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DST, ONI to award grants for artificial intelligence solutions

Defence is building on a recent push towards artificial intelligence technologies, calling for AI specialists from across the country to take on challenges in the space.

Defence is building on a recent push towards artificial intelligence technologies, calling for AI specialists from across the country to take on challenges in the space.

Funding of up to $20,000 is available to individuals to undertake a three-month project addressing one of 23 pre-defined challenges, in what Defence has labelled the "Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making" initiative. Example topics include:

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  1. Facial recognition bias profiling;
  2. Facial verification explainability measures;
  3. Deceitful/persuasive writing detection;
  4. Distribution-aware generalisation for imbalanced learning;
  5. Human factors in explainable AI; and
  6. Input feature obfuscation.

The initiative is jointly funded by Defence Science and Technology (DST) and the Office of National Intelligence (ONI). 

Chief of Joint and Operations Analysis Division within the Defence Science and Technology Group, Dr Lynn Booth, said that initiative could generate leap-ahead technologies.

‘‘By really focusing the efforts of our AI community on these specific challenges, we are confident that the initiative will deliver critical enhancements to our decision-making ability,” she said.

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A number of strict funding requirements are associated with the initiative. Funds allocated by the program can be used for any direct costs (including salary and salary on-costs), but cannot be used for the recovery of indirect overheads. 

Only personnel listed on the application can be involved in the project or supported by the funds.

Individuals may submit applications under multiple challenge headings, however only one project will be funded per applicant, and each project must be discrete and stand alone from others.

The move builds on steps Defence has taken in recent months towards shoring up Australian AI capability. Earlier this month, Defence announced that AI-Search, an automated search and rescue capability, had been successfully trialled off the shores of Brisbane's Stradbroke Island. 

DST, ONI to award grants for artificial intelligence solutions
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