The Queensland government has unveiled plans to create a new artificial intelligence (AI) training hub to address a skills shortage in the tech sector.
The Advance Queensland AI Hub will be used to train and skill workers from both industry and the public sector to better tackle technologies like robotics, machine learning and speech recognition.
The new hub will also double as a co-working space for startups and larger businesses to network.
The AI hub will be located within Fortitude Valley-based innovation hub known as The Precinct.
“Queensland has a shortage of talent in the artificial intelligence space,” said QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Currently we have up to eight times more AI jobs on offer in the state than people with the right skills available to fill them.
“That’s why we’re investing now to make sure we keep those jobs in Queensland.”
The government will provide seed funding out of its $650 million Advance Queensland initiative to fund the hub and is relying on investment from the private sector.
The hub will offer specialised training courses for the local industry and public sector organisations.
Queensland Innovation Minister Kate Jones said the state had already received expressions of interest from major international companies, as well as Australian companies and universities.
“Not only will this hub create jobs for Queenslanders by upskilling them to fill the AI skills gap, it will also help AI startups to scale up to meet global demand for this technology,” she said.
Ms Jones said the hub would also help to attract investment into Queensland startups and innovative local companies with AI-based solutions for global markets.
Australian Centre for Robotic Vision chief operating officer Sue Keay said the Queensland government’s attention toward AI marks its forward-thinking support for the sector.
“The AI Hub is an invaluable step on the road to developing a vibrant technology cluster in Queensland,” she said.