Optus Business has partnered with Curtin University for a five-year research project to look into areas like artificial intelligence’s impacts on urban environments, telecommunications, and education.
The alliance will see the appointment of an Optus Chair in Artificial Intelligence at the university, as well as three Optus Research Fellows and funding for PhD scholarships and research projects.
The research group, located within Curtin’s School of Electrical Engineering, Computing and Mathematical Sciences and linked to the Curtin Institute Computation, plans to study the impact of AI technologies on regional telecommunications and improving student outcomes in higher education.
The alliance was announced on Monday by Optus Business managing director John Paitaridis and Curtin’s vice-chancellor professor Deborah Terry.
Terry said at the launch that the partnership is built on a “shared vision” and history of cross-industry innovation with Optus, including early forays into the then-nascent field of cloud computing.
She added that the alliance is timely for Australia, given the leaps AI development overseas and persistent fears over its integration with workforces.
Paitaridis agreed, saying the alliance will “help build real-world solutions while growing the skills of the future workforce”.
“Fully realising the application of technology, like artificial intelligence, is critical in how we’re helping organisations address digital disruption.
“Great innovation comes from collaboration, which is why we are so pleased to be joining with Curtin to create a Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence by bringing together the experience and expertise of industry and academia.”
Optus has similar research partnerships with other universities, including cybersecurity research hubs at both Macquarie University in Sydney and La Trobe University in Melbourne.