In summary

  • Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute has granted seed funding to three new research projects

  • The projects will provide critical research in the areas of AI in circular consumption behaviour, critical care nursing and uncovering Wamba Wemba ancestral connections

Three Swinburne research projects have received seed funding from the Social Innovation Research Institute which helps support and co-create solutions to complex social problems.  

The role of generative AI in facilitating circular consumption behaviour  

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) could play an important role in encouraging sustainable consumption behaviour. Circular consumption is an important part of the broader concept of a circular economy, which aims to eliminate waste and the continual use of resources. Increasing circular consumption is critical, given the need to address environmental challenges, ensure resource sustainability and promote economic resilience in the face of climate triggered resource scarcity.  

Led by consumer behaviour expert, Dr Carla Ferraro, this project will explore the barriers, facilitators and the role of AI in enabling circular behaviours. Dr Ferraro stresses the importance of doing this through a consumer behaviour and social psychology lens.  

“One of the critical barriers to circular consumption is current consumer culture which centres on newness and disposability. Shifting consumer mindsets towards valuing longevity, repairability and sustainability is crucial, as is motivating them to consume in this way. We’re interested in what chatbots can do in forming these new habits.”  

Preparing for artificial intelligence in critical care nursing   

AI is gaining traction in Australian healthcare and will increasingly be incorporated into the nursing profession. In critical care units, AI is set to play a dominant role in decision-making based on its ability to predict things like length of stay, discharge readiness, readmission likelihood and mortality rates.  

However, AI also brings certain risks and challenges such as over – or under – reliance and distrust of AI systems. Managing these opportunities and risks will require training and education of critical care nurses. Such training will need to be tailored to current levels of use, knowledge and attitudes of nurses towards AI.   

A team of researchers from Swinburne are conducting research to help prepare nurses for the increasing use of AI in nursing practice.  

Lead researcher and social psychologist, Dr Julian Oldmeadow emphasises the importance of gaining insights into the impacts of AI in nursing practice and the attitudes of nurses towards it.   

“Ultimately, the study will help the nursing profession to manage the opportunities and risks associated with increasing use of AI and identify areas where further training of nurses could best be targeted.”   

Uncovering Wamba Wemba ancestral connections 

Another project, led by ⁠Professor Dean Lusher, will see Swinburne partner with Wamba Wemba Aboriginal Corporation on a study of written colonial records, as part of an exploration of Wamba Wemba ancestral connections.  

The project will use social network mapping technologies to visualise relationships for the community. Professor Lusher is an accomplished social network researcher and proud Wamba Wemba man. 

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