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EPIC Project Supported International Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence Conference Attracts Sellout Crowd in Canberra

Event focused on EU-AU collaboration and the way forward for public policy, research and industry approaches towards international opportunities and risks of AI

22 February 2019 - 22 February 2019
© E. Prem / eutema
The European Commission’s EPIC Project, in collaboration with the 3A Institute, the Australian National University’s (ANU) College of Law and the National Security College, played host to a sellout crowd at February 22nd’s ‘International Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence’ event in Canberra.

The one-day symposium brought together a diverse group of experts from Australia, New Zealand and the EU to discuss how public policy, research and industry are approaching opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence in an international context. Particular emphasis was placed on forging a way forward in European-Australian collaboration.

The event, which took place at ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy, was divided into two sessions. The morning programme focused on national policies and strategies and included a presentation on Australia’s tech future strategy by Elizabeth Kelly, Deputy Secretary of the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Innovation and Science as well as a panel discussion on European national policies, strategies and approaches to AI featuring representatives from Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria. During her presentation, Kelly suggested that a dialogue about AI regulation is an important area for #EU - #Australia cooperation as old regulatory models will not be fast enough.

After lunch, the programme transitioned into a series of in-depth workshops focused on key AI topics for the future. These included: security and the safeguarding of online and physical systems, law/policy - enabling reliable and trusted governance and business environments, improvement of health and well-being outcomes, arts and culture, education, culture, and robotic vision and creating intelligent vision capable robots.

Tim Llewellyn from NVISO provided insights into how the EU-funded Bonseyes ( provides an open platform and a marketplace for AI and Internet-of-things projects. In addition to technical aspects, it was surprising to see how many speakers included culture and arts in their thinking about AI technology. Art has a role to play in international cooperation, both for reaching out to citizens and to accelerate innovation in industry. Amy McLennan from 3Ai at ANU suggested to take a closer look into how AI can help to make our lives better and not just more efficient.

“The event clearly created many new bonds between Australia and the European Union. I am pleased to see that the EU-funded EPIC not only reinforced existing ties in research, but also stirred up interest in new areas such as art/science cooperation or using AI for citizen wellbeing,” said Dr Erich Prem, EPIC Project coordinator and CEO of Vienna-based eutema Technology Management.

Given the success of the event and increasing public interest in topics such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and internet security and privacy, Europe and Australia should jointly develop new models of cooperation to facilitate cooperation and a more dynamic international exchange of concepts and ideas. As AI becomes an internationally pervasive technology, so should its regulation.

The event received support from the European Commission’s EPIC Project. EPIC was initiated in 2017 and is aimed at improving cooperation in the area of information and communication technologies between Europe and the three partner countries Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. The project is funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme (ICT) under Grant Agreement No. 687794. To learn more about the EPIC Project, or to view upcoming events, visit Currently, EPIC is the only EU support action targeting ICT research cooperation with Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.

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