Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Network

Founders' Introduction

November 2018, by Nick Lothian and Yolanda Sam | Collaboration | Partnerships | Community

In early 2018, the roots of what would become the AICN started to form. The initial discussions revolved around the innovative and fascinating work being done in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), here in Australia. It wasn’t long until we came across a fundamental problem. As with many pioneering industries we were often working in isolation. We weren’t connecting. We weren’t sharing. We were a distributed network often working in parallel on what should be shared problems.

In July 2018, we officially founded the Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Network. The broad goal was to bring the diverse stakeholders across the AI ecosystem together. As a collaborative we will share our stories, grow our local talent and most importantly keep growing and strengthening the network for all of us.

Members of AICN involved in the successful launch event, September 2018. From left to right: Katherine Enderling, Emily Hackett-Jones, Thomas Rowntree, Yolanda Sam, Nick Lothian, Mark McDonnell, Dennis Liu

We facilitate the growth of the AI ecosystem by:

    1. Promoting the work and profiles of leading Australian AI practitioners and collaborators
    2. Providing advocacy and support for AI practitioners
    3. Building AI capability
    4. Creating awareness and discussion of AI in the wider community
    5. Championing diversity and inclusion in the field of AI

What we do:

Inclusive Communities

Through events, meetups and online platforms we are building:

    • A community of practice - An environment for those working with AI to come together and share, discuss and develop their craft with fellow practitioners.
    • A community of interest - A forum for anyone in the wider community, who is interested in AI and economic, financial, legal, public policy, moral and ethical impacts; and how it will affect the way we live and work.

Education and Awareness

    • We are partnering with the AI community to develop a bootcamp for people who are interested in developing skills in AI and Machine Learning. Register your interest to receive updates.
    • We are creating awareness of AI by facilitating broad discussion on real applications and impacts. This will help people gain a better understanding of what is possible, how to evaluate AI, and how it will affect the way we live and work.

Partnerships and Opportunities for Collaboration

    • We bring together and connect practitioners, people in industry, government, service providers and investors to collaborate and solve real problems with AI and machine learning.

4 months on, we have hosted a sell-out launch event in Adelaide and a growing active community on the Slack platform. With the support of industry and government partners, we are gearing up for another high quality #AICollaborative event on December 6th, which will be opened by Hon David Pisoni, the Minister for Industry and Skills in SA.

This month, we're very excited to introduce the #AICollaborative Blog and Network Newsletter!

Naturally, we've taken a Collaborative approach. Our newsletter will include:

- Interviews with members of the local AI and Machine Learning community.

- Highlights from the #AICollaborative Blog - guest contributions from AI practitioners providing simple explanations about their work and experts in other fields discussing AI implications in law, ethics, economics and more!

- Interesting news in the world of AI.

- Information on #AICollaborative initiatives, programs and events.

Whether you are an actual practitioner or just curious about AI, there will be something for you!

We hope you enjoy it. And, of course, let us know what you think!


We are looking for contributors - contact us at if you'd like to

- Contribute to the AICN Blog or Newsletter

- Be a speaker or panelist at #AICollaborative Network Events

- Volunteer with AICN

Nick Lothian

Yolanda Sam

Nick and Yolanda co-founded the Artificial Intelligence Collaborative Network in July 2018.