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How we’re supporting Aussie AI talent



Whether it’s preserving Australia’s indigenous languages, helping marine biologists track endangered dugongs, or supporting doctors to detect prostate cancer more quickly, more and more Aussie researchers, organizations and businesses are using artificial intelligence (AI) to help tackle big problems.

In fact, we believe that there are numerous other challenges that could be addressed with AI and have made it our mission to make the benefits of these technologies available to everyone. Helping foster AI talent with programs like online AI courses for teachers is a key component of that.

Today, we’re excited to announce the Australian recipients of two global research grants.

Google TensorFlow Faculty Award 

Mary-Anne Williams, Distinguished Research Professor of the School of Computer Science at UTS has been awarded a “Google TensorFlow Faculty Award" for 2019 to develop educational content with TensorFlow 2.0, Google’s open-source machine learning platform. She’ll be receiving financial support and technical mentorship from the Google TensorFlow team to help her develop a machine learning course, as well as Google Cloud credits and access to Tensor Processing Units, custom-built computer chips made for machine learning.

Google Faculty Research Awards

In Spring 2019, we opened our annual call for the Google Faculty Research Awards, a program focused on supporting world-class technical research in Computer Science, Engineering and related fields at some of the world’s best computer science departments. Five researchers from University of Adelaide and Monash University will now be supported with funding for one year to help them advance their research in areas like algorithms and security:

  • Sebastian Baltes, Markus Wagner and Christoph Treude, University of Adelaide. The team is working on developing and evaluating techniques that can automatically detect issues in software documentation to remove barriers, biases, and obstacles for non-native speakers and open up the software development community to a more diverse group of participants. 
  • Graeme Gange and Peter J. Stuckey, Monash University. Graeme and Peter aim to extend multi-threaded constraint solvers, which search for solutions to complex combinatorial problems faced in many industries. This research will enable these solvers to learn efficiently, not only from each thread's own mistakes, but from each other's, too. 
  • Marcel Böhme, Monash University. Marcel is working on ‘fuzzing’, a technique to automatically discover security vulnerabilities in software. 

For the 2019 awards, we received 917 proposals from about 50 countries and over 330 universities, with all proposals undergoing an extensive review process involving 1100 expert reviewers across Google who assessed the proposals on merit, innovation, and alignment with our research philosophy.

Congratulations again to Mary-Anne, Markus, Sebastian, Christoph, Graeme, Peter, and Marcel!