australia


Four lessons from PwC's digital transformation, workforce upskilling efforts ZDNet

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PwC has been undergoing a large digital transformation effort that includes upskilling its workforce to become more technology and analytics savvy. The benefits of those efforts are starting to bubble up. At a demo day in New York City, PwC outlined a bevy of uses for robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and analytics and how those tools could be incorporated in audits and other services the firm provides. "The goal is to free up a lot of time for auditors to do the human things that they need to do and democratize innovation," said Sherri Guidone, US Assurance Technology Leader at PwC. "Our people can solve unique problems and we've seen change in just a few years in understanding technology." PwC is spending $3 billion to invest in tools, training and technologies to advance its business.


Australia's Fires, Artificial Intelligence, Fentanyl: RAND Weekly Recap

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Massive bushfires have destroyed millions of acres in Australia over the past few months. RAND's Melissa Finucane, a community resilience expert who grew up in a remote region of New South Wales, has watched in anguish. Experiences from previous disasters have highlighted concrete steps that can help communities start to recover right away, she says. She also notes that rural Australians have "a special kind of resilience," with perspectives and wisdom from years of hard experience. But still, measuring the effects that fires and other disasters have on people's mental health, social, and economic needs remains a unique challenge.


GTCI: AI offers significant opportunities for emerging markets, but skills are scarce

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Will the proliferation of AI and machine learning reinforce the worldwide digital divide? It's one of the questions the Global Talent Competitiveness Index (GTCI) and Global Cities Talent Competitiveness Index (GCTCI) seek to answer by benchmarking the ability of countries and cities to compete for talent. An answer has historically proven elusive, but the 7th annual reports published by Insead, Adecco Group, and Google suggest it might instead provide "significant" opportunities despite the fact that AI skills are "scarce" and "unequally distributed" across nations. "AI is changing many facets of business and society and, if properly used and governed, has potential to foster sustainable development," said Katell Le Goulven, executive director of the Insead Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society. "The GTCI report argues that with multi-stakeholder cooperation the technology could help achieve some of the SDGs [the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals] such as those related to health (via personalized remote diagnosis and big data analysis to track and reduce endemic disease). But it also points to the imperative of closing the global digital skills gap to harness the potential of AI for good."


Feature-based time series analysis

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I used this example in my talk at useR!2019 in Toulouse, and it is also the basis of a vignette in the package, and a recent blog post by Mitchell O'Hara-Wild. The data set contains domestic tourist visitor nights in Australia, disaggregated by State, Region and Purpose. An example of a feature would be the autocorrelation function at lag 1 -- it is a numerical summary capturing some aspect of the time series. Autocorrelations at other lags are also features, as are the autocorrelations of the first differenced series, or the seasonally differenced series, etc. Values close to 1 indicate a highly seasonal time series, while values close to 0 indicate a time series with little seasonality.


Indian Ocean Dipole can be better predicted thru machine learning, say researchers

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Researchers in Japan and The Netherlands have, for the first time, used machine learning techniques, in particular artificial neural networks (ANNs), to predict the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD), a positive phase of which has affected weather and climate in India and Australia in a spectacular fashion so far in 2019-20. The IOD has both positive and negative phases, and signals large socio-economic impacts on many countries and hence predicting the IOD well in advance will benefit the affected societies, note authors JV Ratnam and Swadhin K Behera (Application Laboratory, Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, Yokohama) and HA Dijkstra (Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht, Utrecht University in The Netherlands) in a paper published by Nature. The IOD is a mode of climate variability observed in the Indian Ocean sea surface temperature anomalies with one pole in Sumatra (Indonesia) and the other near East Africa. Therefore, the IOD is represented by an index derived from the gradient between the western equatorial Indian Ocean and the south-eastern equatorial Indian Ocean. It starts sometime in May-June, peaks in September-October and ends in November (2019's rather strong positive phase of the IOD lasted into early January of 2020).


Hyundai's Genesis unveils GX80, a breakthrough BMW rival

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The Genesis GV80 luxury SUV has a lot riding on its broad shoulders. The BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE rival carries the future of Hyundai's fledgling luxury offshoot in Australia and beyond. Expected to arrive locally mid-year, it joins the new Genesis G70 and G80 sedan duo to fill an important void for Hyundai's luxury brand. Its bold exterior design cues, including a bluff grille, 22-inch wheels and split LED lights will appear on its more conservative four-door cousins in the near future. The interior brings a choice of five or seven seats in the South Korean home market, along with a whopping 14.5-inch digital display stacked with technology to rival Europe's best.


Intelligent system reads human emotions via AI

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A mechatronic engineering student from Australia's Curtin University had developed an intelligent system capable of reading people's emotions in real-time. This project offers potential benefits for national security as well as health authorities. According to a recent press release, three artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms were used to create the system. The algorithms are capable of assessing emotional reactions via the monitoring of real-time video footage. Final-year student, Mr. Jordan Vice, was invited to present his work to the First IEEE International Conference on Cognitive Machine Intelligence held in Los Angeles recently.


Sydney's machine learning sector gains global recognition - Association Meetings International

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Artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) systems are growing exponentially around the world and is estimated to generate AU$22.17 trillion to the global economy by 2030. The Australian Government's Artificial Intelligence Technology Roadmap, developed by Data61, identified Australia's need for up to 161,000 new specialist AI workers by 2030. Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, said: "NeurIPS 2021 will propel Australia's research and innovative discoveries to the forefront – bringing with it opportunities for trade and investment and talent attraction as well as helping to build Sydney's brand as an intellectual capital." Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, President of the NeurIPS Foundation, agreed that it was a "significant step" bringing the conference to Australia. It will be the first time NeurIPS is held in the Asia-Pacific region, and only the third time it has been held outside North America.


Who is Sundar Pichai and what does Alphabet do?

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Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, has been put in charge of its parent company Alphabet, after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced they were stepping down. The 47-year-old said the pair had set up a "strong foundation" on which he would "continue to build". Pichai's life story is remarkable, and his rise to the top of Google is an endorsement of India's standing in the global technology industry - and equally, a reassuring reminder of the so-called "American Dream". Pichai was born and schooled in Chennai, India. He captained his school's cricket team, leading it to win regional competitions.


Who is Sundar Pichai and what does Alphabet do?

#artificialintelligence

Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, has been put in charge of its parent company Alphabet, after co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin announced they were stepping down. The 47-year-old said the pair had set up a "strong foundation" on which he would "continue to build". Pichai's life story is remarkable, and his rise to the top of Google is an endorsement of India's standing in the global technology industry - and equally, a reassuring reminder of the so-called "American Dream". Pichai was born and schooled in Chennai, India. He captained his school's cricket team, leading it to win regional competitions.