Biohacking - In the Loop

Love our local "In the Loop" program which is going from strength to strength. What a great place Wollongong is!

Published on 29 Aug 2017

This month Lachy meets some comedians and vampires at the Anywhere Theatre Festival. Greg Ellis chats with Illawarra Steelers legend Brett Rodwell. Marty has a go at beach fishing with Guided Beach Fishing Illawarra. Katina Michael teaches us about implantables and other emerging technologies. Our Innovative Business is Wollongong born start-up Binary Beer & Christie takes Crammy & Brittany from i98FM on a winery tour thanks to Foodscape tours.

In This Months Episode

Adventure and Play - http://guidedbeachfishing.com.au/
Eat & Drink - Foodscape Tours - http://foodscapetours.com.au/
Berry Chocolatier - https://www.facebook.com/berrychocola...
Silos Estate - http://silosestate.com/
Camberwarra Estate - http://www.cambewarraestate.com.au/
Coolangatta Estate - http://www.coolangattaestate.com.au/
Two Figs Winery - http://twofigs.com.au/
Binary Beer - http://www.binarybeer.io/
Anywhere Theatre Festival - http://anywheretheatre.com/

You can stay in the loop with us on:
Our Website - http://intheloop.tv
Facebook: https://facebook.com/intheloopgong
Twitter: https://twitter.com/intheloopgong
Instagram: https://instagram.com/intheloopgong

Media partners:
i98fm - http://i98fm.com.au

Segment sponsors:
Wollongong Central - http://www.wollongongcentral.com.au
University of Wollongong - http://www.uow.edu.au
Access Law Group - http://www.accesslawgroup.com.au
The Illawarra Mercury - http://www.illawarramercury.com.au
Advantage Wollongong - http://www.advantagewollongong.com.au
Destination Wollongong - http://visitwollongong.com.au
Internetrix - http://www.internetrix.com.au
Relativity Films - http://relativity.com.au
Lancaster Law & Mediation - http://lancasterlaw.com.au
Kaizen Business & Financial - http://www.kaizenbf.com.au


Promotional Partners:
Illawarra Hawks - http://www.hawks.com.au
Digital Print Bureau - http://digitalprintbureau.com.au
Illawarra Women In Business - http://www.iwib.com.au
Novotel Northbeach - http://novotelnorthbeach.com.au
Dee Kramer Photography - http://www.deekramer.com
St George Illawarra Dragons - http://www.dragons.com.au

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Cyborgs walk among us

Cyborgs walk among us

Higher education Conference

A university conference is tackling the big issues of technology and features speakers who have devices implanted under their skin, writes BENJAMIN LONG.

Program chair Associate Professor Katina Michael is expecting plenty of robust debate at the 2010 IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society this week at the University of Wollongong.

The multidisciplinary conference, which closes tomorrow (with a further workshop being held on Thursday), has attracted the world's leading experts in the area of new technology and its social impacts.

"What is fresh about this conference is that it is bringing people from different disciplines to discuss the same subject matter from different angles" says Dr Michael, a senior lecturer in the School of Information Technology and Computer Science at UOW.

"There should be a clash of sorts, because I don't think everyone will agree with what is being put forward.

The conference is looking at issues related to cyborg technology, microchip implants, nanotechnology and social networking

"We've got information and communication technology specialists. We've got applied ethics researchers. We've got political scientists. We've got lawyers talking about regulation and legislation of emerging technology such as nanotechnology.

"We've also got commercial entities that have invested heavily, for example, in GPS innovations. We've even got a theologian talking.

"It's not just engineering focussed or humanities focussed. It's going to create a lot of dialogue between those who conceive, those who implement and those who eventually critique the technology."

More than 100 speakers from 17 different countries will address the conference, and 70 academic papers will be presented.

It is the first time the symposium has been held in Australia, says Dr Michael, who has been working on it since UOW was awarded the hosting rights in 2007.

Speakers are looking at emerging technologies in four broad categories - location-based services, social networking, nanotechnology and automatic identification - and looking in particular at issues of security, privacy and human rights.

A number of the keynote speakers are addressing issues around implantable devices.

Professor Rafael Capurro of the Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute Information Ethics, Germany, is a leading ethicist in this area. He has been writing about these issues, says Dr Michael, since a time when "most other people were thinking this was the stuff of conspiracy theory".

Prof Capurro writes that while "ICT (information and communication technology) implants may be used to repair deficient bodily capabilities they can also be misused, particularly if these devices are accessible via digital networks. The idea of letting ICT devices get under our skin in order not just to repair but even to enhance human capabilities gives rise to science fiction visions".

Dr Mark Gasson, a senior research fellow in the Cybernetic Intelligence Research Group at the University of Reading, in the United Kingdom, has an engineering background and looks at implants from a different angle.

In particular he is interested in implantable RFID (radio-frequency identification) devices, which have evolved to the point where they can be considered simple computers.

Dr Gasson recently became "the world's first human infected with a computer virus" when he had a chip implanted in his hand and then infected with a computer virus.

Taking a more idiosyncratic approach is another keynote speaker, Amal Graafstra, who is not an academic but rather an RFID implant enthusiast from the United States.

The owner of several technology and mobile communications companies, Graafstra has two RFIDs implanted in his body which do things like allowing him keyless access to his home and car.

Another of the keynote speakers, Dr Roger Clarke, a consultant on eBusiness, information infrastructure, and dataveillance and privacy, and a Visiting Professor at the School of Computer Science at ANU, addresses the subject of cyborg rights.

"The first generation of cyborgs is alive, well, walking among us, and even running," Dr Clarke argues.

"Pacemakers, clumsy mechanical hands, and renal dialysis machines may not match the movie image of cyborgs, but they have been the leading wave."

He points to the case of South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, a double leg amputee whose prosthetic legs enable him to run faster than most able-bodied people. Pistorius doesn't want to be known as a Paralympian and would rather race against able-bodied athletes. Should he be allowed to run in the Olympics?

Dr Michael hopes that one of the outcomes of the conference is a greater awareness of how technology is affecting our lives.

"Technology can be used for positive means, but it can also be exploited," Dr Michael says.

"It is a great medium to communicate with other people on, but just be aware that even intelligent and street-savvy people can be fooled, and that harm can come from it.

"For example, one of the issues of location-based social networking is that Facebook now has a function that enables you to have a status update, which is automatic and which identifies your location based on where your mobile phone is.

"People can look at that without your knowing - if you've got 400 friends on your friends list - and see that you are in Figtree or you are in Wollongong.

"That might not mean much to people at the moment, but somebody might be able to use that to say, okay, well you're not at home right now so I can go around there and take everything you have. Or they could use it to stalk you.

"We are talking about technology that is not just in the virtual world, but which has repercussions in the physical world."

Citation: Benjamin Long, June 8, 2010, "Cyborgs walk among us", Illawarra Mercury, pp. 1, 23.

Social Implications Behind Emerging Technologies Examined

WOLLONGONG, Australia, June 7 -- The University of Wollongong issued the following news release:

A three-day international symposium focusing on the social implications of emerging technologies including microchip implants for humans, cyborgs possessing artificial and natural systems and the growth in nanotechnology is being held at UOW from 7-9 June.

It is the first time that the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society has come to the Southern Hemisphere in more than 25 years.

Symposium Program Chair, Associate Professor Katina Michael, said the IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society has attracted speakers from 15 countries who will be presenting more than 70 papers.

Discussions will centre on themes and ideas about:

* Automatic identification

* Location-based services

* Social networking

* Nanotechnology

* Privacy, security and human rights

The symposium has brought together academics and practitioners from multiple disciplines including information technology, engineering, law, sociology, ethics, policy, medical, business, accounting and economics.

Some of the key topics at the symposium are examining:

* Nanotechnology: Will it revolutionise health care?

* Ethical aspects of ICT implants in the human body

* The challenge of cyborg* rights

* Tracking and monitoring of living and non-living things

* Internet filtering and regulation in Australia

[*The first generation of cyborgs is alive, well, walking among us - and even running. Pacemakers, clumsy mechanical hands and renal dialysis machines may not match the movie but they have been the leading wave. Greater challenges are posed by the legs of sprinter Oscar Pistorius].

The full program is available here (http://www.uow.edu.au/conferences/2010/ISTAS/program/index.htm)

Targetted News Service, June 7, 2010, "Social Implications Behind Emerging Technologies Examined".

Vote 1 uberveillance: UOW term in running for 2008 Word of the Year

16 Jan 2009 | Kate McIlwain

uberveillance
(say 'oohbuhvayluhns)
noun. an omnipresent electronic surveillance facilitated by technology
that makes it possible to embed surveillance devices in the human
body. Also, überveillance.
--

A word invented by UOW researchers has made it into the Macquarie Dictionary and, along with 91 other new words, is in the running to become the 2008 Macquarie Word of the Year.

Uberveillance in practice: Mr Amal Graafstra has two radiofrequency

The word uberveillance was coined in 2006 by UOW Honorary Senior Fellow Dr MG Michael and the concept has been further developed together with UOW senior lecturer Dr Katina Michael.

The first time the term was used by Dr Michael was in a guest lecture he delivered on the “Consequences of Innovation”.

Drs Michael and Michael had been researching the trajectory of ‘beneath-the-skin’ surveillance technologies that could identify and locate individuals.

The duo said the word simply ‘came out’ in a moment of inspiration, when Michael was searching for words to describe the embedded technologies. They said the term “surveillance” didn’t describe the full extent of the technological capabilities available today.

“Michael could find no other term but to bring together the German prefix “über” with the French root word “veiller” to describe the exaggerated surveillance conducted by governments in the name of national security,” Dr Katina Michael said.

“Michael has always had an affinity with words from some earlier studies in linguistics and his
success in having his poetry published in a number of Australia’s major literary journals.”

“We needed a word to describe the profoundly intrusive nature of such technologies and it was no longer about Big Brother looking down, but rather about Big Brother on the inside looking out,” she said.

Some research concerning uberveillance has so far included studies on the privacy, trust and
security implications of chip implants (e.g. Alzheimer’s patients), the socio-ethical implications of pinpoint location based services, an exploration of the factors motivating ‘underground
implantees’ to embed technology in their body; and looking at the trade-offs between privacy,
value and control in radio-frequency identification applications like e-passports and e-tollways.

The term and associated research has attracted attention from the media and academic community in its three-year lifespan, but being put into the Macquarie Dictionary has special significance. 

“To get it recognised in Australia’s official dictionary was for us an absolute thrill,” Dr Katina Michael said.

“It clearly evidences to the impact of our work… especially given the list of words is international and includes terms that have been in use for much longer.

“We do not know who nominated the word, or how it got onto the list, but it is without a doubt one of the outcomes we will hold as a major achievement,” she said.

2008 Word of the Year is awarded to the word that gains the most votes from the public – so
Katina and Michael are urging UOW staff and students to log on, improve their vocabularies, and support UOW research.

How to vote:

  1. Go to the Word of the Year page.
  2. Click on VOTE NOW and scroll to the TECHNOLOGY tab.
  3. Click on the Uberveillance button.
  4. Enter your email address.
  5. Press submit.

Citation: Kate McIlwain, January 16, 2009, "Vote 1 uberveillance: UOW term in running for 2008 Word of the Year", UOW Media, https://media.uow.edu.au/news/UOW053997.html

Uni 'boss' finds top job relaxing, not taxing

LIFE'S tough at the top.

University of Wollongong Faculty of Infomatics executive director Solveig Dewhurst found out the hard way yesterday when she slipped into Vice-Chancellor Professor Gerard Sutton's shoes for a day.

The honorary vice-chancellor took the taxing schedule of a university executive in her poised stride, perusing the daily papers reclining on the leather lounge and enjoying a cup of tea before racing off to host a morning tea with staff.

Ms Dewhurst landed the top job at the university's Pink Ribbon breakfast auction last year, bidding $1750 for the mystery prize.

"It was definitely Patto (UOW Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor John Patterson) dressed in pink lycra that inspired me," she said.

Ms Dewhurst's colleague, Dr Katina Michael, chipped in $250 at the crucial moment in the auction to ensure Ms Dewhurst's win.

When asked if she could handle the immense task of running a university, Ms Dewhurst simply replied "absolutely".

"I'm a mother with five kids - I'll be fine," she said.

Prof Patterson, who is acting vice-chancellor while Prof Sutton is overseas, said he had a busy day planned for the interim VC.

"We were considering setting her an agenda of considering pay rises, rearranging the university, approving major university building programs and the like," he said.

"But we opted for a visit with the German consular general, morning tea with staff and discussing issues of paid maternity leave," he said.

Citation: Katelin McInerney, May 24, 2008, "Uni 'boss' finds top job relaxing, not taxing", Illawarra Mercury, p. 5.