"Drone delivery is a sexy thing to talk about, but it's not realistic to think we're going to see drones flying all over the sky dropping pizzas into everyone's backyards anytime soon," said Ido Levanon, the managing director of Dragontail Systems Ltd., the technology firm coordinating Pizza Hut's drone trial. Pizza chains and tech startups have spent years sketching visions of food descending from the sky instead of being yanked from the back of a moped or car. Drones would zip above road traffic, widen restaurants' delivery areas and cost less than human drivers. In 2016, a Domino's Pizza Inc. franchisee flew a drone over Whangaparaoa, New Zealand, and deposited two pizzas--peri-peri chicken and chicken and cranberry--into the backyard of Emma and Johnny Norman. Get weekly insights into the ways companies optimize data, technology and design to drive success with their customers and employees.
One of the biggest lessons Australia and New Zealand business leaders can take from the past 12 months is that a climate of uncertainty is now the new normal. The shift in customer behaviour brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with rapid information technology changes, has already presented significant challenges. As a result, many organisations have had to bring forward their digital transformation plans and complete projects in weeks or months rather than years. During 2021, CIOs will have to work throughout their organisations and apply digital technologies and data to unlock new business opportunities. They must also work to promote a growth mindset that will help to unlock fresh innovation and agility. Adopting such a growth mindset will require CIOs and IT teams to embrace six key trends during the coming 12 months.
She thinks they're too complicated and loud to be any fun, which is fair. Yet when I took her to free-roaming virtual reality venue Zero Latency she was immediately immersed in mowing down enemies, shouting in a mix of amazed joy and confused panic. He was right in front of me! Go away you sickos!" It seems that if you want to make someone understand the fun of video games, basically putting them inside one is a pretty good place to start. Launched in Melbourne, Australia in 2015, Zero Latency lets you strap on a headset and backpack, grab a gun controller, and physically explore a virtual world with up to seven friends.
United States-based IT services provider Cognizant has announced its intentions to wholly acquire Servian, an Australian consultancy firm specialising in "transformation" services, specifically across data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), digital services, experience design, and cloud. The multinational said the acquisition will help bolster the company's presence in Australia and New Zealand, with a focus on data and AI, digital engineering, cloud, and Internet of Things (IoT). Cognizant employs around 1,200 people in Australia, covering clients such as banks, insurers, retailers, and communications companies. Servian, meanwhile, has 500 technology and consulting staff in the region. "Cognizant's extensive digital expertise combined with Servian's strengths … will open up the full power of digital transformation for our Australasian clients. We look forward to welcoming Servian's talented digital-native professionals to Cognizant," Cognizant Australia and New Zealand CEO Jane Livesey said in a statement.
But there is no doubt that the pandemic has hastened the adoption of emerging digital technologies, ushered in a new era of remote and flexible working arrangements, increased organisations' reliance on digital infrastructure and exposed our tech-related strengths and weaknesses alike. Leaving 2020 in the rear-view mirror, we count down our top 10 predictions for 2021 and beyond in the domain of Digital Law in Australia. Despite an existing principles-based framework for the protection of privacy under the Privacy Act, in recent years the Federal Government has preferred to introduce parallel privacy requirements, such as the 13 Privacy Safeguards under the Consumer Data Right legislation and the privacy aspects of the upcoming Data Availability and Transparency Act for Government agencies. These nascent regimes are similar enough to the existing privacy regime to encourage complacency and different enough to give any compliance function a headache. Overlapping and often sectorial regulation adds to the increasing complexity of privacy law in Australia.
An inquiry into growing Australia's agriculture sector to AU$100 billion by 2030 has highlighted that digital technology will be key to driving growth in Australia's agriculture. The inquiry, conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources and chaired by Liberal MP Rick Wilson, estimated that digital agriculture could add AU$20 billion to the value of the sector. "A boost of this size would, by itself, cover the projected shortfall required to reach the AU$100 billion by 2030 target," the Growing Australia report [PDF] said. The inquiry was launched last September to investigate whether the National Farmers' Federation's goal to grow the country's agriculture sector to AU$100 billion by 2030 would be attainable. Read: CSIRO using artificial intelligence to map 1.7m Australian grain paddocks In releasing the findings, Wilson described the target as ambitious but achievable.
Leading researchers discussed which requirements AI algorithms must meet to fight bias in healthcare during the'Artificial Intelligence and Implications for Health Equity: Will AI Improve Equity or Increase Disparities?' session which was held on 1 December. The speakers were: Ziad Obermeyer, associate professor of health policy and management at the Berkeley School of Public Health, CA; Luke Oakden-Rayner, director of medical imaging research at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Australia; Constance Lehman, professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School, director of breast imaging, and co-director of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital; and Regina Barzilay, professor in the department of electrical engineering and computer science and member of the Computer Science and AI Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The discussion was moderated by Judy Wawira Gichoya, assistant professor in the Department of Radiology at Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta. Artificial intelligence (AI) may unintentionally intensify inequities that already exist in modern healthcare and understanding those biases may help defeat them. Social determinants partly cause poor healthcare outcomes and it is crucial to raise awareness about inequity in access to healthcare, as Prof Sam Shah, founder and director of Faculty of Future Health in London, explained in a keynote during the HIMSS & Health 2.0 European Digital event.
"As a TPA [third-party administrator], our primary obligation to the insurance industry is to serve our clients," she said. "Technology is playing a key role here, in terms of employees and external stakeholders being able to stay connected and function cohesively despite being geographically separated, and this is something we continue to invest in. "Over the past couple of years, we have really seen how technological advancements have been improving the claims journey for our customers. Insurers are embracing next-generation capabilities such as artificial intelligence, advanced analytics and automation to understand the needs of the customer." Read more: Are cloud-based technologies and AI the future for insurance? Williams' emphasis on delivering a positive customer experience is reflected by the broader culture at GB. The company was recently presented with an Excellence award at this year's Insurance Business Australia Awards, and it took "great pride in receiving this industry recognition," according to Williams, who ascribed GB's success during COVID-19 to its status as a value-driven organisation. "Values are the foundation of our workplace culture at GB, and in times of crisis being guided by them is really important to us," she noted. "We serve as an extension of our clients' team, brand and reputation, so understanding their values as well and what they view as strengths ensures that we deliver a service that reflects their expectations." "As a TPA, it's our mission to support and deliver exceptional value to our stakeholders during this challenging time.