Monash researchers join AI global summit in Switzerland

Image credit: peshkova/

A worldwide summit pushing artificial intelligence (AI) to spur sustainable development will bring together researchers from Monash University with other AI pioneers, robotics specialists, and humanitarian leaders in Geneva, Switzerland, from 6 to 7 July, the university announced

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and 40 partner UN agencies are hosting the two-day AI for Good Global Summit to show how new technologies can help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in areas like tackling the climate crisis and enhancing humanitarian assistance. 

Professor Joanna Batstone, director of the Monash Data Futures Institute (MDFI), said the university’s specialists would assist to emphasise AI’s role in promoting health, climate, gender, inclusive prosperity, sustainable infrastructure, and other global development concerns.

“As the only Australian organisation and the only university presence at the summit we are keen to be an active part of the conversation to leverage AI research for global good,” Professor Batstone said. 

He added, “Generative AI is changing the way we live and it’s important for us to acknowledge and adjust accordingly but there is an enormous amount of study being undertaken to use AI for the benefit of humanity.”

Professor Batstone said their ongoing research uses data science in a variety of ways, such as estimating the worldwide wildfire smoke and associated health burden, analysing the influence of robotics in public areas, and researching big data to manage and propose solutions for ecosystem protection. 

“When understood and applied conscientiously, data science and AI has the potential to improve each and every aspect of the human experience,” the professor added. 

MDFI Research Director Associate Professor Andrea Collevecchio, Professor of AI, Technology, and the Law at the Faculty of Law Chris Marsden, design research expert Associate Professor Shanti Sumartojo, and human-centred computing expert Professor Jesper Kjeldskov from the Faculty of Information Technology are among the leading multidisciplinary researchers. 

Meanwhile, Professor Rebekah Brown, deputy vice-chancellor for research, welcomed the opportunity for Monash scientists to contribute to the global discourse on AI for Good.

“We are continuously committed to working with policymakers, institutions and industry collaborators in Australia and across the globe in alignment with the UN’s sustainable development goals,” Professor Brown said. 

She argued that people live at a time when AI is becoming inextricably linked to each of these fields, and at Monash, research to foster vibrant communities, promote geopolitical stability, and address climate change is engrained in the Australian culture.

For more information about Monash University’s contingent at the AI for Good summit and for MDFI’s flagship research projects, you may visit this link