Deus ex machina: can AI and ships save SA

While federal Liberals are looking to ships to prop up South Australian employment, state Labor is investing in artificial intelligence. The Weatherill Government is kicking $7.1m in to the University of Adelaide’s Australian Institute of Machine Learning, “which will help lead South Australia through the economic transformation, directly supporting SA businesses to develop new products based on artificial intelligence and upskilling the workforce of the future.”

According to UniAdelaide acting VC Mike Brooks, the new centre will work with the university’s Australian Centre for Visual Technologies which is a global top ten in machine learning.

There’s no faulting SA politicians for optimism, but not veteran economists. As adjunct University of South Australia professor, Richard Blandy  puts it, “ the government’s resort to both employment and investment subsidies (‘industry attraction’) reveals an emerging economic crisis. Private investment has crashed. The unemployment rate is only as low as it is because large numbers of South Australians have moved for work interstate.”


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