Leaders appointed, hiring underway at Google’s first Australian research hub

Google has begun hiring a team of Australian researchers for its new Sydney research hub, which aims to advance AI and use it to tackle important challenges for Australians and people around the world and partner with the local research community.

The new hub – Google Research Australia – is the first Google research facility in Australia and a key part of Google’s Digital Future Initiative – a $1 billion investment in local research, infrastructure and partnerships.

Dr Grace Chung, one of Google’s most experienced Australian engineers and research scientists, and Professor Peter Bartlett, an award-winning research scientist have been appointed to lead Google Research Australia.

Google is also working to recruit top researchers from across Australia, cultivate emerging talent coming out of leading universities and attract home some of the nation’s leading researchers who’ve left to pursue careers overseas.

“I’m thrilled to take on this opportunity and am looking forward to building a diverse team and finding ways for AI to make new breakthroughs in a range of fields,” said Dr Grace Chung.

“Australia has a long history of producing world-leading talent in technology, particularly in engineering. But opportunities in research have often been limited because of geographical location and competition from overseas.

“We’re looking for researchers who want to tackle key scientific and engineering questions that can benefit our users and humanity, in ways we cannot imagine today. We have a number of roles open right now,” Dr Chung added.

“I’m excited to join this team and really looking forward to the challenge of growing Google’s first research lab in Australia and seeing it become an important part of Australia’s research ecosystem,” Professor Bartlett said.

“We’ve got plans for a diverse range of research directions in AI and machine learning, with the ambitious goal of enabling intelligent systems that are more effective and that we can rely on.

That’s really important as these systems have the potential for a huge positive impact on our lives and on our world. It’s a timely opportunity to make the most of Australian talent in that enterprise. Having grown up and studied in Australia myself, I’m particularly excited to be returning.”

Award-winning ANU professor Steve Blackburn has also joined the team as a research scientist. “The creation of Google Research Australia is an important milestone in the long and rich history of computer science in Australia,” Professor Blackburn said. “I’m excited about the contribution this will make to research in Australia and how it will help attract and retain the world’s best talent. I particularly look forward to working side by side with universities to help the Australian computer science research ecosystem flourish.”

“Australians have been responsible for some of technology’s biggest innovations – from Cochlear implants to wi-fi, and even Google Maps which started right here in Sydney. And we are looking forward to playing our part in helping the next wave of innovation,” Dr Chung said.


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