February 29, 2024

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CSIRO Unlocking the Power of AI

Image Credits: CSIRO, Press Release

CSIRO is a renowned institution at the forefront of harnessing the transformative power of artificial intelligence (AI) across diverse scientific domains. As a pivotal player in the realm of research, CSIRO has played a central role in exploring and responsibly integrating AI into its scientific endeavours.

One of the standout applications of AI by CSIRO has been in addressing the inherent biological limitations that often hinder scientific exploration. Notably, the human eye’s limited capability to discern objects smaller than approximately 0.2mm has posed considerable challenges in scientific research.

In response to this persistent limitation, CSIRO is developing cutting-edge AI models that excel in quantifying and identifying objects of interest with unparalleled accuracy. These advancements underscore CSIRO’s unwavering commitment to leveraging AI for the sake of scientific discovery.

Within the sphere of agriculture, CSIRO has actively collaborated with industry experts to create AI models specifically designed to quantify the number of trichomes on the surface of cotton leaves. Trichome density plays a pivotal role in influencing insect resistance, fibre yield, and the overall value of cotton varieties. Through meticulous research and development efforts, CSIRO has not only succeeded in automating the assessment of trichome density but has also introduced novel AI-augmented scoring methods that significantly enhance the reliability and accuracy of this assessment.

An example of this innovation is the HairNet2 model. It represents a quantum leap in the automated assessment of trichome density. Rather than merely replicating human assessments, HairNet2 introduces a groundbreaking AI-augmented scoring approach. This approach focuses on estimating the area of the leaf-covered by trichomes by meticulously identifying every trichome on the leaf’s surface. While this task is not entirely insurmountable for a human, it is incredibly labour-intensive and time-consuming. HairNet2’s development process involved training the model using a database of around 1000 images, each annotated meticulously by human experts to identify every single trichome.

This arduous annotation process paved the way for the creation of an AI tool that can not only replicate human assessments but, more importantly, automate trichome density scoring beyond human capabilities. As a testament to its practicality, these newly developed models are now in the process of being integrated into a web interface accessible to breeders, offering them a streamlined and precise tool to assess trichome density during the forthcoming cotton season.

In the realm of environmental science, CSIRO has extended its AI applications to address the complex challenge of identifying harmful algal blooms. These blooms consist of large populations of toxic algae, posing significant risks to both human and animal health. Identifying and quantifying these harmful algal blooms traditionally involved extensive manual labour with the use of microscopes and counting chambers.

This approach, in addition to being labour-intensive, carries the risk of adverse health effects for scientists who spend extended periods at the microscope. In recognition of these challenges, CSIRO embarked on a mission to harness the capabilities of machine learning models to automate the detection of harmful algae in images.

To achieve this, CSIRO’s team has systematically captured images and annotated various algae strains from the Australian National Algae Culture Collection. This painstaking effort is supported by a range of AI tools aimed at expediting the annotation process.

The collaborative endeavour has resulted in the creation of a substantial annotated dataset comprising 15 different algae strains. Early testing of AI models utilising this dataset has showcased a remarkable ability to detect target strains with a high degree of accuracy. The implications of this development are profound, as it promises faster and more accurate detection of toxic algae, with far-reaching economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Improved and expedited harmful algae detection through AI can serve as an early warning system for water managers, offering insights into when and where blooms might occur. The implications ripple across multiple sectors, including environmental protection, coastal community well-being, consumer safety, and the sustainability of Australian fisheries and aquaculture businesses. The fusion of AI and environmental science has the potential to yield far-reaching benefits for both ecosystems and communities.

Moreover, CSIRO recognises that the potential of AI extends beyond the boundaries of research and scientific exploration. Many organisations across various industries are currently grappling with the possibilities and challenges that AI brings. CSIRO emphasises that the entry barrier for implementing AI for object detection has significantly lowered over the years, making it accessible to organisations with modest datasets. Dr Moshiur Farazi, an expert in computer vision, underlines the importance of asking the right questions and preparing data effectively to unlock the full potential of AI in addressing complex challenges.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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