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The future isn’t coming. It’s already here. Together, we’ll make sure it’s a good one.

Advanced robotics, smart grids, autonomous cars, machine learning. Cyber-physical systems are literally all around us—systems that, as they converge, will have an unprecedented economic, social and cultural impact on humanity.

So, what do we humans do now?

We develop a new branch of engineering to ensure the responsible use of Ai. We push Ai into a new realm, to tackle Ai’s questions from all different angles. And we create a new school where those questions can be asked. 3Ai is that school. Founded and led by Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell at the Australian National University's College of Engineering and Computer Science. 3Ai was created to enable the safe, ethical and effective design, integration, management and regulation of cyber-physical systems.

So that as technology advances, humanity advances with it.

Join us in keeping the humanity in technology.

Research

In 2016, the World Economic Forum suggested we were entering the 4th wave of industrialisation; one characterised by cyber-physical systems—an era that will undoubtedly result in significant economic, social and cultural shifts for we humans. At 3Ai, we recognise that this new era demands new ways of thinking.

Building a new intellectual approach is critical—and a large part of finding the answers we seek is by ensuring we’re asking the right questions. As such, our research centres around the questions we should ask of cyber-physical systems. We were established with the 3 A’s— and since then we have been exploring three more. As we discover and develop our research we expect that to change again!

Agency

HOW MUCH AGENCY DO WE GIVE TECHNOLOGY?

As the ability for machines to act independently of human oversight increases with each new tech breakthrough, conversations need to be had about how much agency we give to intelligent cyber-physical systems. Are we comfortable with machines responding to their environment, and interacting with other machines, without a human to check and validate decisions?

Autonomy

HOW DO WE DESIGN FOR AN AUTONOMOUS WORLD?

This is both a technical set of questions and a philosophical and public policy set of questions. Just because we can automate something, should we? When we translate human processes into machine processes, what do we need to consider?

Assurance

HOW DO WE PRESERVE OUR SAFETY AND VALUES?

Current technological progress calls for new regulatory tools and processes, as algorithms designed in different places are introduced into societies around the world. The virtual nature of these new goods and services has an impact on our ability to regulate their design and use in a way that aligns with core cultural values.

INDICATORS

HOW DO WE MEASURE PERFORMANCE AND SUCCESS?

Technical systems have typically been measured on their efficiency. However, when systems start to learn and change their behaviour over time, the objective of efficiency may begin to clash with ideals that have previously been implicitly or tacitly inserted into the process by the humans in the loop. How do we start to conceptualise building for sustainability, for beauty, for values?

INTERFACES

HOW WILL TECHNOLOGIES, SYSTEMS AND HUMANS WORK TOGETHER?

In previous decades, we interfaced with computational systems through a screen and a keyboard. This paradigm is already being disrupted as ‘smart’ objects enter our lives. What will it mean when AI-enabled systems are all around us, sensing and responding to us? How do we protect our privacy? What happens to all that data?

INTENT

why has the system been constructed? By whom? And for what purposes?

It is sometimes tempting to think of a single, monolithic AI. However, AIs will be built for different purposes and with very different intentionality, and inside different larger systems. Making sense of, and mapping, that broader intentionality is central to the emergent new branch of engineering.


You can find a showcase of our thinking in Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell’s public lectures.
Watch them on YouTube: ANU 3A Institute YouTube channel and the ANU TV 3A Institute Playlist.

NEWS & EVENTS

Events

Kate Crawford on AI and Power: From Bias to Justice?

TUE DEC 17 2019, 5.30pm
Manning CLark Hall, Cultural Centre Kambri, ANU Campus

The 3A Institute, Humanising Machine Intelligence Grand Challenge, and the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs welcomes Professor Kate Crawford, co-founder of AI Now, presenting her work on the need for a lens shift in our thinking about AI – from Bias to Justice...read more

Register


 



Latest Articles

Reflecting on 2 years of the 3A Institute

By 3Ai Director, Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell The 3A Institute at the Australian National University is 2 years this week. That means we are already two years into our mission to establish a new branch of engineering to manage artificial intelligence safely to scale. WOW!

Why we need a cybernetic future

Let me tell you a story about a time when the power of computing seemed limitless. When the first question everyone asked was: Would these computers be intelligent and think, like us?

3Ai 2019 student showcase: building a new branch of engineering

Genevieve Bell herself has a diverse and storied background; a cultural anthropologist, technologist and futurist, she returned to Australia after 18 years in Silicon Valley and took up the position at ANU. She is also a director of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, a member of the Prime Minister's National Science and Technology Council, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

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Engage

There are many ways to engage with the 3A Institute: our Masters program, masterclasses, and our case study research.

Masters Program

The 3Ai Master of Applied Cybernetics is the world’s first graduate program focusing on the challenges of taking intelligent cyber-physical systems safely to scale. Led by 3Ai founder, Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell, at the Australian National University's College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Master program builds knowledge through participatory learning experiences and iterative curriculum design. Our Masters students are involved in a prototype to guide and accelerate a new branch of engineering into existence. 3Ai provides a platform for this research to reach a broader audience and shape the direction of a future driven by cyber-physical systems.

Current students of the Master of Applied Cybernetics program are soon to finish, with our second cohort due to commence in February 2020.

Applications for the 2021 program open in May 2020.

Case Study Research

We are constantly iterating our curriculum based on our observations of existing and emergent AI-driven systems, in a range of sectors, places and stages of development.

Some examples of our cyber-physical system case studies include:

  • Building new technology into old cities, and how this transforms the space that we live and work in.
  • The future of autonomous mining in Australia.
  • Policy and regulation of data, AI and autonomy in Europe, and a comparison with other global contexts.
  • The arts sector and how it changes the community conversation and shapes how the corporate world creates.
  • Analysing the design of sand-sea-sky autonomous systems for reef monitoring, exploring the systems within systems that humans and technology have with the marine environment.


Are you interested in collaborating with 3Ai? Contact us. [Link to CONTACT page]

Masterclasses

3Ai offers masterclasses targeted to a range of people and organisations based on our ethos and learnings. If you are interested in being involved in our Masterclass series, please contact us.

Contact Us

The 3A Institute is hosted in the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia.

Please use the contact form to get in touch or call us on +61 2 6125 8551

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