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Data is the currency of the digital age. Across all areas of society there has been an unparalleled growth in the quantity and variety of data, driven by new media and communications, by new sensors and observational data, made available by the pervasive nature of the internet and enabled by almost free digital storage. Managed well, data can be used to unlock new sources of economic value, provide fresh insights into the way we live, drive innovation and discovery in science and technology, and deliver better outcomes for society. Managed poorly, “Big Data” brings with it the dystopian future of “Big Brother”.
The real impact for industry and the economy will be in the translation of data, data science and machine learning methods across a range of applications; from health and medicine to geology and mining, from physics to law, and from material science to political science - all fields that are being transformed through the availability and use of data. Across all areas, data and data science has the potential to unlock new methods of discovery and invention, and new ways of doing business. The broad application of data science heralds a new industrial revolution impacting all of business and society.
Hugh Durrant-Whyte is a Professor and ARC Federation Fellow at the University of Sydney. From 2010-2014, he was CEO of National ICT Australia (NICTA), and from 1995-2010 Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Autonomous Systems and of the Australian Centre for Field Robotics (ACFR). From April 2017, he will be Chief Scientific Advisor for the UK Ministry of Defence. He has published over 300 research papers, graduated over 70 PhD students, and has won numerous awards and prizes for his work, including being named the 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year. In his entrepreneurial career he has worked with many major companies delivering robotics and machine learning technology - including Telstra, Patrick Stevedores and BAE Systems. Amongst many other endeavours, he founded and led the Rio Tinto Centre for Mining Automation at the University of Sydney from 2007-2010. He has also co-founded three successful start-up companies, and has won many awards including being named 2008 NSW Engineer of the Year. He is an honorary fellow of Engineers Australia (Hon FIEAus), a fellow of the IEEE (FIEEE), fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), and a fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS).
Dress code: Jacket and tie, tailored trousers and dress shoes for men; smart business attire for women
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Enhancing Australia's prosperity through technology and innovation