Pegasus Looks to the Future with AI and an Innovation Connections Grant

As we seek more opportunities to enhance the experience of our software users, Pegasus has taken an important step, securing a federal grant to develop the artificial intelligence (AI) capability in our platforms.

The Innovation Connections Grant will enable two Pegasus software developers - Arash Jalalian and Joshua Compton - to partner with the University of Newcastle’s Stephan Chalup and Ali Bakhshi, developing and optimising a series of unique AI algorithms for the world-leading Pegasus Verification Engine.

The grant enables Pegasus to improve the speed of our document and competency verification service, creating a better experience for the users and ensuring our leadership in a competitive international market.

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Pictured, left to right: Stephan Chalup, Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, University of Newcastle; Adam Boyle, CEO, Pegasus; Jake Mullins, CTO, Pegasus; Arash Jalalian, Software Engineer, Pegasus; Ali Bakhshi, PhD Student, University of Newcastle.

AI in a Competency Management Space

In the Pegasus platform, our Verification Engine provides the certainty clients are looking for when their workforce pre-qualifies to work on their sites and projects.

This service is at the core of everything Pegasus does. Much more than a database of documents, all information provided and uploaded to our systems is verified by our safety specialists. So why not speed that process up – take away some simpler, manual processes from our teams, and improve the speed of service for our users?

Pegasus CEO Adam Boyle and CTO Jake Mullins had just that in mind when they started researching third party AI providers to help verify the large, multi-page documents our users upload in the Pegasus platform.

“The use of AI in the corporate world is not a new concept,” said Arash, Pegasus Software Developer and Project Researcher. “But it was clear that what Pegasus needs for our complex verification requirements simply didn’t exist yet.”

And so, Pegasus has leveraged this federal grant to build on an established partnership with the University of Newcastle, and to do what our team does best – develop our own tech where none exists yet.

For this AI project, our dev team started with the most common document provided by a worker: their driver’s licence.

Ultimately, a user will be able to upload a photo of their driver’s licence into the Pegasus platform and have it verified within seconds as a ‘global competency’ – which means their profile is updated for all Pegasus clients they work for.

Drivers’ licences are just the beginning – as the team work on the project, the AI will ‘learn’ to read and verify more and more documents, and safe, qualified workers will be deployed to Pegasus client sites and projects faster.

A Partnership with the University of Newcastle

Having completed his PhD in AI at the University of Newcastle, conversations Arash had with one of his supervisors, Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computing, Stephan Chalup, lead to this research partnership, alongside Ali Bakhshi who is completing his PhD in Machine Learning.

The grant strengthens our existing relationship with the University as we partner with Stephan and Ali and utilise their world-class machine learning infrastructure. University of Newcastle students will also benefit.

“As this relationship grows, Pegasus will continue to support students as they complete their studies, providing a potential local career pathway,” said Jake.

“Further work-integrated learning partnerships with the University will both foster local talent and strengthen the tech expertise in Newcastle and the Hunter, something Stephan has long envisioned.”

This project also allows Arash to continue exploring the capabilities of AI and how it can improve business activities and client outcomes.

“AI has always been my passion,” he said.

The project is supported by the Innovation Connections Programme as part of the Australian Government's Entrepreneurs' Programme, in partnership with Pegasus.

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