A new academic effort has been created to assess the impact of artificial intelligence on regional telecommunications, higher education and the urban environment.

Optus and Curtin University have announced a five-year alliance to develop an artificial intelligence research group.

The alliance will involve the appointment of an Optus Chair in Artificial Intelligence and three Optus Research Fellows focusing on applying artificial intelligence technologies in areas such as regional telecommunications, improving higher education student outcomes and the urban environment, as well as funding for PhD scholarships and student projects.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Deborah Terry says the university is proud to embark on the partnership.

“This five-year alliance is built on a shared vision and strong track record of industry engagement and innovation,” Professor Terry said.

“It will also help Curtin University to train the highly skilled and industry-ready students of the future.”

“The development of artificial intelligence is among the most exciting and emerging areas of research and as a leading science and technology research university, Curtin is the perfect partner for this project.”

Mr Paitaridis said digital transformation remained a top priority for most Australian enterprises and governments.

“Fully realising the application of technology, like artificial intelligence, is critical in how we’re helping organisations address digital disruption,” Mr Paitaridis said.

“Great innovation comes from collaboration, which is why we are so pleased to be joining with Curtin to create a Centre of Excellence in Artificial Intelligence by bringing together the experience and expertise of industry and academia.

“Importantly, this partnership will help build real-world solutions while growing the skills of the future workforce,” Mr Paitaridis said.