John Monash Scholars design a world-first graduate program
Applications are open for 2022
Professor Katherine Daniell from the Australian National University (ANU) is convening Australia’s first graduate program that focusses on ensuring the safety and sustainability of AI systems at scale. Katherine (2005 John Monash Scholar), in collaboration with Dr Amy McLennan (2009 John Monash Scholar), has been designing and prototyping the program since it first launched in 2019, teaching a new branch of engineering into existence to address the complex challenges of emerging technological systems.
Both currently based in the ANU School of Cybernetics in Canberra, Katherine and Amy have turned their focus to cybernetics, a critical and theoretical tool that prompts new ways of thinking about the role of technology in our lives now and in the future. While Katherine continues to spearhead the Masters program, Amy's team is now developing innovative cybernetics learning experiences that are different to traditional university courses and speak to new and diverse audiences in industry and community settings.
What is cybernetics?
Cybernetics was born as a response to the rapid growth of computing technology following World War II. Cybernetics is in essence a theory of communication and control in a system that includes humans, technology, the physical environment and the feedback loops that characterise their action. It is a way to imagine humans steering technical systems safely through the world, it is a smarter way to think about humans in the loop, and of ecology, people and technology as necessary pieces of any system: ANU School of Cybernetics.
Beyond this emergence in the English-speaking world, cybernetics has histories and evolutions that span the globe. A lot of Katherine’s research focusses on cybernetics as the art and science of effective action, which stems from her background in studying French cybernetic theory and engineering management practice as part of her John Monash Scholarship, where she attended the prestigious AgroParisTech for her PhD in France. She and her colleagues all bring different perspectives to a new concept of cybernetics that can provide diverse lenses and a range of tools to more effectively and collaboratively build the futures we want to live in.
What is the graduate program?
The Master of Applied Cybernetics is an experimental program where students can contribute to shaping a new type of practitioner to tackle the challenges of the 21st century. This is the flagship program of the School of Cybernetics with a strong focus on systems – on people, technology and environment – and will redefine the blueprint for research-led education into the future: ANU School of Cybernetics
Prof Katherine Daniell -"This will be the fourth prototype of the Master of Applied Cybernetics, which has the objective of training future intellectual leaders and practitioners in a new branch of engineering. Every one of our Masters cohorts are diverse and different, helping us to build an approach to taking AI-powered cyber-physical systems safely, responsibly and sustainably to scale. Our students have exciting opportunities to work with industry partners such as Google, Microsoft, KPMG and CSIRO to name a few. Like the John Monash Scholars family, the community is expanding and diversifying every year, and we can't wait to welcome a new collection of students into the ambitious program!"
If you, or someone you know, would like to join Katherine, Amy and the School of Cybernetics in exploring uncharted territory and have a hand at shaping the future, then this graduate program is for you!