Govt funds AI research to improve healthcare for Australians


The Australian government is investing $30 million in research to explore how artificial intelligence (AI) can make healthcare better and more accessible for everyone.

This budget will fund 10 projects at universities across the country, looking at ways AI can help with various health issues.

One exciting project at the University of Queensland is getting $3 million to use AI for early skin cancer detection. They’re creating a huge database of skin images that AI can learn from, helping doctors spot melanomas sooner. This could be a game-changer for people in rural areas who can’t easily get to a skin specialist.

Another project at the University of Melbourne is also receiving $3 million. They’re developing AI tools to help diagnose and treat mental health issues in young people. The goal is to create personalised treatment plans based on each person’s unique situation.

Health Minister Mark Butler said: “Artificial intelligence holds the potential to revolutionise many different fields, provided it can be used safely. Good research is the first step.”

“These important research projects will help build the infrastructure that will underpin our use of AI in the healthcare system, improving the lives of Australians everywhere.”

Industry Minister Ed Husic adds: “Patients will be better off if we can use AI to make diagnoses more accurate and treatments more personalised.”

“For that to happen, patients need to trust AI is safe to use. The guardrails we’re considering around development and use of AI means the community can have confidence these powerful technologies are being used safely and responsibly while delivering those benefits.”

These projects are part of a larger $650 million government initiative to boost critical research infrastructure in Australia.

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