This scholarship has been established to provide financial assistance to a PhD student to undertake research funded by an ARC Grant headed by Buhui Qiu within the University of Sydney Business School. The project will develop an innovative machine-learning-based approach for measuring, monitoring and evaluating bank lending activities and risk disclosures to take advantage of the big data available. It will use multidimensional data to produce more relevant metrics for assessing bank risks and risk disclosure quality and apply them in regulatory policy evaluation. The project findings will significantly advance the knowledge on mitigating banking misconduct. They will also equip regulatory authorities with an efficient monitoring tool and an early-warning device to promote better lending and risk disclosure practices, and foster a more transparent and stable financial system to support financial intermediation in Australia and worldwide.
Off-the-shelf smart home devices such as robotic vacuum cleaners and smart lights can support the wellbeing and independence of older Australians, a new study undertaken by Monash University, Deakin University, and regional, rural, remote aged care provider McLean Care has uncovered. The research published in Smart Homes for Seniors [PDF] evaluated the benefits, opportunities, and challenges of incorporating smart home devices in the homes of older people living in regional communities. It involved running a trial between November 2019 and June 2020. McLean recruited 23 households from its existing client base in regional New South Wales communities in Inverell, Tamworth, and Gunnedah, who were each provided a range of commercially available off-the-shelf smart home devices from different vendors and diverse functionalities. These included Google Home devices, Aeotec smart lights, Kogan smart kettles, and Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners.
Seven years ago, headlines were sensational and alarmist after Oxford academics Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael Osborne estimated that 47% of American jobs were at high risk of automation. While we agree that the rise of automation and intelligent technologies such as robots, AI, and machine learning are radically reshaping work across the globe, the hype continues to cloud the discussion. Alarmists continue to say that half of all jobs will disappear; technologists can't wait for the robots to arrive; policymakers are nervous; and business leaders see opportunity everywhere. Automation will create real change in how we get things done. Business and government leaders at all levels must plan for the transformation of human work.
Drone company Swoop Aero, in partnership with Australian healthcare wholesaler Symbion and pharmacy retailer TerryWhite Chemmart, has announced plans to begin trialling the delivery of medication using drones. The trial, which remains subject to regulatory approval, will take place in the Queensland town of Goondiwindi. Swoop Aero's drone network will deliver medication within a 130-kilometre range of the town from the local TerryWhite Chemmart pharmacy to residents who typically have to travel up to three hours to reach the pharmacy. "The drone will fly in and out of a central point in Goondiwindi with the flight path fully automated and approved by CASA [Australia's aviation regulator], deliver the customers products, then return to base ready for its next job. After a little training, it is very easy to operate," Swoop Aero CEO Eric Peck said.
The Australian Department of Defence has released a new report on its findings for how to reduce the ethical risk of artificial intelligence projects, noting that cyber mitigation will be key to maintaining the trust and integrity of autonomous systems. The report was drafted following concerns from Defence that failure to adopt emerging technologies in a timely manner could result in military disadvantage, while premature adoption without sufficient research and analysis could result in inadvertent harms. "Significant work is required to ensure that introducing the technology does not result in adverse outcomes," Defence said in the report [PDF]. The report is the culmination of a workshop held two years ago, which saw organisations, including Defence, other Australian government agencies, the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre, universities, and companies from the defence industry come together to explore how to best develop ethical AI in a defence context. In the report, participants have jointly created five key considerations -- trust, responsibility, governance, law, traceability -- that they believe are essential during the development of any ethical AI project. When explaining these five considerations, workshop participants said all AI defence projects needed to have the ability to defend themselves from cyber attacks due to the growth of cyber capabilities globally.
SYDNEY-- Microsoft Corp. said the U.S. should copy Australia's controversial proposal that tech companies pay newspapers for content--putting it at odds with Alphabet Inc.'s Google and Facebook Inc. It isn't the first time Microsoft has stepped into feuds involving rivals--particularly in areas where they have an edge. Its Bing search engine lags behind Google in market share. Microsoft has urged governments to better regulate facial-recognition technology and last year sided with a videogame developer against Apple Inc. in a dispute about app-store fees. The Australian proposal, if enacted into law--it is now before a parliamentary committee--could prompt other countries to follow suit in a global transformation of the relationship between tech companies and traditional media.
The Northern Territory government, iMove Cooperative Research Centre, and Charles Darwin University (CDU) have announced plans to trial the use of drones for delivering healthcare services to remote communities across the state. The project, to be funded by all three parties, will initially investigate the logistical challenges of using drone technology to deliver health services in NT, including integrating drones into the current health transport infrastructure network, procuring airframes capable of withstanding the territory's wet and dry seasons, and developing drones with a maximum range of 250 kilometres. The investigative work will be carried out by a team at CDU, which is being led by associate professor Hamish Campbell. "The team at CDU will investigate the potential in using automated aircraft for the delivery of time-critical medical items to remote communities across the Northern Territory," CDU interim vice-chancellor and president Mike Wilson said. "Drones are already being used in healthcare in developing countries, however, we need to undertake research to understand where they can reduce costs and improve health care outcomes for remote communities in the Northern Territory."
If Australia's News Media Bargaining Code becomes law in its current form, Google has said it will have no other choice but to pull its search engine from the country. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his army of ministers have all touted the viability of Microsoft's Bing if Google follows through on its threat to exit, but the Australian Greens have asked for an investigation into a different solution. "Following threats from Google to withdraw services from Australia, the Greens have called on the Morrison Government to investigate the establishment of a publicly owned search engine," a statement from Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said. The media and communications spokesperson said Google's threat to shut down search services if they don't get the laws they want shows that the corporate giant has far too much power, not just over the market but across the community. "The government needs a plan for how Australians will continue to be able to access essential information online if Google Search were to be taken offline. We need an independent search engine that is run in the public interest not for the profit of a corporate giant," she said.