Chief scientist talks about AI, machine learning

During a visit to Adelaide last week, chief scientist of Australia Dr Cathy Foley very kindly agreed to join a taped panel discussion at the Royal Institution of Australia about some of her favourite science topics – AI and machine learning, and quantum computing.

Hosted by Adelaide journalist and broadcaster Tory Shepherd, a regular contributor to, the panel included Foley, Dr Johan Verjans and Dr Vikram Sharma.

Verjans is a medical specialist who combines clinical and research work. He’s deputy director, Medical Machine Learning, at the Australian Institute for Machine Learning, a senior lecturer at the University of Adelaide and a consultant cardiologist at Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Sharma is a quantum physicist and the founder and CEO of Canberra-based QuintessenceLabs, which is a world leader in the quantum cybersecurity industry. 

Foley is a physicist and Australia’s ninth chief scientist; her three-year term began in January 2021. Before that she had a long and distinguished career at CSIRO, where she was appointed chief scientist in August 2018 – only the second woman in that role.

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