From cancer screening to detecting scams, artificial intelligence technology is being deployed in ways Australians probably don’t expect or realise. The far-reaching application of the emerging technology has been explored at a meeting of business leaders representing major companies, including Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank and Amazon in Sydney.

BreastScreen Victoria director Helen Frazier told the CEDA AI Leadership Summit that breast cancer screening was actually the “perfect problem” for AI.

The community health service planned to use AI data analysis tools in future to speed up cancer diagnoses, freeing up radiologists to more effectively work with patients. “We’re putting the care back in healthcare,” Dr Frazier said. The tools had far-reaching implications for the healthcare sector around the world.

“We’ll see AI in cancer screening within five years to save more lives,” she said. Banks, including ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank, also revealed they were using AI to detect scams and cyber attacks, with the latter also using the technology to personalise customers’ home pages.

Telstra also deployed AI to crack down on scammers, data and AI executive director Dayle Stevens said. “We block over nine million scam calls a month,” she said. “That volume cannot be done by humans.”

La Trobe University Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences School dean Wenny Rahayu said her department was researching ways to integrate AI throughout the university.

“We are looking at developing AI curriculums that can be integrated into multi-disciplinary areas, including healthcare, humanities and business,” she told AAP.

“This is an important step towards building AI talents in Australia.” Some acknowledged concerns around AI and its potential to cause job losses, although Ms Stevens said it could be used to augment existing jobs. “AI shouldn’t make anyone redundant but should enhance everyone’s role,” she said. Telstra’s customer service workers used AI to quickly find information and therefore boosting efficiency without sacrificing consumer trust, she said.

Source: AAP