Macquarie University AI expert appointed to world-first global forum with potential to assist in fight against COVID

17 June 2020

Australia will have a seat at the table to guide the responsible development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) internationally with the appointment of Macquarie University Professor Enrico Coiera, to the Global Partnership on Artificial Intelligence (GPAI).

Featuring over 100 AI experts from around the world, The GPAI will tackle issues such as the use of AI in policing and surveillance, the COVID-19 pandemic and the challenges associated with these new technologies.

Artificial Intelligence is computer technologies that perform tasks that would otherwise require human cognition. They could also help deliver more efficient and effective healthcare by freeing up health professionals to spend more time with patients and potentially reduce stressful workloads. AI governance has however been a vexed issue around the world.

Professor Coiera who is one of only five Australian experts appointed to the new forum, has an extensive professional background in medicine and computer science and a PhD in AI. He is also Director of the Centre for Health Informatics at the Australian Institute of Health Innovation.

Speaking about his appointment, Professor Coiera said, “Around the world the level of interest and investment in AI in healthcare is enormous. Australia has the opportunity to learn from those nations that have moved early, but we still need to move quickly”.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the potential for AI to enhance infectious disease tracking, support diagnosis and facilitate drug discovery and development. There are even examples of technologies being developed that use AI to monitor patients remotely,” he concluded.

Macquarie University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Sakkie Pretorius welcomed Professor Coiera’s appointment to the GPAI.

“I would like to congratulate Professor Coiera on his appointment to this important global roundtable. His pre-eminence in the examination and use of AI and his immense contribution to AI research in healthcare at Macquarie University will prove invaluable to the group.”


More about Professor Coiera

Professor Enrico Coiera is Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, Australian Institute of Health Innovation, Macquarie University. Trained in medicine with a computer science PhD in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Professor Coiera is Foundation Professor in Medical Informatics at Macquarie University and Director of the Centre for Health Informatics, a group he co-founded in 2000. With a research background in industry and academia, he has a strong international research reputation for his work on decision support and communication processes in biomedicine. He spent 10 years at the prestigious Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories in Bristol UK where he led numerous health technology projects. He has overseen the development and trial of multiple e-Health interventions, including the consumer system and clinical decision support systems. His textbook Guide to Health Informatics is in its 3rd edition, is widely used internationally, and is translated into several languages. He has over 330 publications, over 16,000 citations in Google Scholar with an H-index of 63 (Google Scholar).

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