Toby Walsh is a prominent Australian AI expert who has recently called for more investment in sovereign AI capability. He argues that Australia is lagging behind other countries in developing and deploying AI solutions that can benefit the nation and protect its interests. He also warns that relying on foreign AI could pose security and ethical risks, as well as limit the opportunities for local innovation and growth.
Sovereign AI is the ability to create, control, and use AI systems that are aligned with the values, goals, and needs of a specific country or region. It involves developing the necessary infrastructure, talent, research, and governance to support AI development and adoption. Sovereign AI can help a country achieve strategic advantages, enhance public services, and address social and environmental challenges.
Toby Walsh is also a vocal critic of lethal autonomous weapons (aka “killer robots”) and has campaigned for a global ban on them. He has spoken at the UN and to heads of state, parliamentary bodies, company boards, and many others on this issue. He believes that AI should be used for good and not evil, and that humans should always have meaningful control over AI decisions. His advocacy in this area has led to him being “banned indefinitely” from Russia.
Toby Walsh is a leading researcher and advocate in the field of AI. He is the Chief Scientist of UNSW.AI, UNSW’s new AI Institute, and a Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of NSW. He is also an adjunct fellow at CSIRO Data61. He has been elected a fellow of several prestigious scientific associations, such as the Australian Academy of Science, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. He has published over 400 papers and 8 books on various topics related to AI.