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Monash Data Futures Institute

Using AI and data science for social good

Our leaders

  • Professor Jon Whittle
    Dean, Faculty of IT

    Professor Jon Whittle is the Dean of Monash IT, and a world-renowned expert in software engineering and human-computer interaction, with a particular interest in embedding human values in artificial intelligence. Professor Whittle has a long history in AI, including its application to space science at NASA.

  • Professor Jordan Nash
    Dean, Faculty of Science

    Professor Jordan Nash is the Dean of Monash Science. An experimental particle physicist for more than 25 years, Professor Nash also leads significant global scientific collaborations, including at CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research that operates the world’s largest physics laboratory).

AI and data science for social good

There’s clear potential for AI and data science to positively impact the world. But there are also risks that AI will exaggerate society’s existing biases, prejudices and inequities. At Monash Data Futures, we firmly believe that AI should be a force for social good. This philosophy underpins everything we do, from the projects we support to the way we interact with end-users and other stakeholders.

The Impact of Change - AI and data science

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AI and data science changing governance and policy

The rapid evolution of AI and data science means that governance and policy must also adapt quickly. By working across the humanities and social sciences, as well as STEM subjects, we’re pioneering principles for ensuring AI has a positive influence.

This, combined with our industry and research relationships, international reach, and ability to scale at the micro and macro levels, enables us to support governments, enterprises and communities in building better policy and governance practices.

From the future of teaching and the responsible integration of AI technologies into classrooms to support personalised, learner-driven education, to partnering with the Australian Federal Police on the use of AI in monitoring criminal activity on the dark web, Monash Data Futures is creating change that will be felt around the world.

  • Revenge porn skyrockets

    Coronavirus has meant more time at home, more time online and more image-based abuse.

  • Running the numbers game

    The real-time SCRUB project is tracking how groups of people around the world are behaving amid the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Are 'smart' solutions really that smart?

    Should the word apply to an application that’s difficult to use and doesn’t take human needs into account? 

  • The new transparency

    COVID-19 is showing us how our reliance on smartphones renders everyday life more visible – and ultimately more controllable.

  • Six reasons why AI will never rule in the classroom

    Technology is threatening the role of the highly trained teacher, but the lack of human connection means machines will never replace them.

  • Reframing our future technology fears

    Don’t worry, your self-driving car won’t kill you – as long as research focuses on people and society, too.

  • Monash and Federal Police launch lab to tackle abhorrent material

    Monash University and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) have joined forces to launch Artificial Intelligence for Law Enforcement and Community Safety (AiLECS) Lab, an initiative designed to help officers scan through thousands of confronting images and files faster with lower levels of emotional distress.

AI and data science changing health sciences

Monash has a long history of excellence in the health sciences, with our research breakthroughs changing millions of lives for the better.

With the application of AI and data science, we’re shaping the future of health in Australia and around the world.

From partnering with Google to establish the world’s first suicide monitoring system using AI-coded ambulance data, to exploring artificial consciousness as a key to healthy brain functioning, Monash Data Futures is tackling critical problems in our community health and healthcare systems to deliver better outcomes for all.

AI and data science changing sustainable development

We’re harnessing AI and data science to deliver practical solutions at scale and with immediacy to current and future global challenges.

We’re using AI to model the behaviour of bees to optimise greenhouses for sustainable crop production, and informing legal policy and practice regarding the use of AI face-swapping technology to create fake pornography as a form of gendered image-based abuse.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are an essential part of Monash’s identity and the critical work that we do. Through Monash Data Futures, we’re using AI and data science as an accelerant for achieving these goals through direct and responsible action.

  • Chip, chip, hooray

    A new "optical micro-comb" chip can squeeze three times the traffic of the entire NBN through a single optical fibre.

  • Australia's first high-resolution vegetation map

    Monash University researchers have developed Australia’s first high-resolution vegetation map to help Victoria manage bushfires and floods.

  • Faking it, for real

    The popularity of face-swapping software has resulted in the disturbing trend of 'deep fakes' that can be used for nefarious purposes.

  • AI fighting social injustice - Monash Tech Talks

    Moderated by Professor Jon Whittle with world-renowned AI experts Professor Milind Tambe and Professor Ann Nicholson, this eye-opening panel discussion explores how AI is helping to fight social injustices such as terrorism, child exploitation and more.

Core technologies

Monash Data Futures Institute is underpinned by the University’s network of world-class research infrastructure, including the new dedicated Data Science and AI Platform .

The Data Science and AI Platform provides a core university capability designed to aggregate the data science and AI technical resources. In conjunction with the Institute, the platform facilitates access to expert support within the university and makes them centrally accessible to the research, education and industry partners.

Collectively, we form a powerful catalyst of profound data-driven change, accelerating and translating discoveries into world changing solutions.


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