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Oz AI gurus have chance to shine as QLD AI Labs launches first business challenge with Heritage Bank

Source: Heritage Bank

Artificial Intelligence (AI) gurus across regional Queensland are getting their chance to shine, thanks to a four-week problem solving challenge being launched this month by QLD AI Labs in partnership with Heritage Bank.

QLD AI Labs’ first-ever AI business challenge kicks off on 28 August, with Heritage Bank providing a real-world problem that enthusiasts have to try to solve.

Entry to the challenge is free, and QLD AI Labs is taking proactive steps to give people outside Brisbane the chance to take part, linking hubs in the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Toowoomba, Rockhampton and Townsville to create a single ecosystem of innovation that spans Queensland.

Usually, similar “hackathon” challenges are focussed on Brisbane, but this one will open up the stage for regional AI enthusiasts to take part.

The challenge concept is simple.

Heritage Bank has a real-world business problem that it faces, which will be unveiled on 28 August. Participants then have four weeks to solve the problem conceptually with help and advice from experienced mentors.

At the end of the four weeks, solutions are presented to a panel of Queensland entrepreneurs and Heritage Bank, to judge and take forward.

Thuy Lam, founder of QLD AI Labs, said the biggest downfall in start-ups and scale-ups was often that solutions and products were created looking for a problem to solve, and without validation they could quickly fail.

“The Labs’ concept reverses this, allowing a problem owner to find a solution provider. Hopefully through this process, we create the demand to build knowledge and understanding of this exciting area,” Mr Lam said “I am very honoured to launch this in conjunction with Hertitage, one of the most reputable regional banks in Australia. I encourage entrants from all walks of life, whether they are a student, individual entrepreneur, start-up, scale-up, established company, or even employers who want their employees to work on solving exciting problems.

“But quietly I’d like to see someone from Toowoomba or Regional Queensland take it out!” Mr Lam said. Heritage Bank CEO Peter Lock echoed those sentiments.

“Heritage Bank might have been around for more than 100 years, but that hasn’t stopped us from being at the leading edge of using technology like robotics software and artificial intelligence to improve the way we operate,” he said. “We’re delighted to partner with QLD AI Labs in setting this challenge, which we hope will encourage talented enthusiasts across the state to show us what they can achieve.

“As a regionally-based company ourselves, headquartered in Toowoomba we’re particularly pleased that the challenge is targeting people in regional areas who so often miss out on the chance to showcase their skills. “I can’t wait to see the amazing solutions that people will come up with.”

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