Managing AI risks and reducing methane from cows - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Accessibility links

USC News

Managing AI risks and reducing methane from cows

5 Dec 2019

Research projects at USC to tackle two major global threats – climate change and unchecked artificial intelligence – have been boosted by nearly $1million in Australian Research Council Discovery Project funding.

Professor Paul Salmon was awarded $460,522 over three years to lead the delivery of a framework for the management of safe artificial intelligence (AI) systems and Associate Professor Scott Cummins was awarded $425,766 to determine the key genes in seaweed that help reduce methane emissions by livestock.

Professor Salmon said that while AI offered far-reaching benefits, it also still posed a threat to society if not properly managed.

“It is widely acknowledged that a failure to implement appropriate controls for the next generation of artificial intelligence (AI) could have catastrophic consequences including, in the worst case, the extinction of the human race,” he said.

“Our research aims to forecast the risks associated with Artificial General Intelligence systems and identify the controls require to ensure that risks and existential threats are minimised.

“We plan to use that information to provide designers, organisations, regulators and governments with a framework to support the design, implementation and management of safe and efficient AGI systems.”

Dr Cummins is seeking genomic information in order to harness the full potential of seaweed as a natural additive to livestock feed to reduce the methane they emit by burping.

“Novel climate solutions are crucial, as agriculture is responsible for 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” Dr Cummins said.

“Our project aims to understand the molecular components that produce bioactive natural products in a seaweed that, when fed to cattle and sheep, cuts out methane emissions.

“We will apply genomic techniques to determine the key genes involved and the ecological factors that influence their expression across the seaweed lifecycle.”

USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Roland De Marco congratulated the researchers on gaining funding from a highly competitive national field.

“Their success is testament to the excellence of the researchers involved and signals that USC’s work in these fields is at the leading edge of international research,” Professor De Marco said.

Related articles

New research centre to harness strengths across cultures
6 Jul

Australians may be facing restrictions on travel, but the opportunity to learn from all cultures is already on our doorstep, say the leaders of a new research group at USC Australia.

Researchers study drivers’ responses to suspension of random breath testing
23 Jun

Road safety researchers at USC Australia are keen to find out how driver behaviours changed during a temporary suspension of static roadside random breath testing (RBT) by the Queensland Police Service during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Graduate Steele Ford working with seaweed at Bribie Island
D’Aguilar graduate studies science of seaweed
9 Jun

With his arms deep in a tub of locally-grown seaweed at the Bribie Island Research Centre, Steele Ford’s job is as hands-on as his recently-completed USC Bachelor of Environmental Science.

Contact the USC media team

Name Position Email Phone
Terry Walsh Manager, Media and Messaging twalsh@usc.edu.au +61 7 5430 1160
Janelle Kirkland Media Relations Coordinator jkirklan@usc.edu.au +61 7 5459 4553
Clare McKay Media Relations Officer (Regional) cmckay@usc.edu.au +61 7 5456 5669

Search results for

Recent news