Good news, disabled Australians! You'll soon be getting an app that will implement a welfare compliance regime designed by the people who brought you robo-debt. But don't worry, it'll have blockchain. No, this isn't good news at all. What makes it worse is that it's clear the government wants to extend technology-driven compliance to all Australians, with an emphasis on cracking down on your mistakes, not theirs. Kathryn Campbell, Secretary of the Department of Social Services, says the long-term plan is to have one app for all Commonwealth government services. "One to rule the world," she said last month, apparently oblivious to how evil that sounds. Senators are already worried that the disability app, intended to be used by participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to claim expenses against their support plan, will go the way of COVIDSafe : Millions of dollars spent on technology that doesn't really do the job. The intention was to fix a poor web … [Read more...] about NDIS gets a government app with blockchain but no ethics
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Google has worked for years to position itself as a responsible steward of AI. Its research lab hires respected academics, publishes groundbreaking papers, and steers the agenda at the field’s biggest conferences. But now its reputation has been badly, perhaps irreversibly damaged, just as the company is struggling to put a politically palatable face on its empire of data. The company’s decision to fire Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell — two of its top AI ethics researchers, who happened to be examining the downsides of technology integral to Google’s search products — has triggered waves of protest. Academics have registered their discontent in various ways. Two backed out of a Google research workshop, a third turned down a $60,000 grant from the company, and a fourth pledged not to accept its funding in the future. Two engineers quit the company in protest of Gebru’s treatment and just last week, one of Google’s top AI employees, a research manager named Samy Bengio who … [Read more...] about Google is poisoning its reputation with AI researchers
It seems that NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are everywhere right now, with more companies jumping on the NFT bandwagon to offer one-off digital assets for sale. Special feature Special report: How blockchain will disrupt business (free PDF) This ebook, based on the latest ZDNet/TechRepublic special feature, looks at how blockchain is shaking up the economy and changing the way individuals and enterprises conduct business. Read More Non-fungible tokens are used to verify unique items such as digital art and digital ownership of other items. Now, NFTs can be used to verify ownership of physical items. Several stories have recently caught my eye, as companies scramble to lead the way with unusual NFT sales and auctions. But do Americans view the emerging concept of NFTs positively, or do they think the impact on climate change means that celebrities should act responsibly when offering NFTs for sale? Celebrities such as Jack Dorsey, Beeple, and the Kings of … [Read more...] about Are NFT collectibles the new trading cards or a hype bubble soon to burst?