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Where do humans fit into AI?

Humans and AI

AI is so hot right now, but where do humans fit in? Here are some super inspiring stories in which humans + AI = big wins

From helping farmers improve crops, to protecting threatened species and marine life, AI is the new tech tool STEM workers are turning to.

It’s easy to think of AI as robotic and perhaps a little cold, but in the right hands it can turn humans into super heroes!

AI is even being used to help protect workers from being exploited; check out Adriana Bora’s profile on page 25 to learn how.

All the new collabs between AI and humans are creating new careers. Here are just a few projects to spark your imagination about a career in AI & robotics.…

#1 Saving dolphins

Professor Mamoun Alazab

Floating in the ocean in Australia’s Gulf of Carpentaria are some pretty nasty fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost or discarded.

Researchers call them ‘ghost nets’ and every year they kill hundreds of marine species including turtles, dugongs and dolphins. But finding them in the 10,953 km of Northern Territory coastline is tough. AI + humans to the rescue…

Charles Darwin University AI expert Professor Mamoun Alazab is collaborating with drone experts to tap all the images captured by unmanned drone aircraft to help local sea rangers locate and retrieve ghost nets. 

#2 Helping us be healthy

Xin Zhang and Associate Professor Zongyuan Ge

Do you have a smartwatch or Fitbit? Imagine if a Band-Aid could be just as useful! 

AI + humans to the rescue…

Monash University researchers are using nanotechnology and AI to monitor things like breathing and heart rates with a small, ultra-thin skin patch.

Associate Professor Zongyuan Ge says the next step is to program and personalise the sensors using even more sophisticated algorithms so they can be tailored to individuals. Totally wired but without the wires!

#3 Protecting endangered cockatoos

Daniella Teixeira

Did you know that researchers, using sensors all over Australia, have recorded more than 17 million hours of raw audio? Some of that audio includes bird sounds, but imagine trying to isolate the call of one bird in that giant haystack of data! AI + humans to the rescue… 

Scientists at QUT, including computer science Professor Paul Roe and ecologist Dr Daniella Teixeira have collaborated with Google on an AI solution that isolates the specific sound of the threatened Glossy Black Cockatoo. Armed with more information on where the cockatoos are or where they might be becoming less vocal, they can get on with the work needed to protect them.

They’re also looking to use the same AI tool to identify other threatened species like Koalas, as well as species we want less of, like cane toads, Asian house geckos and Indian Myna birds. 

Start your career here

Technology + AI & Robotics + Study

Technology + AI & Robotics + Jobs

  • Automation engineer: $57K–$120K
  • Machine learning engineer: $57K–$130K
  • Scientific researcher: $58K–$125K
  • Software engineer: $57K–$118K

Salaries according to payscale.com

This story first appeared in Careers with STEM: Technology 2023.


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