Siemens and Swinburne partner for net zero

Friday, 17 November, 2023

Siemens and Swinburne partner for net zero

Siemens Australia and Swinburne University of Technology have collaborated in a cross-country project designed to explore the role of AI in achieving net zero.

The project is expected to enable utility providers, regulators, local governments and businesses to incorporate ethical principles into AI governance for a seamless transition to net zero. Outcomes will include comprehensive guidelines for responsible AI adoption and will foster ethical practices within the energy industry, while helping accelerate the adoption of renewable energy for achieving net zero targets.

The project is led by Swinburne and funded by the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade under the Australia-India Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership (AICCTP), titled Responsible AI for Net Zero — An Australia and India Collaborative Approach towards Practice, Governance and Ethics in Energy Futures.

Peter Halliday, Siemens Australia and New Zealand CEO, said, “We’re at a pivotal moment of time where AI is impacting every aspect of our lives. Net zero is a tremendous target and we need to consider how we embrace AI to accelerate the changes needed across industry, infrastructure and energy sectors to meet challenging climate targets. Innovation through digitalisation is the key to addressing all these challenges, especially if Australia aims to reduce global emissions beyond the 1% we’re responsible for.”

Partnerships with industry, government and academia have allowed Siemens to grow in Australia over the last 150 years.

“While we are developing the AI-driven tools within advanced energy systems, it becomes paramount to ensure the responsible and ethical use of data and the cutting-edge algorithms in our future systems. This project showcases how we collaborate with other leading institutions and industries, to ensure we provide smarter and safer energy systems for our communities,” said Associate Professor Mehdi Seyedmahmoudian, Director of the Siemens Swinburne Energy Transition Hub.

The project focuses on three key pillars:

  1. Establishing current ethical principles for AI adoption in the energy sector.
  2. Identifying key ethical issues shaping the use of AI in the development of smart energy systems for achieving net zero.
  3. Recommending comprehensive guidelines for translating ethical principles into AI energy governance.

Other collaborators on the project include Indian Institute of Technology Palakkad (IIT Palakkad), Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) and Maxbyte Technologies Singapore.

Professor Prem Prahash Jayaraman, Director of Swinburne’s Factory of the Future and Digital Innovation Lab, said AI could be key in delivering net zero. This project is important as it brings together industries, government and university to tackle the challenge of using AI responsibly.

Siemens’ AI history spans more than three decades. It has recently worked with Victorian company Automation Innovation to use AI and robotics to come up with a solution for the glass bottling industry. The innovation has the potential to reduce raw materials usage by about 700,000 tonnes of annually.

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