'Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making' Initiative

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The Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making Initiative (the Initiative) is now accepting applications.

The Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making Initiative (the Initiative) is a collaborative project between the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) and the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group, to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) expertise and capability in areas of significant importance to the Australian defence and national security community.

Individuals are invited to apply their skill and expertise to solve one of 23 AI and ML research and development related challenges.

Successful applicants will be provided with three-month funding of up to $20,000 per project and could also have the opportunity to be part of a national network focused on developing AI and ML technology. There is also the opportunity for project prototypes to be considered for progression through the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC), or defence and university sectors. 

The Initiative is being delivered on a national basis through the Defence Science Centre, Defence Science Institute, Defence Innovation Network and Defence Innovation Partnership.

 The Challenge topics are:

  1. Facial Recognition Bias Profiling 
  2. Facial Verification Explainability Measures 
  3. Deceitful/Persuasive Writing Detection
  4. Distribution-Aware Generalisation for Imbalanced Learning
  5. Human Factors in Explainable AI 
  6. Input Feature Obfuscation
  7. Low-bias Age Prediction
  8. Ensembling Single-Class Classifiers
  9. Scoping the shopping Race
  10. Understanding the Limits and Biases of AI using Connect-4
  11. Regret based strategies in a search market
  12. Newcombe’s Dilemma
  13. Holiday planning by AI
  14. Document Corpus Analysis
  15. Dynamic decision-making AI for penetration testing
  16. Graph-based analysis of network traffic for Cyber applications
  17. Machine learned models from simulation data
  18. Using Machine Learning for Game and Player Analytics
  19. Uncertainty and Deception in Multi-agent OpenAI Gym Environments
  20. Automated glossary generation for effective and efficient information extraction from text data
  21. Classification of subtle activities
  22. RTS Game Disruptor
  23. Deep Reasoning Reinforcement Learning for Cognitive Information Warfare
For more information on each topic, click here

Project Requirements

Funded projects will demonstrate prototype solutions, in the form of a software tool or related product that demonstrates the solution(s) to the chosen Challenge.

Applicants must also provide project reports that detail the approach to the Challenge and an overview of the solution, to enable assessment of project performance.

The maximum funding amount is $20,000 per project.

The length of projects must be three months.

The intent of the Initiative is to fund individuals to undertake separate projects, however small team-based proposals may be considered, subject to available funding. Funding for a team-based proposal is restricted to the same arrangements for an individual.

Individuals may submit applications to as many Challenges as they wish, however only one project will be funded per applicant, and each project must be discrete and stand alone from others.

A licence to use the intellectual property developed as part of project must be provided to the grant sponsor via IP Licence Deed. This licence will be for Commonwealth Use purposes only.

Applications will be assessed by a Panel.

Conditions of Funding

The Initiative is only open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who reside in Australia. Proof of citizenship or permanent residency status must be provided if requested.

Funds can be used for direct costs associated with the project, including salary and salary on-costs.

Due to the small funding amount and desire to support capability the funds cannot be used for the recovery of indirect overheads.

Only personnel listed on the application can be involved in the project or supported by the funds.

Eligibility

Applications will be accepted from small teams or individuals who meet eligibility requirements.

The Initiative is open to Australian citizens or permanent residents who reside in Australia who are:

  • Currently employed by an Australian-based company, university or research organisation; or
  • Currently self or unemployed; or
  • Currently enrolled at an Australian university in an undergraduate or post-graduate degree.

Currently employed or enrolled applicants should apply via their institution, while those who are self or unemployed should apply as individuals.

There may be a requirement for identification, police and other background checks prior to the commencement of the project.

Project Outcomes and Deliverables

The aim of the Initiative is to fund short pilots to identify and propose novel, prototype and nascent solutions and approaches to the designated Challenges.

Specific deliverables will be discussed with successful applications.

Criteria

The following criteria will be used to assess proposals:

  1. Relevance and alignment to the research problem – 40%
  2. Novelty, quality and feasibility of the approach -  40%
  3. Expertise in relevant technical field – 10%
  4. Absence of prior engagement with the national security, defence and intelligence community – 10%

Intellectual Property

Ownership of intellectual property developed using the grant funds will be retained by the successful applicants. All successful applicants will be required to grant a licence to the Commonwealth to use project intellectual property for Commonwealth purposes via an IP Licence Deed.

Submitting your Application

Applications will only be accepted via the Initiative’s Application Form

Contract arrangements

This program brings together funding sourced from multiple Commonwealth agencies and is administered on a state basis. Recipients will be required to enter into an agreement with their local defence science facilitation network as listed below. This means a variety of agreements will be used for successful applicants, dependent on their location, the original source of funds and the organisational nature of the applicant. Core principles and requirements are common across the agreements.

Applicant Location

Facilitation Network

 

Victoria

Defence Science Institute (DSI)

 

NSW

Defence Innovation Network (DIN)

 

South Australia

Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)

 

Western Australia

Defence Science Centre (DSC)

 

Tasmania

Defence Science Institute (DSI)

 

ACT

Defence Innovation Network (DIN)

 

Northern Territory

Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)

 

Queensland

Defence Science Institute (DSI)

 

Opening and Closing Timeframes

The Initiative will have a continuous assessment process, with only outstanding applications funded. 

Applications will be accepted from 8 June 2020, closing 26 June 2020 or when funds are exhausted, whichever date comes sooner. It is recommended to apply early.

It is expected up to 100 projects could be funded.

Getting Help

Refer to our Frequently Asked Questions. [Jump to FAQs]

If you require other assistance or guidance to complete the application form please email ai@defencescienceinstitute.com. We will respond to your email within two working days.


FAQs

What is the Artificial Intelligence for Decision Making Initiative (the Initiative)?

The Initiative is a national endeavour from the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group and the Office of National Intelligence (ONI) in collaboration with the Defence AI Centre (DAIC) to fund up to 100 pilot project proposals that will contribute to critically important Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technology.

The Initiative’s call for proposals is “challenge based”, with respondents expected to propose pilot projects that address one of 23 Challenges.

Who can submit project proposals?

Project proposals are sought from individuals who are interested in solving AI and ML related challenges. The Initiative is only open to Australian citizens and permanent residents who reside in Australia.

Can proposals be undertaken by more than one person?

The intent of the Initiative is to fund individuals to undertake separate projects. However, small team-based proposals may be considered, subject to available funding. Funding for a team-based proposal is restricted to the same arrangements for an individual.

Will I need to undergo any security check?

There may be a requirement for identification, police, and other background checks prior to the commencement of the project.

What is the goal of the Initiative?

The aim of this Initiative is to enhance national capability in AI. It will provide opportunities for Australians to advance critically important research and development and benefit defence and national security decision making.

The Initiative also aims to foster a national network focused on developing AI and ML technology. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to become part of the national network, or may also have their project prototypes progressed through the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC), or defence and university sectors.

What is the expected outcome of each project?

A software tool or related product that demonstrates the solution(s) to the chosen Challenge. A short report must accompany the tool/product that details the approach to the Challenge and an overview of the solution.

Are there any limits on the number of submissions I can make?

No. Individuals can submit as many proposals as they want. However, an individual will only be able to undertake one project.

Is there a format for project proposals?

Yes—applications will only be accepted through the Initiative’s Application Form

How many Challenges are there?

There will be 23 AI Challenges, which can be found here.

Will all Challenges be funded?

All Challenges are of equal weight and it is anticipated that projects will be funded against all Challenges. However, the final selection of projects will depend on the number and quality of the proposals. Funding for all Challenges is not guaranteed.

How much money is available for each project?

Individual projects are valued at $20k each.

What is the length of selected projects?

3 months.

How many projects are you expecting to fund?

Up to 100 projects will be funded.

When will the projects be conducted?

Project run dates will be dependent upon the date of project selection. Successful applicants will be advised of their project run dates.

What are the opening and closing times for applications?

Applications will be accepted from 8 June 2020, closing 26 June 2020 or when funds are exhausted - whichever comes sooner.

Applications will be assessed on a continuous basis from the date of receipt of application, so it is recommended to apply early.

How will projects be administered?

The Initiative is administered on a state basis.  Successful applicants will be required to enter into an agreement with their local defence science facilitation network as listed below.  This means a variety of agreements will be used for successful applicants, dependent on their location, the original source of funds and the organisational nature of the applicant. Core principles and requirements are common across the agreements.

 

Applicant Location

Facilitation Network

 

Victoria

Defence Science Institute (DSI)

 

NSW

Defence Innovation Network (DIN)

 

South Australia

Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)

 

Western Australia

Defence Science Centre (DSC)

 

Tasmania

Defence Science Institute (DSI)

 

ACT

Defence Innovation Network (DIN)

 

Northern Territory

Defence Innovation Partnership (DIP)

 

Queensland

Defence Science Institute (DSI)

 


What options exist for follow on projects?

Successful applicants may have their project prototypes progressed through the Defence Artificial Intelligence Centre (DAIC), or defence and university sectors. The details on this process will be provided to successful applicants.

What terms and conditions are governing the project funding from this EOI?

Successful applicants will be required to enter into an agreement with their local defence science facilitation network as listed above.  This means a variety of agreements will be used for successful applicants, dependent on their location, the original source of funds and the type of applicant. Core principles and requirements are common across the agreements.

All successful applicants must sign a Commonwealth Intellectual Licence Deed.

Will there be any co-investment (in-kind) required for the projects?

No.

Will there be any co-investment (in-kind) support from Defence?

No.  Proposals involving requests for access to Defence information and personnel (including DST Group) are unlikely to be funded. The Challenges are stand-alone with respondents expected to source background information, data and context.

What assistance is available for preparing the proposal?

For advice on project suitability, applicants in the first instance should refer to the eligibility requirements, or contact their local defence science facilitation network as listed above.

What prior research or background information can applicants draw upon for the project proposal?

Researchers must ensure that they do not inappropriately use third party intellectual property as part of research conducted in response to this call. Plagiarism checks may be conducted to confirm the originality of the work.

Who will own the intellectual property from the projects?

Ownership of intellectual property developed using the Initiative funding will be retained by the creator.  All successful applicants will be required to grant a licence to the Commonwealth to use project intellectual property for Commonwealth purposes via an Intellectual Property Licence Deed

Does this call involve classified research?

No. As this call is intended to facilitate AI research in an environment of increased need for work to be undertaken remotely, all work must be unclassified.

Will I be able to publish results from the research?

Publication is possible but it must be approved by the Commonwealth first.

What criteria are being used to assess proposals?

Please refer to 'Criteria' section above for assessment criteria. 

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