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The Foil

The Foil Podcast

The Foil podcast discusses the data age—what it means for you and what it could mean for us all. Kristi Mansfield and Adam Peaston talk with leaders in the fields of data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, public policy and social change about the power of data as a tool to benefit society. We also discuss the opportunities and risks, and how we can deal with them.

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Episodes

Regulation to defend democracy from Big Tech
May 31 2022
Regulation to defend democracy from Big Tech
Chris Cooper is a cultural anthropologist and Executive Director at Reset Australia, the Australian affiliate to the international Reset network and think tank working to drive public policy to tackle digital threats to democracy. Chris is also Senior Campaign Director at Purpose, an international social impact agency supporting leading activists and companies to develop strategy that can shift policies and change public narratives. Chris comments on the current state of Australian tech regulation. We discuss how to identify bad actors and bad content online. Chris shares his definition of “mis” and “dis” information, a key focus for Reset. Both “mis” and “dis” information is false information that is shared. Mis-information is shared without the sharer knowing it is false, whereas dis-information is shared by sharer who knows it is false. Chris describes efforts at Reset to build on the work of the “age-appropriate design code” from the UK, and the “best interests principle” which requires that digital platforms that children are likely to use must prove that they are designed and operating with the best interests of those children in mind. Chris relates the key objectives of Reset for policy change.Regulation on digital platform accountability and responsibility.Regulation on eliminating risks from systems and processes, giving regulators more oversight over the design of systems in use by companies.Regulation to address community and societal risks; one person misinformed is not so problematic but a fragmented society consuming two different versions of the truth is a problem for democracy.Establishment of regulatory responsibility in these areas with a new regulator or existing agency.Equipping regulators with powers to enforce regulation with penalties proportionate to the scale of harms caused. We ask Chris for his thoughts on the issue of foreign interference in Australia’s democratic system. Chris makes the case for increased transparency from digital platforms that are a significant source of information for the Australian citizenry. Chris asserts that polarisation of public opinions on critical issues, as well as proliferation of hate speech and racism, is exacerbated by social media, and that regulation is required to address this. https://au.reset.tech/https://www.purpose.com/https://seerdata.ai   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Disinformation, Democracy & Elections
May 20 2022
Disinformation, Democracy & Elections
Katie Harbath is a global leader at the intersection of elections, democracy, civic and tech. Katie was the public policy director at Facebook for 10 years and is credited with building out and leading a global team responsible for managing elections. She played a significant role in getting governments and elected officials around the world - at the local, regional and national levels - to use Facebook and Instagram as a way to connect and engage with constituents.In this Episode, we delve into what you need to know on the eve of the Australian Federal Election. Katie helps us understand the dilemmas, hard trade offs and decisions for social media platform products and policies that set the rules to manage the spread of misinformation, disinformation and mal-information. She talks us through the impact of data and digital on elections and democracy.We explore Elon Musk’s announcement of the purchase of Twitter. Katie calls on the need for action and plans to build the guardrails for social media platforms to protect integrity and reduce harm to democracy. We discuss the need for leaders, product owners and campaigners to admit what has worked and hasn’t to reduce bad outcomes that denigrate democracy. Katie discusses product and legislations for protections. She gives advice on what behaviours we can all take to reduce the spread of misinformation and talks about what we can expect in the future.www.anchorchange.comwww.seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Responsible Tech & Human Rights in AI
Apr 27 2022
Responsible Tech & Human Rights in AI
In our first Episode of our Responsible Tech Series in the lead up to the Australian Federal Election, we speak with Edward Santow who is the Industry Professor for Responsible Tech at the University of Technology in Sydney. Prior to his current role, Ed was the Australian Human Rights Commissioner. During his tenure, he led the world’s largest public consultation on human rights and technology and published a public report with recommendations for the development of responsible tech.In this Episode, we talk with Ed about his early experiences working as a lawyer in community legal services where he saw first-hand the impact of tech applications gone wrong in policing. We discuss the pivotal moment when public attitudes shifted away from complacency to real public concern for responsible use of data and tech; when Cambridge Analytica used personal data belonging to millions of Facebook users collected without their consent to provide analytical assistance to the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Ed outlines the three key vectors for responsible tech: the law, training and design. We explore regulation and legislation as it currently exists and that through enforcement of the current law, “80% of problems would go away.” Ed presents the recommendation of an impact assessment before use of AI for automated decision making. We discuss the future expectations from the public and the challenge for policy makers.Ed highlights the application of AI in today’s business and public sector context noting that 85% of AI projects fail and why this is the case. We discuss facial recognition technology and the risks, and the need to build data capabilities across society in the data and digital age.https://profiles.uts.edu.au/Edward.Santowseerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Quorum Breaker
Apr 19 2022
Quorum Breaker
State Rep. Claudia Ordaz Perez represents Texas’s House District 76 in El Paso County. She is the former Mayor Pro Tempore and City Councilwoman for the City of El Paso, where she was an advocate for working parents and family caregivers. At City Council, she was successful in creating local policies impacting living wages for workers, local park enhancements for children, funding for new infrastructure for municipal police and fire departments, local animal shelter improvements, and promoting investment opportunities to expand job growth in the Borderplex region.In 2021, Rep. Ordaz Perez was among a group of Texan Democrats who broke quorum to halt a legislative session in Texas and fight a controversial voting rights bill.  The law added new identification requirements for voting by mail, banned 24-hour voting and drive-through voting and established uniform voting hours in the state. Republicans argued it was needed to ensure election integrity. Democrats said the new proposed rules disproportionately affected minority voters and they fled Texas to break quorum as a result.Busting the quorum isn’t unheard of — in fact, it has happened at least two other times in Texas political history. But it is considered a nuclear option, a last resort when the debate has shut down and one side believes it’s being railroaded. As their quorum-breaking departure captured attention around the world, the Texas' Democrats' drastic move to break quorum was hard to ignore. And while they may not have spurred immediate federal change in their favour, this dramatic walkout halfway across the country marked a new inflection point in the national voting rights debate and shaped Texas politics forever. In this Episode, Rep. Ordaz Perez shares the needs of the borderplex community in El Paso, the changes in legislation that drove her to work with fellow Representatives to break quorum, the development of the “black and brown” movement led by women, the reception in Washington D.C. and the importance of data informed discussion on critical legislation to protect democratic process in the United States.  https://house.texas.gov/members/member-page/?district=76www.seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Data is Power
Mar 16 2022
Data is Power
Stefaan Verhulst is Co-Founder and Chief of Research and Development at The GovLab, New York University.Stefan founded GovLab with the goal of strengthening the ability of institutions and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems.Stefaan says the COVID-19 pandemic has been a watershed moment in which we’ve realised that we don’t have access to a lot of the data we need and that we need to unlock data assets that could be used to save lives. Stefaan advocates for more institutions to “publish [data] with purpose” by identifying a public interest benefit for which the data is required. Stefaan describes advances in the disciplines of formulating purpose specifications, problem specification, and question definition which requires a skillset that many policy professionals assume they have but often don’t.Stefaan emphasises the importance of inclusivity in question formulation. Stefaan admonishes us to pursue not just data equity, but also question equity, in order that the questions for which answers are sought and metrics are developed are those that really matter to society.Stefaan observes that power dynamics are determined by asymmetries, such as the data “haves” and the data “have nots”. Stefaan quotes Sir Francis Bacon who said, “knowledge is power” asserting that in the 21st century “data is power”. Stefaan describes a variety of data asymmetries such as between consumers and corporations, between citizens and government, and between business and government. Stefaan argues that addressing these asymmetries is essential for achieving “digital self-determination” for individuals and groups.Stefaan acknowledges some tensions between the ideal of data sharing and reuse for public benefit, and of digital self-determination where these principles interface at the concept of privacy. Stefaan says this balance will not be easy to find but argues that with data we need to go beyond consent and aim to avoid not just misuses, but also missed uses. Stefaan believes legislation will be inadequate for arbitrating all specific circumstances, and that Data Stewards as a profession will need to be skilled in evaluating the appropriateness of the purpose and fitness of the data for sharing and empowered to do so.www.seerdata.ai www.thefoil.ai  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Virtual Reality Sexual Assault, AI Risks to Women & Bias
Mar 7 2022
Virtual Reality Sexual Assault, AI Risks to Women & Bias
On International Women’s Day we celebrate by speaking with Dr Catriona Wallace who is a mother and a global leader in AI ethics. She sits on numerous boards and educates leaders around the world on mitigating unintended harms from AI. Catriona discusses the recent emergence of metaverses; immersive virtual worlds where users can interact in new and creative ways. Catriona relates a recent sexual assault incident in which a woman Nina Jane Patel was virtually assaulted within Horizon, a metaverse created by Meta, and another incident in which the owner of a virtual residence found that their virtual dwelling was being squatted in and there was no clear recourse to justice. We discuss the risks of bias in AI algorithms and how women have historically been under-valued by AI systems tasked with recommending job candidates for Amazon or estimating customer creditworthiness for Goldman Sachs and Apple. Catriona argues that this bias stems from inadequate representation of women in the data used to train the AI systems, and under-representation of women in the field of Data Science. Catriona observes that 85 million jobs will be replaced by AI systems, and that 90% of these jobs are held by women and minorities. Catriona argues that the responsibility for AI-enhanced real-world decisions should remain with business owners, not the technical teams who develop the AI systems. Catriona relates her experience as the Executive Director at the Gradient Institute of training boards and executives who have very little understanding of AI. Catriona describes how it is predominantly young men who are creating datasets, for example by manually labelling images, and that this is one way in which bias is introduced into AI systems. Catriona talks about the work of the Gradient Institute training Data Scientists to code ethically and teaching Data Scientists about tools that are available for assessing whether their work is having unintended consequences. Catriona advocates for regular AI systems assessments by external assessors to provide Data Scientists with feedback about how they can be more responsible. Catriona shares the recent release of Australia’s first Responsible AI Index by Fifth Quadrant, Ethical AI Advisory, and the Gradient Institute. The research found that only 8% of organisations had any type of Responsible AI maturity. Organisations can measure their own Responsible AI maturity using the Responsible AI Self-Assessment Tool (fifthquadrant.com.au). Catriona observes that many of the entry-level, administrative, and customer service jobs that will be automated by AI systems in the coming years are typically held by women and minorities, and that Australia needs another 160,000 Data Scientists to keep pace with global industry. www.seerdata.ai  www.thefoil.ai   Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Australia's Data Front Door
Feb 28 2022
Australia's Data Front Door
Andrew Lalor is Assistant Secretary, Data & Digital, at Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).  In this Episode, Andrew describes his journey through the Australian Public Service (APS) and development of his passion for data analytics and data governance. At PM&C Andrew works with his team and others to advance the public data system as a whole. We talk with Andrew about the development of the Australian Data Strategy which describes why data is important and the opportunity to create enormous value through appropriate sharing and use of data, and paints an expansive vision for Australia as a leading data driven economy. Andrew describes the way the Australian Data Strategy emerged as part of the Australian Government’s broader work on its whole-of-economy Digital Economy Strategy. Andrew outlines two of the key actions described by the Strategy; one of which the creation of a “Front Door” that will make it easier for people to access data that is managed by the Australian Government, including improvement and expansion of the data.gov.au website to include both Open data and other data assets that can be made available in controlled, secure environments. The other key action Andrew describes is the creation of the National Disability Data Asset which aims to provide insight into the experiences of people with a disability and help to develop better and more personalised disability services. Andrew describes the difficulties of building and maintaining public trust in Government, and how the Australian Government is committed to being transparent about the ways in which it collects, stores, and uses data. Andrew echoes the concerns of Australians about privacy and security of their data and acknowledges that for many these concerns are higher priorities than quality, convenience, or price when considering products and services. Andrew observes that the positive experience of many Australians when engaging with Australian Government services is enabled by an efficient and effective use of data. We discuss the Data Availability and Transparency Bill which seeks to provide a preferred pathway to share public sector data, ensuring it is accessible and sharing is safe, consistent and streamlined, and the Intergovernmental Agreement on Data Sharing which recognises the immense value that can be created when data flows between the Australian Federal Government and the State and Territory Governments as evidenced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Andrew also references the Consumer Data Right. The Australian Data Strategy is open for public consultation until 30 June 2022 and submissions are welcome via smart form. www.seerdata.ai www.thefoil.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Public Benefit Machine Learning, Question Equity & Place-based Data
Feb 23 2022
Public Benefit Machine Learning, Question Equity & Place-based Data
Tamsin Coryn-Wyllie is a project manager, community development leader, and data consultant. Her interest in systems change was ignited whilst working with young people who were falling through the cracks in the education system. She transitioned to community and international development and worked predominately in conflict-affected areas supporting educational outcomes for young people. Tamsin’s appreciation of place-based approaches for reforming systems further deepened when she took up the role as the learning, measurement and evaluation lead at Logan Together, Australia’s largest collective impact initiative. In this Episode, Tamsin shares her insights on place-based work; the systems-level change and reform that’s possible, and the challenges of understanding the contributions of the change through measurement. Tamsin shares examples of potential shifts in the many systems that are layered within a place that affects the people who live there. We talk about practical implementation examples, and the types of data that are used and collected to understand place. Tamsin shares her insights to value and risks of data and machine learning to bring new knowledge for social challenges. We explore the shift of local communities claiming their data story by including all citizens and people in the narrative, shifting the deficit story to a strengths-based story.Tamsin shares her perspective on the power of the data age and profound opportunity of asking questions of data to democratise data access for people across society. We talk about the challenges, risks and AI applications in community development, specifically the risks of bias for decision making to address social challenges and how to combat the risks. We explore human accountability and who is responsible when deploying AI applications.We talk about her journey to develop her skills in data science for anyone who wants to deepen their capabilities to use data as a tool for societal change.www.seerdata.aiwww.logantogether.org.auwww.eliiza.com.au Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Skepticism, Misinformation & Heretical Problem Solving
Jan 31 2022
Skepticism, Misinformation & Heretical Problem Solving
Dr Linda McIver is Founder and Executive Director at the Australian Data Science Education Institute, and author of Raising Heretics: Teaching Kids to Change the World. In this Episode, Linda describes her early interest in the science of biology, and her migration to a degree in Computer Science at Monash University which would ultimately be the focus for her PhD and wherein she would explore the development of a Genuinely Readable And Intuitive [programming] Language (GRAIL). Linda describes the ways in which gender biases influence students’ attitudes towards and exposure to STEM concepts and skills. We discuss Raising Heretics and why scepticism is so important for practising and teaching data science, and Linda points out that there are no definitively right or wrong answers in the real world, and instead we should focus on evaluating methodologies. Linda argues that we should be constantly challenging orthodoxy and gives a recent example from during the COVID-19 pandemic of false orthodoxy. Linda describes what kids are doing in schools with data science, from Year 11’s doing cancer research, sleep science, neuroscience, astrophysics, and wildlife monitoring to 5 year-olds doing data science projects in their community and analysing the results. We discuss the ascendence and pervasiveness of data science as a paradigm for understanding the world, and the epistemic issues facing the data science industry. We discuss data literacy, the failure of our education system to prepare Australians to be able to make sense of the information that we are now assaulted with daily. Finally, we expore the phenomena of misinformation, some characteristics of how it occurs, how it spreads, and how we can recognise it. https://adsei.org/ https://adsei.org/raising-heretics-how-data-science-education-can-change-the-world/ https://seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Astrophysics, AI for Better Grantmaking and Altruistic Pursuit
Jan 11 2022
Astrophysics, AI for Better Grantmaking and Altruistic Pursuit
Dr Paola Oliva-Altamirano is an accomplished astrophysicist and data scientist who pivoted her academic career researching the evolution of galaxies to the social sector where she now brings data science for benefit of society. In this episode, we talk with Paola about breaking gender stereotypes in Honduras as she defied tradition to pursue a career in STEM. She speaks about the influence of her early teachers and her father who built her confidence as a mathematician which led her to study physics.  We discuss the role of data science in astrophysics and how Paola has applied her skills to her work at the Innovation Lab at Our Community where she has created a groundbreaking classification model of grant funding in Australia.   We discuss the development of the CLASSIEfier tool which is used extensively by the Not For Profit sector to detect and classify not just grants but other digital documents and help summarise the flow of grant funding and attention to various causes. Paola discusses the challenge of algorithmic bias, and the ways in which prejudicial bias can and has been avoided in the development of CLASSIEfier. This tool provides insight into the $80 billion in funding from Australia’s public sector grantmakers that use the Smartygrants platform. Until now, funding for grants has not been well understood and the tool sheds light on where the money is going and how it’s being spent. We talk about the role of Paola’s work in achieving better efficiency through transparency within the many-billion dollar grants sector, in Australia and overseas.  Paola speaks about the joys of learning about the complexities in the community sector and the free tools created by Our Community for all people working in the not for profit sector to build data literacy and to make data-informed decisions.  Resources: NFP data science online tutorials ($48, free with discount code) – designed to be a gentle introduction to data science concepts, combined with practical exercises, resources and templates NFP Data Capability Framework (free) – easy to read primer on not-for-profit data and how it can be used NFP Data Project Guide: (free) – a 15-step guide to scoping and delivering successful data projects (with a consultant on hand to bounce ideas and give advice)  Learn more at www.ourcommunity.org.au or https://smartygrants.com.au/innovation-lab/overview  Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Independents for democracy and civil society
Dec 15 2021
Independents for democracy and civil society
Ahead of next year’s federal election, Kylea Tink has announced her candidacy as North Sydney’s Independent Candidate for Canberra. A blue ribbon seat held by the Liberal Party for 100 years, Kylea is campaigning on issues that matter to people in her electorate like urgent action on climate change, a forward focused economy, a federal integrity commission, and bettering the treatment of women and marginalised groups. Kylea shares her motivations to join the independents movement and shares why she believes now is a critical time in politics for Australian society. She shares why she wants to hold the powerbase in Canberra accountable and her big motivating moments to run to represent the people of North Sydney who she says care about faster action on climate, integrity and equality.  We talk about Kylea’s history as a successful executive in communications, government health policy and as the CEO of the McGrath Foundation. Kylea describes the recent proliferation of independent candidates as a reaction to a dissatisfaction that many feel in the lack of true representation and lack of integrity demonstrated by their historically party-affiliated federal representatives. Kylea urges us to take the opportunity to disrupt and recreate this system. Kylea observes that Australia is 1st globally for women’s education, with significantly more female university graduates than men, but 50th in the world for the gender pay gap, and 70th in the world for women’s workforce participation. Kylea paints the future of Australia as a sustainable energy super-power, with a favourable landscape and conditions for solar and wind power. Kylea argues that we need a robust plan for transitioning off fossil fuels. We talk about the role of data in political campaigning, and whether we’re likely to see data used as ubiquitously and effectively here in Australia as it has been in the US. Kylea describes her openness toward the use of data for personalisation of content online, but also reflects on how easy it is for untruths to be used in political campaigns without consequence for the originator and admonishes Australians to be aware of our echo chambers and to seek alternative sources of information. We discuss misinformation, and what to do about it. Kylea underscores the importance of discourse between people with different opinions and perspectives for facilitating individual and collective sense-making and regrets the apparent preference for group think within the mainstream political parties. Kylea describes her passion for more open public debate. We then ask Kylea for her view on the question of whether charities should be allowed to engage in advocacy and still retain Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status with the Australian Charities and No-For-Profit Commission (ACNC). We discuss the issue of Government influence on freedom of speech and the challenge that many NFPs may face with the introduction of new legislation to disqualify NFP organisations from DGR status. ‘Don’t muzzle them’: charities should be allowed to lobby for political change, tribunal finds | Charities | The Guardianhttps://seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Data Science for government and society
Dec 7 2021
Data Science for government and society
Dr Ian Oppermann is the NSW Government Chief Data Scientist working within the Department of Customer Service, Seer Data & Analytics Board Director and Industry Professor at University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Ian shares the story of his journey from telecommunications to Data Science and the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC) via wireless network planning and optimisation and autonomous robotics.Ian describes the inception of the DAC and initial responses within government agencies to the (then) new idea of taking a data-lead approach. Ian recounts an early project with NSW Fire and Rescue to provide staff with predictive intelligence on the nature of fire alarm calls.We discuss the importance of asking the right question, and how the DAC became known for probing recursively to help agencies distil their intuitions into testable hypotheses, and how this was applied to help guide Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance reform.Ian discusses the ways in which the findings of a data analytics project can be challenging to communicate when sensitive subjects are involved. Ian describes one project which challenged the long-held belief that investment in infrastructure projects has long term beneficial impact on jobs and skills. Another project which culminated in development of the Human Services Dataset saw the linkage of 44,000 life journeys of children as captured in data from Education, Health, Justice, and Family and Community Services (FACS) which challenged the presumption that “doing something” is always better than “doing nothing”. Ian reflects on the importance for the success of these projects of considered messaging and taking stakeholders on the journey.Ian introduces the AI assurance framework in development to assist AI practitioners in putting into practise the Mandatory Ethical Principles for the use of AI outlined in the NSW Government AI Ethics Policy; Fairness, Privacy and security, Transparency, and Accountability. We discuss the approach of NSW Government to establishing trustworthiness in the use of data and AI, and how the framework can be applied to AI technologies such as facial recognition and chat bots.We also touch on the new Australian Data Strategy and how this strategy will relieve some of the historic barriers to Government sharing data. Ian pans the three main objections typically raised to sharing Government data of “Unwilling”, “Unable”, and “Not allowed”; and discusses how the Australian Data Strategy is important for addressing the last of these, as well as other frictions like inter-state “rail gauge” issues and mutual recognition of data access licenses.www.seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Changing the authorising environment for local communities and a data-driven destiny
Nov 29 2021
Changing the authorising environment for local communities and a data-driven destiny
Natalie Egleton is the CEO of FRRR (Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal). In this Episode, we talk with Nat about the role of data to support regional and rural community groups to change the authorising environment and put the power back into the hands of local groups to get a seat at the decision-making table. Natalie has dedicated her career to working with community groups, service agencies, governments, corporate business and philanthropy to effectively support medium-long term recovery and to build awareness of the complex and dynamic nature of community recovery.In September 2021, FRRR commissioned the Heartbeat of Rural Australia study, exploring how not-for-profits and community groups in remote, rural and regional Australia are faring, in the wake of nearly two years of constant disruptions. The qualitative and quantitative data articulates the vital role that community organisations play in the social, economic, cultural, and environmental resilience and vitality of their communities and regions. It highlights the cumulative impacts of natural disasters, and COVID-19.The goal of making the data from the study accessible as a dataset (as well as a report) is to amplify and give greater authority and influence to local organisations in the design of policies, investments, and solutions for their communities’ sustainability and vitality.We talk about the real impacts of multiple crises on social capital, and what would happen to our communities if it didn’t exist. Investing at the local level is key to keeping our communities vital and alive. Nat talks about empowering community organisations with data and what actions policy makers and grantmakers could be taking to support regional and rural towns through crisis recovery. The Heartbeat of Rural Australia Study Access to the dataset and resources www.frrr.org.au www.seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
What is Crypto, an NFT and the Metaverse, and what could it all mean?
Nov 22 2021
What is Crypto, an NFT and the Metaverse, and what could it all mean?
Nick Abrahams is the Global Leader of Technology & Innovation for Norton Rose Fulbright. In this episode, we talk with Nick about the remarkable mainstreaming of cryptocurrency and what it means. We talk about crypto-related ETFs; what they are and why the first listing on the ASX of this type of asset class smashed previous first-day trading volume records within the first 15 minutes. Nick explains the difference between fiat currencies and Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies that are based on a distributed ledger. Nick explains Non-fungible Tokens (NFTs) and why you need to know about them. We talk about the metaverse and the risks and opportunities, including what personal data will be able to be collected in the metaverse, and what that could mean for the future of society.The Bragg ReportThe Metaverse: The evolution of a universal digital platformA report by Norton Rose Fulbright explaining what the metaverse is, what its potential is for disruptive change, and some of the key legal and regulatory issues future stakeholders may need to consider. Anatomy of an NFT | Knowledge | Global law firm | Norton Rose FulbrightNon-fungible tokens (NFTs) have recently exploded to the forefront of modern pop culture and are taking on an ever-increasing number of forms. Andreessen Horowitz | Software Is Eating the WorldAndreessen Horowitz (a16z) is a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley, California, that backs bold entrepreneurs building the future through technology.Everydays: the First 5000 Dayswww.seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
Cognition, Cold Homes & Data to Transform Health & Housing Policy
Nov 15 2021
Cognition, Cold Homes & Data to Transform Health & Housing Policy
Dr Toby Cumming, formerly research Fellow at the National Ageing Research Institute and the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, talks with us about his early career and recent pivot to research manager at Sustainability Victoria working on the Victorian Healthy Homes Program. Toby leads the program which is trialling home energy upgrades to 1000 Victorian homes with the aim of improving indoor winter temperatures and reducing household energy bills.It’s the first Randomised Control Trial ever conducted by an Australian Government agency. Toby describes the trial, the design of the study, the kinds of data collected, and the challenges of collecting data to draw salient conclusions from complex systems like homes and the potential for impacting policy.We delve into Toby’s first research focus in the field of cognition, studying the mechanisms and impacts of stroke, dementia, and cognitive impairment. Toby describes what it is like to study patients of cognitive impairment using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology and the collection of data to study the potential link between stroke and dementia.Toby speaks about the ground-breaking research of Philippa Howden-Chapman into household mould and the impacts of dwelling quality on the people’s health, and how this research inspired the Victorian Healthy Homes Program at Sustainability Victoria. We talk about the policy changes implemented in New Zealand and the significant reduction in savings achieved through preventative health.Toby observes that around the world, excess deaths are recorded in winter months, but that, paradoxically, regions with warmer climates tend to record higher excess deaths in winter than colder climate regions. Toby describes the ways in which homes get built without adequate heating and insulation, resulting in cold homes that contribute to poorer health outcomes.We discuss the potential policy changes that could be supported by the findings of the Victorian Healthy Homes Program, and how the benefits could be realised without disproportionately favouring homeowners. Toby paints a vision of the future in which our various living and transport systems are increasingly electrically powered and the transition from oil and gas as energy sources.On a different note, we encourage our listeners to avail themselves of a copy of Toby’s book “The golf courses of Vern Morcom” which documents the story of the 90 Australian golf courses designed by Vern Morcom, one of Australia's most influential golf course architects.https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/ Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.
The Impossible Picture, Dark Matter & Asking the Simple Question
Nov 8 2021
The Impossible Picture, Dark Matter & Asking the Simple Question
In this episode of The Foil Podcast we’re joined by Professor Alan Duffy, Astronomer / Astrophysicist / Cosmologist and Director of the Space Technology and Industry Institute at Swinburne University.We hear from Alan about what inspired him to study the universe on its largest scales. Alan talks to us about the mysterious substance that makes up much of the matter in our universe known as dark matter, how we know it’s there, what we know about it, and what we don’t. We hear about how dark matter is the best explanation for astronomical observations given Einstein’s theory of General Relativity and discuss competing hypotheses. Alan explains the importance of well-designed scientific exploration which uses orthogonal lines of enquiry to draw clear conclusions.We talk about the various types of data that astronomers gather and analyse, how that data is collected and the effort involved in cleaning and analysing that data using supercomputers. We discuss the recent imaging of a supermassive black hole at the centre of the Messier 87 (M87) galaxy by an international team of astronomers under the project known as the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) Collaboration. The result Alan refers to as the “Impossible Picture” and describes the enormous data collection and processing effort involved.Alan talks to us about the role that AI is playing in filtering and analysing the vast amounts of data generated by astronomical instruments around the world. Alan shares his concern for the “unknown unknowns” that AI might miss in searching our skies for interesting discoveries because we are currently limited to training them to detect only objects that we are familiar with or expect. Alan tells us about the Zooniverse and the role of citizen scientists in helping to identify and surface oddities in our observations such as Hanny’s Voorwerp and bias in our data that AI might take for granted unless we’re careful. Alan describes the risk of confirmation bias in data analysis as it manifests in the field of astronomy and modern techniques for avoiding it.We reflect on Alan’s Ted Talk and the power of asking simple questions, and the role of intuition and experience as a guide for finding simple questions to ask.Alan talks to us about his technology start-up mDetect which is repurposing muon detection technology developed for sub-atomic particle experiments to see inside the structures of buildings and subterranean or submarine environments. The technology helps identify and monitor structural weaknesses for safety risks. Alan describes how the company got started and his journey as a founder.http://astronomy.swinburne.edu.au/Daily Zooniverse | mrniabocHanny’s Voorwerp – History of a mysterywww.seerdata.ai Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.