The disrupted digital frontier: How emerging technology of today will shape who we become tomorrow.
You are invited to join us in Sydney to hear our expert panel discuss disruptive technology and what it will mean for you.
Technology has created a state of perpetual revolution and is already disrupting traditional markets and social structures, changing the way we interact with the world around us.
Digital disruption will eventually affect every corner of Australian business and society. It will rewrite economics, scramble supply chains, blur category boundaries and make us question our ethics. How will your business be impacted and how will you respond to become a digital survivor?
Join our expert panel of University of Wollongong alumni and academics to explore the technological, social and economic impacts that these emerging technologies are having.
Meet our expert panel:
Professor Katina Michael, UOW alumna and Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences, UOW
Prof Katina Michael’s contribution to the future of emerging technologies is vast and includes her editorship for the award winning Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Technology & Society Magazine from 2012-2017.
She is a Professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology at UOW and until recently she was the Associate Dean – International in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences.
Since 2008 she has been a board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation, and formerly the Vice-Chair. Prof Michael researches on the socio-ethical implications of emerging technologies. She has written and edited six books, guest edited numerous special issue journals on themes related to radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags, supply chain management, location-based services, innovation and surveillance/uberveillance. In 2017, she was awarded the prestigious Brian M. O'Connell Award for Distinguished Service to the IEEE Society on the Social Implications of Technology (IEEESSIT).
Dr Michael holds a PhD in Information & Communication Technology from the University of Wollongong (2003) and a Masters in Transnational Crime Prevention (2009).
Dr Shahriar Akter, Associate Professor of Digital Marketing, Analytics & Innovation at the Sydney Business School, UOW.
Dr Shahriar Akter was awarded his PhD from the UNSW Business School Australia, with a doctoral fellowship in research methods from University of Oxford.
He has published in leading business and management journals with a Google Scholar h-Index of 20 and more than 1800 citations since 2013. He received the UOW Vice Chancellor's award for teaching, a nomination for excellent research supervision and several prestigious awards for research. He has won various internal and external grants, including more than $100,000 in 2017, mostly for his research on business analytics of big data.
He was awarded the Paper of the Year Award in 2018 by Electronic Markets Journal for his research on big data analytics. Dr Akter is an advisory board member of WebHawks IT and is also the Chief Advisor of Digital Marketing Next that investigates digital, social and analytics applications. He is also a member of the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) and Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia (IAPA).
Dr Alex Badran, UOW alumnus and co-founder, Spriggy
Dr Alex Badran left his job at Citigroup to co-found Spriggy - a mobile app allowing kids to manage their pocket money with the help of their parents. Spriggy launched in 2016 and now has over 100,000 members. The co-founders met while working as derivatives traders at Citigroup, and connected over the belief that financial institutions should do more to help their users live happier financial lives.
Spriggy was one of 10 start-ups selected in August 2017 from a highly competitive pool for the Austrade Landing Pad in Tel Aviv (a 10-day boot camp). Dr Badran was awarded Most Innovative Team in the 2017 Finder Awards and Best Banking Innovation, beating Macquarie Bank and AMP Capital in the category. He was recognised by his peers as an elected Non-Executive Director of Stone and Chalk (from November 2015-November 2017). In 2017, Spriggy raised a further $2.5 million of funding to grow its business, and currently employs 15 people, making Spriggy one of the most successful early-stage start-ups in Australia.
Dr Badran holds Bachelor of Mathematics Advanced and Bachelor of Mathematics Advanced (Honours) from the University of Wollongong.
Dr Thomas Birtchnell, Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Wollongong
Social scientist Dr Thomas Birtchnell says mavericks are small groups of technology users who are early adopters and tend to take risks. Somewhat like beta software testers, they will poke and prod to find the limits of use and in many ways, lay the groundwork for how people end up using the product or service.
Dr Birtchnell says the problem with technology is that despite the grand pronouncements made by entrepreneurs and those who have a vested interest in the mass uptake of a technology, no one really has a clue how it will turn out. “Technology does not determine human actions; humans determine the application of technology. Social and cultural forces are just as important in the development of technology as economic or technical ones.” Technology doesn’t follow a linear pathway. Innovations are most often a combination of different things used in a new way, but those combinations are unknown and unpredictable.
He is an associate member of UOW’s Institute for Social Transformation Research: expanding our capacity to understand and engage with our social, cultural and geo‐political environment.
Kylie Cameron, UOW alumna and Senior Managing Consultant, IBM
Kylie Cameron is a digital strategist, facilitator and leader and an Associate Partner within IBM's Global Business Services Digital Team. She has over eight years of consulting experience working across industry sectors including retail, financial services, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, utilities, government, manufacturing, mining, and oil & gas.
Kylie's role requires her to work with stakeholders including media outlets to source relevant information; legal representatives to work through IP concerns; and with client analysts to define and implement a solution that supports their operations.
Intelligence agencies use cognitive technology in conjunction with other IT systems to increase the speed and efficiency of investigations. Cognitive technologies such as machine learning, pattern recognition and natural language processing tap into the explosion of unstructured data that can hold the key to breaking a case. Cognitive technology differs from traditional IT in how it’s set up and maintained as well as how users interact with it. As intelligence agencies implement cognitive solutions, they quickly realise the implications of these differences for their personnel, workflow and culture. But perhaps most significantly, cognitive technology affects the way users think. Analysts not only have more time to think because the technology helps them collect intelligence, but the technology also makes them think differently about how they do research and intelligence discovery.
Kylie holds a Bachelor of Information Technology from the University of Wollongong.
Dane Sharp, UOW alumnus and Digital Experience Manager, McDonald's Corporation
Dane Sharp is a successful, award-winning and highly skilled marketing, media, brand, product and digital manager. He has had the opportunity to experience many facets of business both locally in Australia and internationally and is currently the Digital Experience Manager for the McDonald’s Corporation.
Prior to this role, Dane held senior positions with Rip Curl, Under Armour and eBay. He has also had the opportunity to work closely with a partnership portfolio that includes Coca-Cola, Google, Apple, Telstra, Facebook, MySpace, Samsung, Woolworths, Target, Officeworks, Rebel Sport, Firefox, AFL, ASP/WSL, Tough Mudder, VML and DDB.
At McDonald’s, he leads a team that drives digital transformation for the business by developing and introducing innovation throughout the customer journey, identifying the most meaningful initiatives for customers and operators, and developing capabilities to bring them to life.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wollongong majoring in Communications, Cultural Studies and Journalism.
The UOW Knowledge Series showcases University of Wollongong thought leaders in various locations, discussing a range of engaging topics. Previous knowledge series lectures can be viewed here.
Will it ever be possible for AI to do wrong the right way?
Siri and other AI programs that attempt to converse with or listen to humans can appear to make more mistakes than we do. Correcting these errors so that AI is flawless is a holy grail for programmers and roboticist. Once AI is able to understand when it has gone wrong surely then will it be able to exhibit self-reflection and adapt accordingly just as we humans do? Notwithstanding our many perfections and achievements, we humans are also much of the time deeply error-prone. Humans make mistakes, period. Yet, a select few of our mistakes are not regretted; rather, they are 'happy accidents'. The term ‘happy accident' is an idiom for serendipitous discoveries. Human history abounds with such beneficial errors: the invention of penicillin, stainless steel, velcro, the list goes on. In this discussion we explore how AI will need to be able to profit from its wrongs, learn which accidents could be ‘happy’ ones, and right its wrongs creatively in order to become truly more like humans. By considering creative industries and labour-saving devices we tackle the complex reflexivity required to be able to do wrong the right way.
Part 1. Listening without Ears: Artificial Intelligence in the Creative Labour of Audio Post-Production (Dr Thomas Birtchnell - 15 mins).
Part 2. Sensemaking with AI: The Future of Intelligent Assistants, Bots, and Deep Learners (Professor Katina Michael - 15 mins).
Part 3. DISCUSSION (30 mins)
Biography: Katina Michael is a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong. She is Editor in Chief of IEEE Technology and Society Magazine, and Senior Editor of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine.
2017 conference of the Australasian Association for History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (22-24 November)
This event, supported by the Australian Academy of Sciences (National Committee for History and Philosophy of Science), brings together scientists and social scientists to examine questions of contemporary relevance. We are planning to include three such conversations.
Notes: Three conversations. 1. dating human history (with Bert Roberts, UoW, and Billy Griffith, Deakin), 2. synthetic biology (with colleagues from UNSW, TBC) and, 3. Katina Michael and Thomas Birtchnell.
Each conversation is meant to last 1 hour, with a mixed audience of conference attendees and members of the public.
Venue: University of Wollongong
This year's AAHPSSS conference will be held at the University of Wollongong (UoW). Not only does UoW host the longest running science and technology studies program in Australia, it is now the only remaining STS program in the country.
At a time when the STEM disciplines (i.e. science, technology, the environment and medicine) are being called upon by government, business and industry to drive the next wave of global innovation and economic growth, it is essential that the critical perspectives of science and technology studies (STS), history and philosophy of science (HPS) and cognate disciplines in the social sciences and humanities are meaningfully and substantively included in the relevant public and policy debates. Encouraging such critical perspectives in public discourse concerning STEM issues is arguably necessaryto ensure that the hyper-rationalist hubris and technoscientific excesses of the 20th century are not repeated in the 21st century.
The AAHPSSS executive and many of its long-term members are very conscious of the demise of multiple STS and HPS programs throughout Australia's universities over the last two decades. While most of us deplore these developments, we are convinced that the only way this situation can be halted and hopefully reversed is through the efforts of the relevant scholarly communities to come together, demonstrate solidarity, and forge new alliances over the next several years.
This conference is therefore aimed at rebuilding scholarly networks and bridging some of the divides that have recently emerged between more specialized scholarly communities in Australia and New Zealand. We therefore welcome the participation and attendance at the conference of tenured and casual academics, independent scholars, students, professionals in the public and private sectors, and interested laypeople.
Program Downloads: https://aahpsss.net.au/conference/2017-conference/2017-program-and-sessions/
Stimuli for Katina's Presentation
Key reading material: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/06/automated-transcription/530973/
After delivering the talk, I came across the following reference almost accidentally (DadBot by @jamesvlahos).
Event: Wearable and Implantable Sensors Workshop, Friday 19 August 2016, Leon Kane-Maguire Theatre, AIIM Facility, Innovation Campus, North Wollongong.
Draft program here
Title: Repurposing Medical Implants from Therapeutics to Augmentation: the money is where the market is
Abstract: For over 55 years we have witnessed the development of heart pacemakers . Incremental innovations have meant that this product technology has advanced as the industry surrounding it has created better componentry and connectivity. Once we considered the application of implantables for those who only desperately required it for life sustaining purposes, often as a last resort. Today, however, the emphasis is shifting from a restorative need to replace a human function that has been lost or degraded, to one that is preventative and takes on a guise of human augmentation. In all we are witnessing the rise of persuasive computing- that which not only acts as a tool or media, but also as a mechanism to change attitudes and behaviours of social actors through direct interaction or through a mediating role. For example, companies like Medtronics wish to implant sensors in everyone . Their belief is to take the medical technology to the whole market, relying on a medical platform for non-medical control, care and convenience applications. The question is not whether we can achieve this technically, but whether answers to questions about ethics, culture and society can keep pace with rapid scientific advancements .
 Catherine M. Banbury, 1997, Surviving Technological Innovation in the Pacemaker Industry, 1959-1990, Garland Publishing, Inc. New York.
 Eliza Strickland, 2014, Medtronic Wants to Implant Sensors in Everyone, IEEE Spectrum, http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/biomedical/devices/medtronic-wants-to-implant-sensors-in-everyone
 Roger Achille, Christine Perakslis, Katina Michael, 2013, “Ethical Issues to consider for Microchip Implants in Humans”, 7th International Conference on Ethical Issues In Biomedical Engineering, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York.
Panelist 1: Professor Gordon Wallace
Is involved in the design and discovery of new materials for use in Energy and Health. In the Health area this involves using new materials to develop biocommunications from the molecular to skeletal domains in order to improve human performance via medical Bionics. In the Energy area this involves use of new materials to transform and to store energy, including novel wearable and implantable energy systems for the use in Medical Bionics. He is committed to the translation of fundamental discoveries into practical applications. He is a passionate communicator, dedicated to explaining scientific advances to all in the community from the lay person to the specialist. Gordon was recently appointed to the Prime Ministers Knowledge Nation 100. Gordon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Institute of Physics, and Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI). He has published more than 800 refereed publications; a monograph (3rd Edition published in 2009) on Conductive Electroactive Polymers: Intelligent Polymer Systems and co-authored a monograph on Organic Bionics (published 2012). He has recently co-authored an eBook on 3D BioPrinting He led the presentation of a MOOC on 3D Bioprinting on the FutureLearn platform. Gordon has supervised almost 100 PhD students to completion and has mentored more than 50 research fellows. Gordon completed his undergraduate (1979) and PhD (1983) degrees at Deakin University and was awarded a DSc from Deakin University in 2000. He was appointed as a Professor at the University of Wollongong in 1990. He was awarded an ARC Professorial Fellowship in 2002; an ARC Federation Fellowship in 2006 and ARC Laureate Fellowship in 2011.
Panelist 2: Joseph Wang
Joseph Wang is a Distinguished Professor and Chair of Nanoengineering at University of California San Diego (UCSD) and the Director of the Center for Wearable Sensors (CWS) of the Jacobs School of Engineering. Before joining UCSD in 2008 he held Regents Professor and Manasse Chair positions at NMSU and served as the Director of the Center for Bioelectronics and Biosensors (at the ASU Biodesign Institute). Wang is also a Honorary Professor from 6 different universities and the recipient of two National American Society Awards for Electrochemistry and Instrumentation. He was the recipient of the 1994 Heyrovsky Memorial Medal (of the Czech Republic), the 2012 Breyer Medal (Royal Australian Chemistry Institute), and the 2013 Spiers Memorial Medal (Royal Society of Chemistry), for his major contributions to electrochemistry. He is also a RSC Fellow and AIMBE Fellow. Wang serves as the founding Chief Editor of the Wiley journal Electroanalysis and on the editorial board of 15 other journals. The research interests of Dr. Wang include the development of advanced nanomotors and nanoactuators, nanobioelectronics and electrochemical biosensors, wearable sensor systems, and advanced materials for biofuel cells. He has been the mentor of 25 Ph.D. candidates and 150 research associates. He has authored over 980 research papers, 11 books, 20 patents, and 35 chapters (H Index 111). He was ranked as the most cited electrochemist in the world in 1995, the ‘Most Cited Researcher in Engineering’ during 1995- 2005. Website: http://nanoengineering.ucsd.edu/~joewang/
Panelist 3: Katina Michael
Is a professor in the School of Computing and Information Technology in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences at the University of Wollongong. Katina has been the editor-in-chief of IEEE Technology & Society Magazine since 2012, a Senior Editor of IEEE Consumer Electronics Magazine, and more recently an associate editor of Ethics and Practices of Biomedical Engineering. Katina also has served as a board member of the Australian Privacy Foundation since 2008, and has been a volunteer for the Consumer Federation of Australia since 2010. Her main research area is in the social implications of emerging technologies with a specific interest in implantables technologies for medical and non-medical applications in relation to socioethics and culture, privacy and security, risk and trust, law and regulation.