Genevieve Bell recognised on Australia Day honours list

Leader of ANU’s 3A Institute, Intel Senior Fellow recognised for service to education

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The head of the 3A Institute (3Ai) at the Australian National University  (ANU), Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell, has been named an Officer of the Order of Australia (AC).

Bell was recognised for “distinguished service to education, particularly to the social sciences and cultural anthropology”.

Prior to joining ANU, Bell was Intel’s in-house cultural anthropologist. While at the chip-maker she founded its user experience group. In 2008 she was announced as an Intel Fellow for her work in the company’s digital home group. In 2016 she was appointed Senior Fellow by Intel.

ANU in 2017 announced that Bell would lead its new 3A Institute (‘Autonomy, Agency and Assurance’), which takes a cross-disciplinary approach to examining artificial intelligence.

“It isn’t just about engineering and computer science, it’s also about anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, philosophy, public policy and many other disciplines – you have got to put it all together to get to the best answers possible,” ANU vice-chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said at the time.

“Professor Bell’s extraordinary experience and depth of knowledge in this area will ensure Australia remains prepared to meet the big social, cultural and political questions around our technological future.”

Earlier this month Bell was announced as the inaugural Engelbart Distinguished Fellow by SRI International, named after computer pioneer Doug Engelbart.

SRI International said that the two-year fellowship recognises “visionaries who are disrupting the traditional way we interact with and view technology”.

“Doug Engelbart is one of the founders of modern personal computing and had a profound impact on all our lives,” Bell said.

“Doug invented the tools that helped drive one of the greatest, if not the greatest, technological revolutions the world has ever seen. It is a privilege to win this fellowship. But working in this area also brings important responsibilities – and ones I don’t take lightly and which this fellowship will help meet.”

“Our world is becoming ever more intertwined and driven by the power of AI. It is permeating everything; not just computers, but cars, buildings, services and streetlights,” Bell said.

“So it is vital that we develop the skills and knowledge for this world. So it is vital that we develop the skills and knowledge for this world. But it’s not just about building new technology. We have to think carefully about its impact. We shouldn’t just ask can we do it; we need to ask should we do it and how can we do it in a way that benefits everyone.”

Genevieve Bell Supplied by SRI International

Genevieve Bell

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