Australia Government


Porn, public transport and other dubious justifications for using facial recognition software

The Guardian

Then it was your phone. Now governments in Australia want you to use facial verification to access government services, take public transport and even for your private viewing. Last month the joint standing committee on intelligence and security told the government it needed to rethink its plans for a national facial verification database built off people's passport and driver's licence photos. It said there weren't strong enough safeguards for citizens' privacy and security built into the legislation. Despite the concerns, Australian governments and agencies have come up with some creative reasons to justify the use of facial recognition and sell it to the public.


Cases challenging mobile phone detection cameras could clog NSW courts, MPs warn

The Guardian

New South Wales courts could be flooded with tens of thousands of cases every year if the NSW government moves ahead with plans to roll out cameras that use artificial intelligence to detect drivers using their mobile phones, a parliamentary committee has warned. The state parliament is considering legislation that would allow mobile phone detection cameras to be placed around NSW to capture drivers using their mobile phones while behind the wheel. The government estimates that there were at least 158 casualties on NSW roads between 2012 and 2018 involving mobile phones. Under the plan, two cameras are used at each location, with one at an angle to capture people with phones to their ears, and a second placed to capture people using their phones in their laps. Every car passing through thelocation is snapped, and Transport for NSW says it then deploys artificial intelligence to determine which drivers were using their mobiles.


Businesses ready to test AI ethics principles Ministers for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

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Some of the biggest businesses in Australia will trial a series of eight principles around artificial intelligence, developed as part of the Morrison Government's AI Ethics Framework. NAB, Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, Microsoft and Flamingo AI have signed up to test the principles to ensure they deliver practical benefits and translate into real world solutions. Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said AI is a powerful technology that can create jobs, boost the economy and improve our quality of life and is an important part of the Government's economic plan. "The Morrison Government is determined to create an environment where AI helps the economy and everyday Australians to thrive. The eight AI ethics principles are just one part of this vision," Minister Andrews said.


Using Ai to search and save

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Plan Jericho has introduced Ai-Search – an artificial intelligence (Ai) prototype – to transform airborne search and rescue. The prototype came about after Air Commodore Darren Goldie challenged Jericho to find a way of using a detector on an aircraft to enhance search and rescue (SAR). Plan Jericho's Ai lead Wing Commander Michael Gan said Jericho saw the opportunity to use Ai to augment and enhance SAR. "The idea was to train a machine-learning algorithm and Ai sensors to complement existing visual search techniques. Our vision was to give any aircraft and other Defence platforms, including unmanned aerial systems, a low-cost, improvised SAR capability," Wing Commander Gan said.


ASIO turning to AI to avoid missing things ZDNet

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The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has a problem, it collects too much data and might miss something. "That's the problem we are dealing with right now, given the threats are at the unprecedented level," recently installed Director-General of Security Mike Burgess said during his 38th day on the job. "There is the potential to miss something, the application of data analytics helps us to reduce the possibility of that being an event." ASIO is currently undertaking an enterprise-wide transformation that it believes will place it "at the forefront of agencies" using artificial intelligence and machine learning, according to its recent annual report. Providing an update on the project, Burgess said the organisation has so far put a new operating structure and model in place, as well as other foundational work subject to further government approvals.


Assessing Regulatory Risk in Personal Financial Advice Documents: a Pilot Study

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Assessing regulatory compliance of personal financial advice is currently a complex manual process. In Australia, only 5%- 15% of advice documents are audited annually and 75% of these are found to be non-compliant(ASI 2018b). This paper describes a pilot with an Australian government regulation agency where Artificial Intelligence (AI) models based on techniques such natural language processing (NLP), machine learning and deep learning were developed to methodically characterise the regulatory risk status of personal financial advice documents. The solution provides traffic light rating of advice documents for various risk factors enabling comprehensive coverage of documents in the review and allowing rapid identification of documents that are at high risk of non-compliance with government regulations. This pilot serves as a case study of public-private partnership in developing AI systems for government and public sector.


South Australia launches autonomous vehicle trial

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The South Australian Government had recently launched a free autonomous vehicle trial that will deliver a first and last mile service between the Playford Alive Township and the Munno Para Train Station. As reported, the autonomous electric bus will run approximately every half hour on weekdays and will carry passengers from the Munno Para Railway Station to the Playford Alive Township, including stops at Mark Oliphant College and the Stretton Centre. The free autonomous shuttle bus service will include a morning and afternoon service window, with passengers collected from designated pick up points on the route. The Munno Para service is phase two of the Playford Connect autonomous bus trial. It follows phase one, which provided a free park and ride service from the Lionsgate Carpark through to the Lyell McEwin Hospital in Elizabeth Vale from October 2018 to June 2019.


NSW suggests facial recognition could replace Opal cards in 'not too distant future'

The Guardian

Facial recognition could be used to replace swipe cards on public transport, the New South Wales government has suggested, but the opposition and digital rights groups say it would pose a risk to privacy. The transport minister, Andrew Constance, said on Tuesday he wanted commuters "in the not too distant future" to be able to board trains using only their faces, with no need for Opal cards, barriers or turnstiles. "I'm about to outline some concepts which may seem pretty crazy and far-fetched," he told the Sydney Institute on Tuesday. "But look at it this way – who would have thought in 1970 that you'd be able to use a handheld device to have a video conversation with someone on the other side of the world? "I want people to not think about their travel.


AI Toolkit - Data driven business

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We have prepared this AI toolkit in collaboration with our colleagues at Linklaters. It is based on our shared experience of advising clients on these issues and deploying AI tools in our own business. It draws upon the expertise of lawyers from our technology, privacy, intellectual property, competition, employment and financial services regulatory groups. The toolkit uses Australian law as its reference point but draws on experiences from the EU and the insights apply equally in other jurisdictions. However, it does not consider autonomous vehicles or robotics, which raise their own regulatory and commercial issues.


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.