ML4AU – A community driven approach to accelerate application of AI and ML for research
Komathy Padmanabhan1, Ms Mingfang Wu2, Jingbo Wang3, Titus Tang1, Tarun Bonu1, Nick Hamilton4
1Monash University, Clayton, Australia
2Australian Research Data Commons, Melbourne, Australia
4Research Computing Centre, The University Of Queensland
Machine learning is transforming science, from drug discovery to image analysis and robotics to social sciences. Alongside the growth of big data and advances in computing power, storage and advanced algorithms, machine learning is an essential tool that allows researchers to analyse and learn from these huge amounts of information.
While data and technology are growing and advancing, a survey by Monash university revealed that many researchers keen to apply machine learning are limited by a lack of skills and expertise to effectively leverage the advancements in machine learning. Others find that applying machine-learning is not as easy as they need it to be in the technology environment they use.
To address these challenges, Monash University, The University of Queensland and QCIF have partnered with Australian Research Data Commons through the Environments to Accelerate Machine Learning-Based Discovery initiative. This aims to simplify access to high performance computing services, train researchers on ML tools and libraries, and build a community of practice around Machine Learning.
As part of the initiative, ML4AU, the Machine Learning Community of Practice for Australia, was launched in 2020 to unify the collaborative network of researchers, ML practitioners and eResearch groups interested in ML capabilities and expertise. This BoF brings together people from various communities within ML4AU (trainers, practitioners, researchers and infrastructure providers) to discuss various challenges that the communities face, steps taken so far to address some of these, and approaches to address other open problems faced by the communities.
Komathy leads the Data Science, AI and Sensitive Research Data Platforms at the Monash Technology Research Platforms. Komathy is passionate about building capabilities to enable application of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to research across various domains, with specific interests around sensitive research data. In partnership with Australian Research Data Commons, Komathy established and facilities ML4AU, the national Machine Learning community of practice for applied AI/ML in research.