Australian Information Industry Association


Media Release: AIIA’s Navigating Artificial Intelligence Summit asks - Are you AI ready?

Monday, 13 May 2019

Canberra, Australia – 13 May 2019 -- The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak member body for the ICT industry, is bringing together global and local experts in Artificial Intelligence (AI) to explore the challenges, opportunities and potential pitfalls of adopting, deploying and applying AI.

Are you AI Ready? ­– The 2019 AIIA Navigating Artificial Intelligence Summit, to be held at The Hotel Realm in Canberra on Thursday, 6 June 2019, is designed to stimulate collaboration between government, industry peers and educators, and determine how best to ‘get AI ready’.

“Rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence will disrupt our world and have

a significant impact on the way we work and our productivity levels. We are seeing the impact of AI all around us – whether it’s self-driving vehicles being used to collect data on Mars, or the mobilisation of drones to deliver coffee to local customers in Canberra,” said Ron Gauci, Chief Executive Officer of the AIIA.

“AI has the potential to provide social, economic, and environmental benefits for Australia but it’s important for our citizens to have trust in how AI is being designed, developed and used by business and government. Its many impacts need to be considered, addressed and fully understood, but I don’t believe that as a nation, we are there yet.

“In the public sector, AI has the potential to address a number of government service delivery challenges, especially in social services, such as service provision to an aging population and the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. However, questions are being asked about the adequacy of existing consumer protection, privacy, security, ethics, and  governance frameworks surrounding AI practices. These issues will be addressed at the Summit,” said Mr Gauci.

Topics at the Summit will include AI and how it relates to the ICT skills gap, data analytics, the augmentation of human intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and digital inclusion. The Summit will have a specific focus on impacts within the public sector – what work it does, what skills employees need – and potentially how it will transform the way it operates.

This year’s impressive speaker line-up includes: Sarah Moran, CEO, Girl Geek Academy (Summit MC); Andrew Ford, Ecosystem Architect – Government, Teradata; Deborah Anton, Interim National Data Commissioner, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet; Dr Sue Keay, Director of Cyber Physical Systems; Sassoon Grigorian, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, APAC, Salesforce; Anita Sood, ISV & Next Generation Partners Lead with Microsoft Australia; Kate Marshall, Partner, Technology Law, KPMG; and Praveen Thakur, Partner, Transport & Infrastructure at KPMG Australia.

The AIIA Summit will feature the debating team from ACT’s Narrabundah College who will argue the affirmative in the debate “Will AI steal our jobs?”. Arguing the negative will be senior executives from the Australian Public Service and industry.

An 101 AI master class will also be held with industry experts FaceMe, Trellis Data, Microsoft and IBM who will cover topics such as howto build organisational capability in AI, and what the ethical considerations are when organisations develop and implement AI solutions.

For more information or to register, visit AIIA Navigating Artificial Intelligence Summit.

Additional information

Speaker details

Sarah Moran, CEO and co-founder of at Girl Geek Academy, is heading a movement to help inspire one million women into technology by 2025. Helping inspire a generational shift in the way political leaders, schools, young girls and professional women think about and practice STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), Girl Geek Academy has trained more than 1000 teachers in #MissMakesCode, the world’s first hackathon for girls aged five to eight. That equates to a reach of more than 10,000 students in Australia now exposed to STEM education from the age of five.

Andrew Ford, Ecosystem Architect – Government, Teradata, is a highly experienced and successful business consultant with an extensive background in data management, advanced analytics, intelligence and information architecture. He has more than 20 years’ experience in diverse consulting and management roles across the private and public sectors This has included big data and analytics strategic planning, capability design and re-engineering, information architecture, records, digital service delivery, knowledge management and programme management, including for enterprise-wide and multi-million dollar, multi-year transformation initiatives.

Deborah Anton, Interim National Data Commissioner, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, has over the past two decades worked in the Australian Public Service with wide ranging experience in legislation, regulation, policy and program delivery. This includes the establishment of the Government’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT), which is the primary point of contact for Australian businesses to prevent and respond to malicious activity.

Charles McHardie, Deputy Secretary Business Transformation, Department of Veterans Affairs, is responsible for the digital enabled and business led transformation of the services delivered to Veterans and their families under the multi-year Veteran Centric Reform Programme. He also is responsible for the department’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) functions.

Sassoon Grigorian,  Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy, APAC, Salesforce, is a leading Corporate Affairs professional with more than a decade of experience in the technology, commerce and payments sectors. He has worked in Government, consulting, and the corporate sector. Sassoon is passionate about how technology disrupts existing business models.

Anita Sood, ISV & Next Generation Partners Lead with Microsoft Australia, has many years of international experience in driving customer/partner transformation, leading high performing teams & shaping markets. She is focussed on helping Microsoft customers navigate disruptive changes by leveraging leading technologies from across the Microsoft network to deliver innovative solutions. In her current role, Anita drove the AI for Accessibility Challenge to stimulate ideas that leverage AI to empower people with disabilities from within the Australian Microsoft partner community.

Kate Marshall, Partner, Technology Law at KPMG has over 25 years of specialist experience as a data, technology and privacy lawyer. Prior to joining KPMG Law Kate was a partner in a global, US based law firm and previously a partner a top tier firm. Kate has continually been recognised in Best Lawyers for Technology, Privacy and Data Security Law, is a member of the Association of Privacy Professionals and has recently completed advance primary training in Europe on GDPR.

Praveen Thakur, Lead Partner for Transport in Victoria, also leads the firm’s focus on InfraTech nationally. He specialises in integrated urban and transport planning, demand modelling, economic appraisal and business case preparation. Our cities, regions and our transport networks are facing significant challenges. This includes rapid population growth, flat lining productivity growth, massive challenges with our urban settlement patterns, budgetary fiscal constraints and disruptive technology. These challenges require innovative and flexible solutions. He provides evidence based, practical advice to help shape the policy and infrastructure decisions; and helps implement these decisions throughout the infrastructure lifecycle - helping build productive, environmentally sustainable and socially equitable communities.

Dr Sue Keay, Director of Cyber Physical Systems, set up the world's first robotic vision research centre. Last year, she developed Australia's first Robotics Roadmap highlighting how advances in robotics (and AI) will impact on every sector of the Australian economy.With a PhD in Geoscience and an MBA, Sue has interests in entrepreneurship and disruptive technologies, and started QUT's social robotics program.

About AIIA

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) is Australia’s peak representative body and advocacy group for those in the digital ecosystem. Since 1978 AIIA has pursued activities to stimulate and grow the digital ecosystem, to create a favorable business environment for members and to contribute to Australia’s economic prosperity. We do this by delivering outstanding member value by providing a strong voice of influence; building a sense of community through events and education; enabling a network for collaboration and inspiration; and developing compelling content and relevant and interesting information.

Media Contacts

For more information please contact:

Jeffrey Coote

Tel: (02) 8355 3130