Twenty years in Silicon Valley has left me with the distinct sense that we need to keep reasserting the importance of people, and the diversity of our lived experiences, into our conversations about technology and the future.
I have always felt I have an obligation to build the future I want to see. I came home to Australia and founded the 3A Institute to do just that.
We know that Ai-powered cyber-physical systems (CPS) will scale in society. The challenge we face now is how we do that responsibly and sustainably? If we act proactively now, we can avoid some of the negative impacts we have seen during other technological leaps.
In 2017, I put out the call for people. People who were team players, collaborative and wanted to build something. The truly diverse, representative and interdisciplinary team that I brought together are the people you want to build a new world. Opening the conversation to all voices is one way we will go about systematically tackling and taming CPS.
The Australian National University is the right place to have this conversation. We have established the 3A Institute inside the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which has embarked on an ambitious program to reimagine new types of engineering and computing, custom built and fit for the middle of the 21st century.
We need to start creating now for that future 30 years hence, when we are completely embedded in both a digital and physical environment, and are experiencing a climate unrecognisable from the climate of today. We are identifying the skills and knowledge, and the right people to wield them, to manage CPS for a future characterised by economic prosperity, social equality and wellbeing, and environmental sustainability.
A little ambitious. Well, a lot ambitious. But I firmly believe it is possible.
I hope you will join us, in some way, to explore the role of technology in building our future and what it means to be human in a digital world on planet earth.