2019 Masters Cohort

  • Alison Kershaw

    I am a storyteller and explainer. I have spent much of my career explaining new technologies to diverse audiences and using them to share stories, connect people and build communities. I joined the first cohort at 3Ai to learn about and explore how AI can connect and empower people and communities. It has been exciting to work with and learn from the 3Ai staff and my fellow students, as we explore and define this new branch of engineering. I am working to ensure it is understandable and useable by real people in the real world in practical and creative ways.

  • Sam Backwell

    I believe education is more than a set of facts. My passion is to create and run programs that celebrate the complexity and diversity of our world and the people in it. Working at the ANU, and then founding a start-up in Boston, I brought my love of problem solving to understand and elevate the everyday tools and ideas we all use to navigate the world around us. It has been incredibly exciting to learn and contribute in the first prototype of a whole new approach to education, work to understand the future of AI, and open up those possibilities to everyone.

  • Kathy Reid

    I have a background in emerging technologies and open source systems. It has been incredibly exciting to be a part of such a multi-disciplinary and highly talented cohort, rising to the challenge of creating a world-first branch of engineering around the future of AI. The decisions we make now, and the defaults we knowingly - or unknowingly set - will influence society, the economy and technology for decades to come. We must actively interrogate and shape these futures for the benefit of all of humanity.

  • Brenda Martin

    I have worked with survivors of refugee-related trauma and torture for over eight years in roles that include individual trauma counselling, community development, advocacy and management. I am passionate about human rights and find great joy and inspiration in working cross-culturally. I hold a Masters of Social Work from the Australian Catholic University and a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) with First Class Honours from the University of Queensland. It has been exciting to pilot a new educational methodology that draws on the power of diversity and exploring how a new branch of engineering can contribute positively to humanity.

  • Charlotte Bradley

    Kia ora koutou. My name is Charlotte. My professional background is in product management and the performing arts. I encountered 3Ai through Genevieve Bell’s 2017 Boyer Lecture series, which resonated with me as a clarion call to participate in the construction of our AI-driven future. As a long-time student of the humanities, I am used to unpicking and analysing cultural artefacts. At 3Ai, it has been an opportunity to roll up my sleeves and help to carve out an axiom myself.

  • Danny Bettay

    As a designer, my role is to transform ideas from an intangible concept to a tangible reality. Like many disciplines, to do this, a designer reduces a concept to its most basic values to ensure we encapsulate an experience that is true to its intentions. But somewhere along our history, that process appears to have been lost… This is why I am here. To help pioneer a new branch of engineering that reimagines how we educate those who will design for our future, those who will govern our future and more importantly those who will live in our future.

  • Glen Berman

    I envision and, hope to create, AI systems that enhance trust between people and communities. For the past ten years I’ve worked in advocacy organisations in Australia and the United States, at the intersection of technology, human rights, and social change. This year, I’m privileged to be a member of the pilot cohort of the 3A Institute’s new Masters program at ANU, and to be helping build a new branch of engineering. I’m committed to ensuring that principles of equity and inclusion are at the heart of this new branch of engineering, and that the lessons we learned this year are applicable for people everywhere working in social change.

  • Hrishikesh Desai

    My name is Hrishikesh Desai and I am one of the co-collaborators of world first prototype for a new branch of engineering being built at the ANU through the 3A Institute. My background in science and engineering combined with government regulatory experience will support us in leading the discussion around future of AI. As an immigrant to Australia, I provide a whole different perspective for us to get ready to face this disruption and enable us to actively build our future. At this crucial crossroads, I want to be at the forefront, guiding our future generations and that’s the reason I am excited to be part of this pioneering initiative.

  • Matthew Phillipps

    I have joined the 3A Institute’s initial cohort of Masters students to help build this new branch of engineering. I bring to the group extensive experience in education, systems development and computer animation; but more importantly a passion for interdisciplinary approaches, a background of international lived experience and appreciation of how diverse cultures and understandings can drive different approaches to technologies. I am simultaneously excited by the possibilities of an AI-enabled future driven by equity and ethics, and concerned about the use of AI for control at the expense of liberty and access. I have used my time at 3Ai to develop my knowledge and skills in cyber-physical systems and become a driver of positive future directions for AI.

  • Meghan McGrath

    I am a Security Ethnographer working with mainframe professionals. I look at human behaviours tied to how the world’s most sensitive data gets protected, and guide IBM teams to build more user-friendly security. As a 3Ai participant, I’ve explored how human (and quasi- and non-human) behaviours will transform and be transformed by the changing cyber-physical systems they are a part of. I am interested in how infrastructure can be built deliberately with conceptions of trust that are thoughtful, ethical, and enduring.

  • Olivia Reeves

    As a trained engineer, I am very excited to help build a new branch of engineering with the goal of equipping society with the tools needed to manage the intersection of AI and humanity. I have worked in the government regulation of medical technologies which I strongly believe is a vital function, but it is inherently reactive and slow to adapt to change and innovation. Cyber-physical systems are a major area of emerging health technologies, and I am looking forward to this new branch of engineering fostering a more proactive approach to managing the integration of these technologies into our lives.

  • Peter MacFarlane

    Educated across four continents, I’ve opted for a rich and diverse career working in government, the not-for-profit and private sectors - in Australia, and around the world. My professional experience is centred on diplomacy, law and policy - its making, shaping and delivery - with a wider focus on Australia’s place, role and (capacity for) influence in a rapidly changing world. A quest that led me to the 3A Institute at the Australian National University. This newly-minted entity is leading discussion on the many questions evoked by the Fourth Industrial Revolution: a range of technologies fusing the digital, physical and biological realms, with profound implications for our country, our society and ourselves.

  • Tom Chan

    I'm a public policy wonk and 'futurist' regulatory economist who loves to wrangle wicked problems at the interface of law, economics and tech. I am passionate about helping governments do public good better in the face of rapid and profound technological change. As a consultant and a public servant, I have spent 15 years advising clients and governments on competition matters, regulatory reform, public policy and service design. I believe that we need a more sophisticated conversation and new cross-disciplinary tools, principles and practices to help guide Australia through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is not only desirable but necessary for protecting policy effectiveness, efficiency and equity.

  • Stephen Fry

    I am Stephen and I am a serving member of the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The challenges Australia will confront in an increasingly complex strategic and social environment are great, varied, and global. Innovation and diversity of thought is necessary to face these challenges and to shape our future. Leading this discussion is the 3A Institute – with innovative education, and a diverse and inclusive team. I am excited to be a pioneer of a new branch of engineering curriculum, and to later impart its application and foster its advancement within the Australian Defence Force.

  • Zaiga Thomann

    I am a mathematician and a teacher who is passionate about the impact future technologies will have on current and future generations, and the skills and awareness they will need to manage this. I studied Pure Mathematics at the ANU before moving to the Northern Territory to teach mathematics and robotics in both remote and urban areas. A drive of mine is in ensuring that people understand and have equal access to the opportunities that STEM provides. This is increasingly important as technology is rapidly being woven into our social and economic lives.

  • Felicity Millman

    I am passionate about working at the intersect between humans and technology. I have over 15 years’ experience as an academic, clinician and researcher working in areas of psychology, genetics and statistics. I have worked in academic institutions, private and government organisations. At 3Ai I have been able to tackle the most challenging problems surrounding the impacts of AI and to use my skills to inform this new branch of engineering.


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