IP Australia is looking to blockchain to provide a solution to supply chain weaknesses, starting with baby formula. The government entity that falls under the responsibility of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is soon moving into export trials of the solution with a Canberra-based small goods exporter, following a successful proof of concept with local blockchain firm Agile Digital and secure cloud provider Vault Systems. Blockchain has the potential to rewrite the economy and change the balance of power across industries. It also has specific uses for the enterprise. IP Australia administers intellectual property rights and legislation relating to patents, trademarks, registered designs, and plant breeder's rights in Australia.
Rob Bollard, CIO at IP Australia, the government's intellectual property department, is proud to say that he heads up Australia's first fully digital service delivery agency. In just the space of four years, IP Australia has gone from receiving just 12% of its IP applications online – the rest coming through on paper – to now receiving 99.6% through digital channels. Not only his, but Bollard is overseeing the decommissioning of old systems, a move to the cloud, has implemented agile working, created a DevOps environment that focuses on continuous delivery, ensures systems are designed with the user in mind, and is even deploying AI technologies to improve experiences for employees and citizens. I got the chance to sit down with Bollard at Pega's annual user event in Las Vegas this week, as IP Australia has implemented the Pega platform as its case management system. Our vision is really to become a world-class IP office and to try to support the prosperity of Australians in the system.
Innovation by Australians is on the rise both locally and abroad, according to the latest details provided by the Australian Intellectual Property Report 2016. The annual report by IP Australia has revealed Australian businesses are increasingly protecting their inventions, brands, and designs. In 2015, patent applications grew by 10 percent; trademarks saw the best growth in a decade, increasing by 14 percent; and design applications peaked totalling 7,024 applications, a 6 percent increase from the 5 percent dip in 2014. More specifically, IP Australia said it received 28,605 standard patent applications in 2015, of which 92 percent were made up of filings by non-residents and the remaining 8 percent were patent filings by Australian residents. Patent filings by non-residents and Australian residents increased by 10 percent and 16 percent respectively during 2015.
With consumer expectations increasing, the use of artificial intelligence, machine learning and chatbots in banking is also increasing. Banks and credit unions worldwide are testing new applications and deploying new solutions to improve the overall digital customer experience. Subscribe to The Financial Brand via email for FREE!More and more banking organizations are leveraging artificial intelligence to launch chatbot solutions, reducing costs and serving increasingly tech-savvy consumers. In many instances, chatbots are developed to facilitate two-way communication, replacing channels such as phone, email or text. The objective is to provide quick service and transactional support.
Australia's Department of Human Services (DHS) CIO Charles McHardie believes the future of routine citizen service delivery is interaction via virtual assistants, mostly on smartphones. McHardie told the Technology in Government conference in Canberra on Wednesday that he sees DHS becoming a "very virtual assistant-heavy department", with the "app" disappearing, and instead sees the citizen interacting directly with the artificial intelligence bot. "We think you will talk to our virtual assistant to be able to give us a change in circumstance, to be able to lodge a claim, to find out information about DHS, and you'll be able to do it in your own native tongue," he explained. "From a citizen perspective, we think AI and virtual assistants will allow us to, moving forward, provide a dynamic and very tailored experience for the citizen." After implementing its first virtual assistant in 2016, the department now has "many", according to McHardie.