Australia


Do new technologies take ethics out of healthcare?

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As such, even though these technologies bring huge potential and opportunities, they still need to be closely monitored. The University of New South Wales Research Ethics and Compliance Support Director Dr Ted Rohr told HITNA that issues around ethics arise when healthcare access data from medical records for research, for example. "Ethics is all about deciding whether the use of technology is appropriate and is used for public good. For example, AI has its positives, but it can be misused. So, having an ethical framework allows the proper use of medical databases for research and experiments with patients using devices," he said.


AI can help HR professionals in Australia create a better LMS - Tech Wire Asia

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BUSINESSES in Australia such as law and accounting firms, technology companies, and medical facilities are staffed with professionals certified by government bodies. In order to ensure these professionals stay up-to-date and relevant, the governing bodies often require that they receive training on an ongoing basis. CPA Australia and the Lawyers Society of South Australia, for example, require members undergo 20 and 10 hours of CPD training per year and offer seminars and sessions to help meet that requirement. However, practically speaking, the training on offer might not be directly relevant to the businesses or jobs that these professionals are performing on a daily basis. For example, CPA Australia might offer a seminar on understanding wealth management in the accounting context.


Google must be broken up to save news media, says Rupert Murdoch's News Corp

The Independent

Google must be broken up to end its "overwhelming" market power and safeguard the world's news media, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp has said. The news organisation's Australian arm demanded an enforced breakup of Google, which dominates online search and advertising businesses. In an 80-page submission to the Australian government, News Corp, which has itself faced allegations of monopolistic behaviour, said Google's search engine and third-party advertising platform should be separated to allow publishers to compete for ad revenues. We'll tell you what's true. You can form your own view.


Data61 launches new robotics research centre

ZDNet

Data61, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's (CSIRO) technology arm, on Tuesday launched a new centre dedicated to the research and development (R&D) of robotics and autonomous systems. The 600 square metre facility, called the Robotics Innovation Centre, is based in Pullenvale, Queensland. It lays claim to the Southern Hemisphere's largest motion-capture device -- used to validate data collected by robotics systems -- as well as a 13x5-metre pool for testing underwater robots; engineering laboratories; rapid prototyping machines; indoor and outdoor testing areas; field-deployable UAVs and UGVs; legged robots; high-accuracy robot manipulators; and sensor and telemetry systems. The research centre will be used to develop robotics systems that can interact safely with humans in both indoor and outdoor environments, according to Data61 Robotics and Autonomous Systems group leader Fred Pauling. One robotics project already under way at the centre is a trial of technology that rapidly maps, navigates, and searches underground environments.


How a companion robot can help children with chronic illness

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Technological advancements in the medical field are vital to improving the way patients receive care. In many cases, there is a need for more resources to be directed towards patient care. But the current reality for many patients, especially children with chronic illnesses, is that medical professionals and families are often forced to carry a heavy load in caring for them. To address this need within the healthcare sector, there has been an uptick in the size of Australia's medtech startup community, with the NSW government expecting the industry to create 28,000 jobs and add AU$18 billion in gross domestic product to Australia by 2025. Among the medtech startups in Australia is ikkiworks, which developed a companion robot that helps soothe and monitor the vital signs of children with chronic illness while they are away from the hospital.


Government agrees that Australia's NDIS needs a chatbot

ZDNet

Australia's National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be getting a chatbot, after the Joint Standing Committee on the NDIS flagged that having such technology in place would reduce the frequency of calls and improve "interactive problem solving". Following the committee's report on the NDIS ICT Systems [PDF], the federal government on Thursday agreed to implement all six IT-related recommendations. "While the NDIS is designed to assist people with disability to achieve their goals while exercising choice and control, it is acknowledged a number of challenges relating to ICT remains and requires ongoing work," the government wrote in its response [PDF]. Specifically, the joint committee asked that the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) co-design, with end-users, a "fit-for-purpose chatbot for the website and portals". "The committee believes that the absence of a systems-based tool, which would integrate NDIS business processes, policies, and guidance to staff via a central repository is contributing to the current inability of [the NDIS Contact Centre], NDIA, and LAC staff to provide consistent and clear information to prospective and existing participants and service providers," it said.


NASA, Cisco, and Woodside look to network edge on the moon

ZDNet

Energy company Woodside is partnering with NASA and Cisco to trial network edge and robotics technologies that can be used to operate machinery in remote and harsh environments. Western Australia-based oil and gas extractor Woodside provides 6 percent of all global LNG supply. Operating two floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facilities, it awarded Cisco after a competitive tendering process with the contract to provide it with collaboration tools and networking between Woodside's on-land offices and offshore facilities. Webex provides the company with the capability to have video-call meetings with "no delay" no matter which facility workers are located at, Woodside CTO Shaun Gregory said -- but the customer relationship has gone beyond the norm and into the experimental. "A lot of our facilities are hundreds of kilometres offshore in hostile areas," Gregory explained during Cisco Live 2019 in Melbourne.


How do we make artificial intelligence more humane?

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Too often we're told that if Australia is to compete globally in developing AI products, Australian researchers and companies must not be fettered by human rights concerns, because other countries certainly aren't. China, for example, is investing heavily in AI technology such as facial recognition to support its "social credit score" system, which involves conducting precise and determinative surveillance of its citizens. In the context of a global AI arms race, it is argued, Australia can't compete with one arm tied behind its back.


Curtin University and Cisco unveil centre for intent-based networking

ZDNet

Curtin University and Cisco have announced the Global Centre for Intent Based Networking, which will be located at the university's campus in Perth. The two said it is an extension of their existing partnership, building on their IoT innovation centre launched in 2015 in Western Australia. The new centre is also part of Cisco's Country Impact Plan for Australia, and leverages Curtin's artificial intelligence research partnership with Optus that was announced in August last year. Curtin vice chancellor professor Deborah Terry said the centre will make the university a "testbed for new networking technologies". "We will be a living laboratory for the network," she said at Cisco Live 2019 in Melbourne on Wednesday.


NSW government stumps up AU$15m for Sydney Quantum Academy

ZDNet

The New South Wales government has announced funding a new initiative aimed at getting university students engaged with quantum computing. The AU$15.4 million Sydney Quantum Academy (SQA) initiative will see the University of Sydney (USyd), University of New South Wales (UNSW), Macquarie University, and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) encourage students to work with each other and train across the four universities. It is expected the funding will also be used to link students to industry through internships and research; support the development of quantum technology startup businesses; and promote Sydney as a quantum computing hub. The NSW government funding, combined with current university and future industry support, sees the total investment in the SQA pinned at around AU$35 million. "Our new investment will secure a pipeline of highly skilled quantum engineers, software experts and technicians to build and program these incredible machines as the technology becomes reality," Deputy Premier John Barilaro said.