Australia


Using Machine Learning to Drive Retention

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Halfbrick Studios is a professional game development studio based in Brisbane, Australia. Founded in 2001, Halfbrick has developed many popular games, including Fruit Ninja, Jetpack Joyride, and Dan the Man. When Halfbrick first learned about Firebase Predictions, they were excited about targeting users based on predicted behavior, rather than historic. Re-engagement is tough, so intervening before a user churned - based on predictions instead of ad hoc heuristics - seemed like a strong strategy. They had been trying to create their own churn prediction models, but like many companies, didn't have the time or resources to properly devote to the problem.


We don't see AI opportunity

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If a picture tells a thousand words, these are the two jostling foremost in a patient's mind when a radiologist scans their body for a better image of that suspicious lump or mass. But there is so much more a picture can tell us about cancer, particularly if we consider the possibilities of artificial intelligence. In 2017, US scientists announced they had developed an algorithm, or a computerised tool, to identify skin cancers through analysis of photographs. The algorithm scans a photo of a patch of skin to look for common forms of skin cancer, performing on par with board-certified dermatologists in identifying malignant melanomas (the third most common cancer in Australia) and keratinocyte carcinoma. This technology might enable skin cancer detection in country clinics and suburban GPs' offices at the highest accuracy available.


PAN: Path Integral Based Convolution for Deep Graph Neural Networks

arXiv.org Machine Learning

Convolution operations designed for graph-structured data usually utilize the graph Laplacian, which can be seen as message passing between the adjacent neighbors through a generic random walk. In this paper, we propose PAN, a new graph convolution framework that involves every path linking the message sender and receiver with learnable weights depending on the path length, which corresponds to the maximal entropy random walk. PAN generalizes the graph Laplacian to a new transition matrix we call \emph{maximal entropy transition} (MET) matrix derived from a path integral formalism. Most previous graph convolutional network architectures can be adapted to our framework, and many variations and derivatives based on the path integral idea can be developed. Experimental results show that the path integral based graph neural networks have great learnability and fast convergence rate, and achieve state-of-the-art performance on benchmark tasks.


How Downer is using sensors to predict Sydney Trains maintenance

ZDNet

Australian giant Downer has a 30-year contract with the New South Wales government to manage and maintain its fleet of 78 Waratah trains that operate in the greater Sydney metro area. With 2041 not approaching any time soon, the company recognised a perfect opportunity to maximise technology to make the most of its data and plan for proactive, rather than reactive, maintenance of Sydney's trains. In December 2016, the NSW government ordered 24 Waratah Series 2 trains under its Sydney Growth Trains Project and in February 2019, announced the decision to order 17 more trains. The new trains are touted as providing passengers with improved safety and comfort, fitted with air-con, more CCTV cameras, and improved accessibility. Downer general manager of Digital Technology and Innovation Mike Ayling said his company saw this as the perfect opportunity to leverage additional sensor data from the fleet.


Wing Officially Launches Australian Drone Delivery Service

IEEE Spectrum Robotics Channel

Alphabet's subsidiary Wing announced this week that it has officially launched a commercial drone delivery service "to a limited set of eligible homes in the suburbs of Crace, Palmerston and Franklin," which are just north of Canberra, in Australia. Wing's drones are able to drop a variety of small products, including coffee, food, and pharmacy items, shuttling them from local stores to customers' backyards within minutes. We've been skeptical about whether this kind of drone delivery makes sense for a long, long time, and while this is certainly a major milestone for Wing, I'm still not totally convinced that the use-cases that Wing is pushing here are going to be sustainable long term. I've still got a bunch of questions about these things. For example, does the drone have any kind of in-flight sense and avoid?


Google's drone delivery service just got approved for public use in Australia

Mashable

Drone deliveries have been the subject of many a flashy promo video over the years, but until now, they haven't been available for everyone to use whenever they want. That's still the case in most of the world, but one part of Australia just won the ability to get things delivered through the air. Limited drone deliveries courtesy of Wing are now available in Australia's capital city of Canberra, the drone service announced on Monday. Wing is part of Alphabet, making it one of Google's corporate siblings. At first, Wing drone deliveries will only be available in three suburbs: Palmerston, Franklin and Crace.


3D facial analysis could help identify children with rare conditions

New Scientist

Children with rare conditions could be diagnosed quicker thanks to 3D facial analysis software. Richard Palmer at Curtin University in Western Australia and his colleagues have developed a tool that can spot subtle, but important, differences in facial geometry. Around one in three rare and genetic diseases show up in facial features.


Data science, ethics, and the 'massive scumbags' problem ZDNet

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One of Australia's leading venture capital advisers had asked me that question back when the first dotcom bubble was about to burst, in the year 2000 or 2001. Here's how it's related to artificial intelligence, how it works and why it matters. I was involved with a startup, and we were meeting to discuss what the business plan needed to look like. The basic requirement, we were told, was a growth chart that went up and to the right at an acceptable rate. Investors needed to see that they'd get the return they'd expect.


CSIRO promotes ethical use of AI in Australia's future guidelines

ZDNet

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has highlighted a need for development of artificial intelligence (AI) in Australia to be wrapped with a sufficient framework to ensure nothing is set onto citizens without appropriate ethical consideration. The organisation has published a discussion paper [PDF], Artificial Intelligence: Australia's Ethics Framework, on the key issues raised by large-scale AI, seeking answers to a handful of questions that are expected to inform the government's approach to AI ethics in Australia. Highlighted by CSIRO are eight core principles that will guide the framework: That it generates net-benefits, does no harm, complies with regulatory and legal requirements, appropriately considers privacy, boasts fairness, is transparent and easily explained, contains provisions for contesting a decision made by a machine, and that there is an accountability trail. "Australia's colloquial motto is a'fair go' for all. Ensuring fairness across the many different groups in Australian society will be challenging, but this cuts right to the heart of ethical AI," CSIRO wrote.


Australia hopes to kick start space industry with new strategy

ZDNet

The federal government has published its plan to transform and grow Australia's space industry over the next 10 years, starting with forging international partnerships and developing roadmaps for areas highlighted as priority for launching the local scene. The Advancing Space: Australian Civil Space Strategy 2019-2028 [PDF] is built on four so-called Strategic Space Pillars: Open the door internationally; develop national capability in areas of competitive advantage; ensure safety and national interest are addressed; and inspire and improve the lives of all Australians. The overarching plan is to triple the size of Australia's space sector and grow an additional 20,000 jobs by 2030. Activities under the pillars will be guided by the seven National Civil Space Priorities that build on Australia's areas of strength, the strategy explained. The priority areas are: Position, navigation, and timing (PNT); earth observation; communications technologies and services; space situational awareness and debris monitoring; research and development (R&D); robotics and automation on Earth and in space; and access to space.