Professor Thomas said the global research project would help ensure machine learning and decision-making technologies were used responsibly, ethically and inclusively.
“From artificial intelligence to the blockchain and big data, automated systems are changing our everyday life,” he said.
“New systems offer enormous benefits in many areas but they also pose substantial risks to our privacy and security, and to our welfare as citizens and consumers.
“We urgently need a much deeper understanding of the potential risks of the new technologies, and the best strategies for mitigating these risks.
“Working with international partners and industry, the research will help Australians gain the full benefits of these new technologies, from better mobility, to improving our responses to humanitarian emergencies.”
Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Vice-President, Professor Calum Drummond, said the centre would possess many unique elements, putting Australia at the forefront of research in a rapidly evolving and highly topical area.
“At RMIT we work closely with industry and other partners to tackle complex economic, social and environmental issues,” he said.
“We are proud to be a part of such an internationally significant research centre focused on improving people’s lives in a time of constant change.
“The research will formulate world-leading policy and practice, inform public debate, and train researchers and practitioners in this new field.”
Researchers from RMIT will collaborate with experts at seven other Australian universities and 22 academic and industry partner organisations from Australia, Europe, Asia and America.
Together they will provide an additional $39.3 million in cash and in-kind support, including access to top national and international facilities, systems and research expertise.