, it’s a source of boundless possibility; for others, fear and anxiety. Whichever view you lean towards, however, machine learning is a reality. All over the world, technology is performing complex tasks, ‘learning’ from the outcomes, and improving its future performance accordingly.

Find out more Watch Video

10 April, 5:30pm

Engineering Champions

Since the Australian Institute of Sport’s (AIS) establishment in 1981, sports science and technology have become increasingly important contributors to elite sport in this country. Engineers and scientists now analyse the majority of sports to exploit every possible performance gain.

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8 May, 5:30pm

First Ferment

We’ve all heard stories of rum-soaked misadventure in Australia’s early colonial past. But fermented drinks, and food, were consumed on this land long before the First Fleet’s arrival, let alone our current love affair with kimchi and kombucha.

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12 June, 5:30pm

Homeground Disadvantage

The commentators agree: Australia has a big problem when it comes to housing affordability. By 2025, as many as 1.7 million Australian households will not have the capacity to pursue home ownership, or rent without government assistance.

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2017 Events

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