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DATA ETHICS: NEW CHALLENGES FOR AN OLD PROBLEM

Is it right to warn people when an algorithm predicts they are likely to commit a crime? Should the use of a facial recognition artificial intelligence tool that identifies people as gay be banned? Is it right for a visa application screening tool to be used before it can be certified as not containing racial bias? Should children be removed from families when a data analytics tool suggests they are at risk of suffering abuse and neglect even though they have not suffered yet? What notice should a judge take of a machine prediction that someone will offend while on bail, even when their gut instinct tells her that he will not? Welcome to the challenges of use of data analytics applications by governments. Dr. Nicholas Agar, an internationally renowned data ethicist from Victoria University has joined forces with one of the world’s leading universities, to design an intensive program on data ethics and algorithmic governance. Dr. Agar said, “Public officials need to work from a robust data ethics model if they’re to properly support their elected leaders through the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Working with Carnegie Mellon University Australia, we have designed an executive education program that injects discipline into the thought processes needed for ethical use of such tools. I’m delighted that Dr. Craig Jones, Stats NZ Deputy Chief Executive for Data System Leadership has agreed to speak at the program.” Governments’ experience with their use of data analytics tools so far has had mixed results. There have been many successes, but the number of failures is growing rapidly. One tool used to detect welfare fraud has brought down the Dutch Government while another similar tool has cost the Australian Government over $1 billion in compensation payments and extracted an apology from Prime Minister Morrison. Other failures have occurred in areas as diverse as storing medical records through to predictive exam results for school-leavers and predictive land-use planning tools. “Some of these have failed because of ethical shortcomings while others have suffered from democratic deficits. Technical inadequacy has been the least important factor explain the failures. But this also requires officials to also develop deeper understanding of both the methods and their applications,” Dr. Agar said. The course gives participants hands-on experience with data analytics and data visualization tools applied to actual datasets to bring them close to the techniques and the issues associated with using them. Guided by scholars and practitioners of policy, analytics and ethics, participants will develop their own robust framework for making ethical assessments. The course draws heavily upon New Zealand’s own experiences before concluding with a special session on balancing Noa (benefits and opportunities) against Tapu (sensitivities and risks). Applications for Data Ethics and Algorithmic Government executive program close on June 11.


ABOUT CARNEGIE MELLON UNIVERSITY-AUSTRALIA At the invitation of the South Australian Government, CMU opened its Australian campus in Adelaide in 2006. Located in the historical International University Precinct in the heritage-listed Torrens Building in Victoria Square, CMU was the first international university to be established in Australia. Our Australian campus marks CMU’s presence in the Asia and Pacific region, making it a vital partner to the CMU extension campuses in Silicon Valley, Rwanda, and Qatar.

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91% Kiwis think it’s safe to travel within NZ yet only 19% plan to take a holiday

Auckland, New Zealand – Travel search and comparison start up Tripomi conducted a survey in which New Zealanders were asked about their current travel outlook.  82% of survey respondents stated they would prefer to travel within New Zealand instead of abroad this year. And while 91% of respondents believe it is currently safe to travel within New Zealand only 19% plan to take a holiday.  As for visitors, 87% believe foreigners need to be vaccinated in order to visit New Zealand. In terms of the destinations within New Zealand respondents plan to visit this year, Auckland ranked highest with 29%, followed by Queenstown (24%), Christchurch (21%) and Wellington (14%). “The biggest surprise from our survey is that New Zealanders of all ages are interested in visiting cities while popular outdoor destinations such as Milford Sound received little interest,” said James Watson, one of Tripomi’s co-founders. “We’re seeing an increase in searches for hotels in cities like Auckland which is good since many premium hotels are currently offering excellent deals,” said James. When asked about the travel bubble with Australia, 62% of survey respondents (vs 38%) believe it is currently safe to travel to Australia, yet only 40% would visit. About Tripomi: Tripomi.com is a travel search and comparison site. It’s free to use, available 24/7, and contains zero advertisements. The best part is you never have to login or share any personal information. Just search and compare great offers. Tripomi’s New Zealand Travel Outlook Survey:

  • Google Survey:
  • Sample size: 200
  • Gender:  All
  • Ages: All
  • Current Location: New Zealand
  • Language: English
  • Conducted: May 14-16 2021.
  • Sampling method: Convenience
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Up on the big screen: New Zealand startup CloudCannon graces inspiring film “Outside the Valley”.

Follow the tales of homegrown tech startup CloudCannon in the upcoming international documentary film “Outside the Valley”. Created by award-winning documentary producer and director Hunter Weeks, along with start-up legend J. Ryan Williams, the film Outside the Valley is set to hit the big screen in Dunedin on June 1st, 2021, 6PM at Rialto Cinemas. The feature highlights the intriguing journey of startups from challenging norms and doubts, to succeeding in a cut-throat competition in the midst of a global pandemic. The documentary film Includes Dunedin’s very own CloudCannon, a software company on a mission to develop tools that enable companies to build and manage remarkable websites. CloudCannon was spearheaded by founders George Phillips and Mike Neumegen and continues to create massive impact from this side of the world by supporting global enterprises, including many Silicon Valley companies, with their content management needs. “We’re honoured to be part of this documentary. CloudCannon is serving customers around the globe and doing it from Dunedin, it’s exciting to see other companies succeeding from unlikely places. Sharing our story to help inspire others to take the same journey is really empowering to say the least,” Neumegen says. Learn more about the documentary and screening schedules worldwide through OutsideTheValley.tv and cloudcannon.com. About CloudCannon CloudCannon makes building and managing static sites simple and easy by bringing all of the required elements together into an ‘all in one’ platform. Organisations seeking to leverage the performance benefits of static sites can use CloudCannon to connect to Git, automate a Jekyll or Hugo build on CloudCannon and host their site on CloudCannon’s global CDN all for one monthly price.

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