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The 21st century is frequently called the age of Artificial Intelligence (AI), prompting questions about its societal implications. It actively transforms numerous processes across various domains, and research ethics (RE) is no exception. Multiple challenges, encompassing accountability, privacy, and openness, are emerging.

Image credits: ornl.gov

Research Ethics Boards (REBs) have been instituted to guarantee adherence to ethical standards throughout research. This scoping review seeks to illuminate the challenges posed by AI in research ethics and assess the preparedness of REBs in evaluating these challenges. Ethical guidelines and standards for AI development and deployment are essential to address these concerns.

To sustain this awareness, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), a part of the Department of Energy, has joined the Trillion Parameter Consortium (TPC), a global collaboration of scientists, researchers, and industry professionals. The consortium aimed to address the challenges of building large-scale artificial intelligence (AI) systems and advancing trustworthy and reliable AI for scientific discovery.

ORNL’s collaboration with TPC aligns seamlessly with its commitment to developing secure, reliable, and energy-efficient AI, complementing the consortium’s emphasis on responsible AI. With over 300 researchers utilising AI to address Department of Energy challenges and hosting the world’s most powerful supercomputer, Frontier, ORNL is well-equipped to significantly contribute to the consortium’s objectives.

Leveraging its AI research and extensive resources, the laboratory will be crucial in addressing challenges such as constructing large-scale generative AI models for scientific and engineering problems. Specific tasks include creating scalable model architectures, implementing effective training strategies, organising and curating data for model training, optimising AI libraries for exascale computing platforms, and evaluating progress in scientific task learning, reliability, and trust.

TPC strives to build an open community of researchers developing advanced large-scale generative AI models for scientific and engineering progress. The consortium plans to voluntarily initiate, manage, and coordinate projects to prevent redundancy and enhance impact. Additionally, TPC seeks to establish a global network of resources and expertise to support the next generation of AI, uniting researchers focused on large-scale AI applications in science and engineering.

Prasanna Balaprakash, ORNL R&D staff scientist and director of the lab’s AI Initiative, said, “ORNL envisions being a critical resource for the consortium and is committed to ensuring the future of AI across the scientific spectrum.”

Further, as an international organisation that supports education, science, and culture, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has established ten principles of AI ethics regarding scientific research.

  1. Beneficence: AI systems should be designed to promote the well-being of individuals, communities, and the environment.
  2. Non-maleficence: AI systems should avoid causing harm to individuals, communities, and the environment.
  3. Autonomy: Individuals should have the right to control their data and to make their own decisions about how AI systems are used.
  4. Justice: AI systems should be designed to be fair, equitable, and inclusive.
  5. Transparency: AI systems’ design, operation, and outcomes should be transparent and explainable.
  6. Accountability: There should be clear lines of responsibility for developing, deploying, and using AI systems.
  7. Privacy: The privacy of individuals should be protected when data is collected, processed, and used by AI systems.
  8. Data security: Data used by AI systems should be secure and protected from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction.
  9. Human oversight: AI systems should be subject to human management and control.
  10. Social and environmental compatibility: AI systems should be designed to be compatible with social and ecological values.

Since 1979, ORNL’s AI research has gained a portfolio with the launch of the Oak Ridge Applied Artificial Intelligence Project to ensure the alignment of UNESCO principles. Today, the AI Initiative focuses on developing secure, trustworthy, and energy-efficient AI across various applications, showcasing the laboratory’s commitment to advancing AI in fields ranging from biology to national security. The collaboration with TPC reinforces ORNL’s dedication to driving breakthroughs in large-scale scientific AI, aligning with the world agenda in implementing AI ethics.

The Cyberport Entrepreneurship Programmes’ 20th Anniversary Celebration and Graduation Ceremony was a major event attended by notable personalities, distinguished guests and budding innovators.

Cyberport is Hong Kong’s digital technology flagship and incubator for entrepreneurship with over 2,000 members including over 900 onsite and close to 1,100 offsite start-ups and technology companies. It is managed by Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited, wholly owned by the Hong Kong SAR Government.

With a vision to become Hong Kong’s digital technology hub and stimulate a fresh economic impetus, Cyberport is dedicated to cultivating a dynamic tech environment. This commitment involves nurturing talent, encouraging youth entrepreneurship, aiding startups, fostering industry growth through strategic partnerships with local and international entities, and driving digital transformation across public and private sectors, bridging new and traditional economies.

Image credits: Innovation, Technology and Industry Bureau

Professor Sun Dong, the Secretary for Innovation, Technology, and Industry, Hong Kong highlighted Cyberport’s incredible journey and the achievements of its vibrant community. Expressing his delight in commemorating Cyberport’s two-decade-long legacy, he emphasised the institution’s pivotal role as an ICT powerhouse in Hong Kong.

From its humble beginnings to its present stature, Cyberport has emerged as a catalyst for innovation, nurturing over 2,000 technology companies and startups and showcasing an exponential growth rate over the past five years.

Cyberport’s community has attracted a staggering US$38 billion of investment, marking its significance as an ICT flagship in Hong Kong. The establishment takes pride in its contribution to nurturing numerous innovative ideas and fostering dynamic business ventures, with seven notable unicorns in fintech, smart living, and digital entertainment sectors.

Cyberport excelled at the prestigious Hong Kong ICT Awards, with 25 startups securing 28 accolades, including the esteemed Award of the Year. This achievement showcased the institution’s exceptional calibre and innovation prowess nurtured within its ecosystem.

Acknowledging the pivotal role of startups in Cyberport’s success story, Professor Sun Dong shared how these young enterprises, often starting with a simple idea at a small table, grow in tandem with Cyberport’s support. The institution provides not just financial aid but also a nurturing environment where entrepreneurs can leverage extensive networks, collaborative spaces, and expert guidance to cultivate their ideas into commercial successes.

The graduation of more than 200 startups from the Entrepreneurship Programme stood as a testament to Cyberport’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurial talent. This initiative empowers startups to translate their ideas into tangible commercial solutions and market breakthroughs, laying the foundation for their future success.

Looking ahead, Professor Sun Dong outlined Cyberport’s exciting plans, including the upcoming expansion block slated for completion in two years, aimed at providing additional space for the community’s development. He also highlighted Cyberport’s initiative to establish the Artificial Intelligence Supercomputing Centre, a pioneering endeavour set to commence in 2024, envisioned to be a pioneering and substantial facility in Hong Kong.

Cyberport’s extraordinary journey showcases significant achievements while charting a promising future, embodying the core values of innovation, collaboration, and collective growth.

Professor Sun expressed gratitude on behalf of the Government, acknowledging their hard work and contributions to the tech ecosystem emphasising the importance of collective participation for a better future.

The vibrant success of events like the Cyberport Venture Capital Forum 2023 resonates with Cyberport’s commitment to fostering innovation and collaboration, further cementing its role as a catalyst for technological advancement and entrepreneurial growth in Hong Kong.

The Cyberport Venture Capital Forum (CVCF) 2023 saw a turnout of over 2,500 participants during its two-day hybrid event. Themed “Venture Forward: Game Changing through Innovation,” the forum convened 80 global visionary venture experts, entrepreneurial pioneers, and influential thinkers. With more than 120,000 page views and over 300 fundraising meetings facilitated, it solidified its position as a pivotal platform fostering networking and collaborative opportunities.

In a significant stride towards technological innovation and sustainable development, the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) have joined forces to revolutionise India’s construction and wastewater treatment sectors.

Image credits: Press Information Bureau

This pioneering collaboration under the “Access to Knowledge for Technology Development and Dissemination (A2K+) Studies” Scheme of DSIR is aimed at aligning with India’s Smart Cities Mission and its ambitious commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

DSIR’s allocation of two crucial research studies to TERI signifies a pivotal step in bridging the informational gap on advanced building materials, designs for energy efficiency, and the assessment of membrane-based sewage wastewater treatment systems for reuse and recycling.

A significant milestone in this partnership was marked by a high-profile Stakeholder Consultant Meeting held at the prestigious India Habitat Center in New Delhi. Attended by key decision-makers, esteemed experts from academia, industry leaders, and policymakers, this event became a platform for insightful discussions and collaborations.

Dr Sujata Chaklanobis, Scientist ‘G’ and Head of A2K+ Studies at DSIR, emphasised the importance of promoting industrial research for indigenous technology development, utilisation, and transfer in her address. Her words underscored the crucial role of research and innovation in fostering sustainable technological advancements.

Mr Sanjay Seth, Senior Director of TERI’s Sustainable Infrastructure Programme highlighted India’s commitment to carbon neutrality by 2070. He stressed the imperative integration of cutting-edge technologies and innovative designs in buildings to significantly reduce energy consumption, a key step towards a sustainable, low-carbon future.

The first session of the consultation centred on leveraging emerging technologies and innovative solutions for advanced building design to enhance energy efficiency. Experts from various domains provided insightful suggestions and information, fostering dialogue on energy-efficient building designs and sustainable construction practices.

The second session delved into the current status and prospects of membrane technologies in India for sewage treatment. Insights from academia, including professors from prestigious institutions, shed light on research gaps and opportunities for commercialisation in the domain of membrane-based technologies.

Industry experts also provided valuable perspectives on the current membrane market, innovations, and opportunities, creating a comprehensive understanding of the landscape and paving the way for future developments.

The amalgamation of insights from academia, industry, and end-users enriched the discussions, providing a roadmap for future innovation and development in these critical sectors. The event culminated with a commitment from both DSIR and TERI to embark on an innovation journey, heralding a sustainable and resilient future for India.

The DSIR-TERI collaborative consultation stands as a beacon of transformative progress in advancing sustainable building practices and sewage treatment technologies. It underscores the power of partnership in driving technological evolution for a more sustainable tomorrow.

India’s ambitions intertwine technological progress with a steadffast commitment to sustainability, envisioning a future where innovation not only drives economic growth but also champions environmental stewardship.

Through strategic initiatives and cooperation, India aims to leverage cutting-edge technologies to address pressing global challenges, ensuring a harmonious balance between technological advancement, environmental preservation, and societal well-being.

NITI Aayog, in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, initiated the India Australia Rapid Innovation and Startup Expansion (RISE) Accelerator under the Atal Innovation Mission (AIM) to bolster circular economy startups from both countries, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IIT-Kanpur) and the African-Asian Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) jointly organised an international training programme, focused on exploring the application of nanotechnology in promoting plant growth and crop protection for sustainable agriculture.

According to an IIT-Kanpur statement, the programme served as a forum for experts from diverse fields to discuss and deliberate on solutions to meet the urgent global challenge of achieving food security and promoting sustainability in agriculture.

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Defence, Heng Chee How, and Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information and Health, Dr Janil Puthucheary, recently visited the Critical Infrastructure Defence Exercise (CIDeX) 2023, underscoring the government’s commitment to fortifying national cybersecurity.

Image credit: mindef.gov.sg

The exercise, held at the National University of Singapore School of Computing, witnessed over 200 participants engaging in operational technology (OT) critical infrastructure defence training.

Organised by the Digital and Intelligence Service (DIS) and the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA), with support from iTrust/SUTD and the National Cybersecurity R&D Laboratory (NCL), CIDeX 2023 marked a collaborative effort to enhance Whole-Of-Government (WoG) cyber capabilities. The exercise focused on detecting and countering cyber threats to both Information Technology (IT) and OT networks governing critical infrastructure sectors.

This year’s edition boasted participation from DIS, CSA, and 24 other national agencies across six Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) sectors. With an expanded digital infrastructure comprising six enterprise IT networks and three new OT testbeds, participants operated on six OT testbeds within key sectors—power, water, telecom, and aviation.

CIDeX 2023 featured Blue Teams, composed of national agency participants serving as cyber defenders, defending their digital infrastructure against simulated cyber-attacks launched by a composite Red Team comprising DIS, CSA, DSTA, and IMDA personnel. The exercises simulated attacks on both IT and OT networks, including scenarios such as overloading an airport substation, disrupting water distribution, and shutting down a gas plant.

The exercise provided a platform for participants to hone their technical competencies, enhance collaboration, and share expertise across agencies. Before CIDeX, participants underwent a five-day hands-on training programme at the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)’s Cyber Defence Test and Evaluation Centre (CyTEC) at Stagmont Camp, ensuring readiness for cyber defence challenges.

On the sidelines of CIDeX 2023, the DIS solidified cyber collaboration by signing Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with key technology sector partners, expanding its partnerships beyond the earlier agreement with Microsoft earlier in the year.

Senior Minister Heng emphasised the importance of inter-agency cooperation, stating, “CIDeX is a platform where we bring together many agencies throughout the government to come together to learn how to defend together.” He highlighted the collective effort involving 26 agencies and over 200 participants, acknowledging the significance of unity in cybersecurity.

Dr Janil echoed this sentiment, emphasising CIDeX’s role in the Whole-of-Government (WoG) cyber defence effort. He remarked, “Defending Singapore’s cyberspace is not an easy task, and it is a team effort.”

He commended the strong partnership between the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore and the Digital and Intelligence Service, recognising the exercise as a crucial element in strengthening the nation’s digital resilience and national cybersecurity posture.

By leveraging collaboration, innovation, and a robust defence strategy, Singapore aims not just to protect its critical infrastructure but to set a global standard in cybersecurity practices.

CIDeX 2023 serves as a compelling embodiment of Singapore’s unwavering dedication to maintaining a leadership position in cybersecurity practices. This strategic exercise underscores the nation’s commitment to cultivating collaboration and fortifying its resilience against continually evolving cyber threats.

Beyond a training ground for sharpening the skills of cyber defenders, CIDeX 2023 encapsulates the government’s profound commitment to adopting a robust, collaborative, and forward-thinking approach to safeguarding the integrity and security of the nation’s critical infrastructure in the dynamic landscape of the digital age.

The Indonesian government actively strives to implement thematic Bureaucratic Reform (RB) directly addressing societal issues. Minister of State Apparatus Empowerment and Bureaucratic Reform (PANRB) Abdullah Azwar Anas emphasised that innovation is one way to realise impactful bureaucracy.

Image credits: menpan.go.id

To create impactful bureaucracy through innovation, the PANRB Ministry, which oversees public services, encourages local governments to replicate innovations through the Public Service Innovation Replication Forum (FRIPP). This is done to expand the reach of inventions and make them an integral part of the Bureaucratic Reform effort. The PANRB Ministry, as the overseer of public services, pays special attention to the steps local governments take in implementing innovations in public service delivery.

The Public Service Innovation Replication Forum (FRIPP) is a platform for local governments to share and discuss their experiences adopting specific innovations. By sharing best practices and learnings, local governments can gain valuable insights to enhance the quality of public services at the local level.

Furthermore, Abdullah Azwar Anas emphasised that inter-government collaboration is critical to building an innovative and positively impactful bureaucracy. “Through FRIPP, we encourage local governments to inspire and adopt innovations that have proven to provide real benefits to the community,” said Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas.

As previously reported by OpenGov Asia, the PANRB Ministry, along with the Ministry of Home Affairs and the National Administrative Agency (LAN), successfully launched the National Public Service Innovation Network (JIPPNas) website as a knowledge management system and the national database for public service innovations.

JIPPNas represents a concrete step in building an innovation ecosystem at the national level. This platform allows local governments to share ideas, projects, and innovative solutions in delivering public services. With this platform, other local governments can easily access and adopt innovations, accelerating the spread of best practices.

“Therefore, the presence of JIPPNas is expected to be an effort to grow new public service models through collaboration to achieve the future government,” said Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas.

In the discourse of Future Government, Minister Abdullah Azwar Anas outlined four main focus areas of the Thematic Bureaucratic Reform, which serve as the foundation for ambitious goals: poverty alleviation, increased investment, digitisation of government administration, and accelerating the current President’s priorities. Emphasis on these areas is crucial to ensuring that the bureaucracy is an effective and efficient driving force in realising the government’s vision and mission.

Minister Anas stressed the importance of a prime bureaucratic condition as a foundation to achieve the desired goals. Like a machine that must be well-maintained, the bureaucracy is directed to be able to drive the “vehicle” of the government towards the desired direction. Thus, the success of implementing the Thematic Bureaucratic Reform involves not only structural transformation but also upholding the quality and readiness of the bureaucracy as the primary driver of development.

Addressing Future Governance or Governance 5.0, Minister Anas detailed a significant paradigm shift. The “government regulating society” transitions to “Government working together with society,” or more precisely, considering society as a partner. This concept marks an evolution in how the government interacts with society, creating closer and more inclusive collaboration.

The importance of support from strategic partners such as Indonesia Infrastructure Project Governance (IIPG) is also highlighted. As a supporter of public governance reform, IIPG significantly contributes to maintaining synergy and harmonisation of roles across multi-sectors, both from the private and public sectors. This synergy is crucial in maintaining optimal performance and achieving public governance reform goals.

In line with the paradigm shift and focus on reform, these steps mark the government’s severe efforts to build a foundation for an adaptive, responsive, and actively engaged Future Government. Thematic Bureaucratic Reform is not just about structural transformation but also an effort to create a governance ecosystem capable of meeting the challenges and demands of the times effectively and competitively.

The Western Australian government has unveiled a comprehensive set of measures aimed at reducing bureaucratic hurdles, alleviating work burdens, and fostering a conducive environment for educators to focus on teaching. The region’s Education Minister, Dr Tony Buti, spearheading this initiative, took into account the insights from two pivotal reports and explored the potential of AI tools to revamp policies and processes.

In the wake of an in-depth review into bureaucratic complexities earlier this year, Minister Buti carefully considered the outcomes of the Department of Education’s “Understanding and Reducing the Workload of Teachers and Leaders in Western Australian Public Schools” review and the State School Teachers’ Union’s “Facing the Facts” report. Both reports shed light on the escalating intricacies of teaching and the primary factors contributing to workloads for educators, school leaders, and institutions.

Embracing technology as a key driver for change, the government is contemplating the adoption of AI, drawing inspiration from successful trials in other Australian states. The objective is to modernise and enhance the efficiency of professional learning, lesson planning, marking, and assessment development. AI tools also hold promise in automating tasks such as excursion planning, meeting preparations, and general correspondence, thereby mitigating the burden on teachers.

Collaborating with the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, as well as the independent and Catholic sectors, the government aims to explore AI applications to streamline curriculum planning and elevate classroom teaching. The integration of AI is envisioned to usher in a new era of educational efficiency.

In consultation with unions, associations, principals, teachers, and administrative staff, the Department of Education has identified a range of strategies to immediately, in the short term, and in the long term, alleviate the workload for public school educators.

Among these strategies, a noteworthy allocation of AU$2.26 million is earmarked for a trial involving 16 Complex Behaviour Support Coordinators. These coordinators will collaborate with public school leaders to tailor educational programs for students with disabilities and learning challenges.

Furthermore, a pioneering pilot project, jointly funded by State and Federal Governments, seeks to digitise paper-based school forms, reducing red tape and providing a consistent, accessible, and efficient method for sharing information online. Each digital submission is anticipated to save 30 minutes of staff time compared to its paper-based counterpart. Additionally, efforts are underway to simplify the process related to the exclusion of public school students while enhancing support to schools.

As part of the broader effort to support schools, the ‘Connect and Respect’ program, outlining expectations for appropriate relationships with teachers, is set to undergo expansion. This expansion includes the creation of out-of-office templates, and establishing boundaries on when it is acceptable to contact staff after working hours. The overarching goal is to minimise misunderstandings and conflicts, fostering a healthier work-life balance for teaching staff.

The Education Minister expressed his commitment to reducing administrative tasks that divert teachers from their core mission of educating students. Acknowledging the pervasive nature of this challenge, the Minister emphasised the government’s determination to create optimal conditions for school staff to focus on their primary roles.

In his remarks, the Minister underscored the significance of these initiatives, emphasising their positive impact in ensuring that teachers can dedicate their time and energy to helping every student succeed. The unveiled measures represent a pivotal step toward realising the government’s vision of a streamlined, technology-enhanced educational landscape that prioritises the well-being of educators and, ultimately, the success of students.

Chengdu, a city at the forefront of digital innovation, has officially launched a groundbreaking smart dispatching platform aimed at revolutionising the full life cycle management of key projects. This innovative initiative, part of the broader Smart Chengdu framework, is set to accelerate the city’s development while exploring new avenues for urban transformation.

The platform, which has undergone several months of successful trial operations, stands as a testament to Chengdu’s commitment to embracing digital solutions for efficient project management. Recently inaugurated, it has already garnered attention and accolades from national supervisory bodies, emphasising its potential as a model for other cities to emulate.

At the core of this digital innovation is a display screen projecting information on nearly a thousand provincial and municipal key projects. The platform’s user-friendly interface allows stakeholders to access comprehensive details about each project, from its basic information to the status of construction. This real-time visualisation facilitates informed decision-making and efficient project monitoring.

The platform employs an advanced “green-yellow-orange-red” early warning system, categorising projects based on their progress. This three-level warning mechanism offers a quick visual assessment, indicating whether a project is on track or faces delays. This approach is a game-changer, enabling swift identification of potential challenges and ensuring timely intervention to prevent setbacks.

The Major Project Coordination and Promotion Office within the Municipal Development and Reform Commission oversees the platform’s operation. They explain that the system closely monitors four crucial stages in project development: project establishment, land use permit, planning permit, and construction permit. Any deviation from the planned progress triggers a colour-coded warning, prompting automatic notifications to relevant departments for immediate action.

One of the platform’s distinguishing features is its integration of provincial, municipal, regional, and industry-specific key projects, creating a comprehensive “1+N” intelligent dispatching system. This innovative model not only expedites project management intervention time by at least 200 days but also enhances the city’s overall development efficiency.

The platform’s nightly updates against benchmarks ensure that project monitoring information remains current. In case of any progress delays, an early warning is issued the next morning, accompanied by a conspicuous “warning light” on the platform. This proactive approach keeps stakeholders informed about projects lagging behind schedule, fostering a culture of accountability and timely resolution.

Local authorities express their enthusiasm for the platform’s positive impact on project management. He Junjun, head of the Project Promotion Section at the Jinniu District Development and Reform Bureau, stressed that the platform has created a competitive environment, compelling all levels and departments to intensify efforts for greater efficiency in project construction.

The digital empowerment provided by Chengdu’s smart dispatching platform is transforming project management from a reactive process to a proactive and streamlined approach. By combining online smart monitoring with offline problem coordination and resolution, Chengdu aims to establish a robust “online + offline” coordination force for major projects. The platform’s success is evident in the significant reduction of warning letters issued and the accelerated advancement of key projects.

Since its trial operation early this year, the platform has issued 945 warnings, resulting in the elimination of 778 warnings due to accelerated project advancement. The number of projects awaiting initiation has seen a substantial decrease, showcasing the tangible outcomes of this digital innovation in Chengdu’s project management landscape.

Chengdu’s smart dispatching platform exemplifies the transformative power of digital innovation in urban development, setting a precedent for other cities aspiring to enhance efficiency, transparency, and sustainability in their key project initiatives.

According to predictions from a global cybersecurity company, the financial sector witnessed increased cybercriminals targeting online payment processing systems in 2020. This phenomenon is becoming more significant as the shopping process transforms into the online realm, making this sector highly vulnerable to cybercrimes. Especially as Christmas and New Year approach, where shopping intensifies substantially, cybercriminals see this moment as a golden opportunity to launch their dangerous actions.

In light of this challenge, amidst the holiday shopping season, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection (OCCIP) is arming consumers with valuable insights on how to stay cyber-secure and avoid falling prey to online scams. In a positive light, this advisory not only recognises the challenges posed by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) in cybercrimes but empowers individuals to take proactive measures to protect themselves.

This holiday season, as people immerse themselves in the festive spirit, OCCIP urges Americans to stay vigilant, be proactive, and respond immediately if targeted by scammers or fraud. Rather than emphasising the negative aspects of potential cyber threats, OCCIP’s approach is geared towards equipping consumers with the knowledge and tools to navigate the digital landscape securely.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for OCCIP, Todd Conklin, emphasises the need for consumers to exercise caution and critical thinking during online transactions. He noted that every year, cybercriminals are getting more creative to take advantage of consumers, and this year is no different with the rise of AI. However, Conklin encouraged individuals to approach online deals discerningly instead of fostering fear. The advisory recommends thinking, researching, and consulting with trusted individuals before purchasing, cultivating a positive and empowering mindset.

To further emphasise the positive message, the OCCIP advisory raises awareness about potential risks and offers a comprehensive set of constructive tips for consumers. In empowering individuals with self-efficacy, the advisory aims to instil confidence in consumers as they navigate the online marketplace during the festive season.

Moreover, the OCCIP advisory takes a proactive stance by furnishing victims of fraud with practical steps to mitigate damages and losses. This approach is strategically designed to reassure individuals that, even in the unfortunate event of falling prey to a scam, there are actionable measures they can promptly undertake to rectify the situation and minimise the impact on their finances.

The OCCIP recognises the evolving landscape of cyber threats, especially with cyber criminals’ increased integration of artificial intelligence. By acknowledging the challenges posed by AI-driven phishing attacks, the advisory positions itself as a warning system and a guide for consumers to navigate the complexities of an online environment fraught with potential risks.

As part of its positive outreach, OCCIP emphasises the importance of trusting one’s instincts and not succumbing to pressure while making online transactions. The advisory suggests that if an online deal appears too good to be true, it likely is. This messaging aims to empower consumers with the confidence to make informed decisions and resist the tactics employed by cybercriminals.

OCCIP provides the public with a copy of the advisory in the cooperative mindset of sharing information. This transparency and openness foster community and shared responsibility in tackling cyber threats. Through this stride of individuals to report fraud incidents to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3), OCCIP promotes a collective effort in combating cybercrimes.

This news underscores that the responsibility for addressing the cyber threat is not solely on individuals but is a collective effort that people must tackle together. As the U.S. prepares for its festive holidays, other countries must also emphasise the importance of collectively addressing the cyber threat during this upcoming season. By implementing these measures collaboratively, OpenGov believes that cybersecurity measures will foster a safer online environment for everyone.

All institutions rely on IT to deliver services. Disruption, degradation, or unauthorised alteration of information and systems can impact an institution’s condition, core processes, and risk profile. Furthermore, organisations are expected to make quick decisions due to the rapid pace of dynamic transformation. To stay competitive, data is a crucial resource for tackling this challenge.

Hence, data protection is paramount in safeguarding the integrity and confidentiality of this invaluable resource. Organisations must implement robust security measures to prevent unauthorised access, data breaches, and other cyber threats that could compromise sensitive information.

Prasert Chandraruangthong, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, supports the National Agenda in fortifying personal data protection with Asst Prof Dr Veerachai Atharn, Assistant Director of the National Science and Technology Development Agency, Science Park, and Dr Siwa Rak Siwamoksatham, Secretary-General of the Personal Data Protection Committee, gave a welcome speech. It marks that the training aims to bolster the knowledge about data protection among the citizens of Thailand.

Data protection is not only for the organisation, but it also becomes responsible for the individuals, Minister Prasert Chandraruangthong emphasises. Thailand has collaboratively developed a comprehensive plan regarding the measures to foster a collective defence against cyber threats towards data privacy.

The Ministry of Digital Economy and Society and the Department of Special Investigation (DSI) will expedite efforts to block illegal trading of personal information. Offenders will be actively pursued, prosecuted, and arrested to ensure a swift and effective response in safeguarding the privacy and security of individuals’ data.

This strategy underscores the government’s commitment to leveraging digital technology to fortify data protection measures and create a safer online environment for all citizens by partnering with other entities.

Further, many countries worldwide share these cybersecurity concerns. In Thailand’s neighbouring country, Indonesia, the government has noticed that data privacy is a crucial aspect that demands attention. Indonesia has recognised the paramount importance of safeguarding individuals’ privacy and has taken significant steps to disseminate stakeholders to gain collaborative effort in fortifying children’s security.

Nezar Patria, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Communication and Information of Indonesia, observed that children encounter abundant online information and content. It can significantly lead them to unwanted exposure and potential risks as artificial intelligence has evolved.

Patria stressed the crucial role of AI, emphasising the importance of implementing automatic content filters and moderation to counteract harmful content. AI can be used to detect cyberbullying through security measures and by recognising the patterns of cyberbullying perpetrators. It can also identify perpetrators of online violence through behavioural detection in the digital space and enhance security and privacy protection. Moreover, AI can assist parents in monitoring screen time, ensuring that children maintain a balanced and healthy level of engagement with digital devices.

Conversely, the presence of generative AI technology, such as deep fake, enables the manipulation of photo or video content, potentially leading to the creation of harmful material with children as victims. Patria urged collaborative discussions among all stakeholders involved in related matters to harness AI technology for the advancement and well-being of children in Indonesia.

In the realm of digital advancements, cybersecurity is the priority right now. Through public awareness campaigns, workshops, and training initiatives, nations aim to empower citizens with the knowledge to identify, prevent, and respond to cyber threats effectively. The ongoing commitment to cybersecurity reflects the country’s dedication to ensuring a secure and thriving digital future for its citizens and the broader digital community.

The New South Wales (NSW) Government is working to address the anticipated shortage of 85,000 digital workers in the region by 2030. In a collaborative effort, government officials, leaders from the digital industry, and education and training providers are joining forces to bridge the looming digital skills gap. The Minister for Skills, TAFE, and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan, recently officiated the launch of the NSW Digital Skills and Workforce Compact at NSW Parliament House, marking a significant milestone in the initiative.

Image adapted from 2023-25 NSW Digital Skills – Compact Action Plan

The collaboration involves 37 compact partners, comprising the highest echelons of industry representation. Together, these partners hold a considerable reach, influencing 1.7 million students and representing over 340,000 digital workers in NSW.

The scope of the compact is extensive, aiming to promote digital careers across the state, with a specific focus on encouraging traditionally underrepresented groups such as women, First Nations people, and individuals in regional and remote areas to pursue tech-related professions.

At its core, the compact seeks to transform the perception of digital careers, fostering diversity in the sector and creating welcoming and productive workspaces. Recognising the urgency of the skills shortage, the partnership is committed to developing and implementing new employment pathways, providing on-the-job training experiences for individuals aspiring to embark on a long-term career in the digital industry.

The ambitious goals of the NSW Digital Compact are outlined in a comprehensive set of milestones. Firstly, the compact aims to alter societal perceptions of tech careers, emphasising diversity and inclusivity within the sector. By collaborating with industry partners, the initiative plans to expand and enhance new pathway programs for tech roles, including traineeships and work experiences. Additionally, efforts will be made to extend the reach of mentoring and networking programs to engage a more diverse audience.

Recognising the importance of continuous learning and adaptation in the rapidly evolving tech landscape, the compact seeks to provide increased opportunities for the people of NSW to reskill or upskill in tech-related roles. This not only addresses the immediate skills shortage but also positions the workforce to meet the evolving demands of the digital industry.

A crucial component of the collaborative effort is the establishment of a Digital Education Forum. This platform, created in collaboration with universities, TAFE institutions, school curriculum providers, and industry experts, is dedicated to enhancing tech education and fostering stronger industry partnerships. The forum serves as a proactive measure to ensure that educational institutions are aligned with industry needs and that students are equipped with the skills required to thrive in the digital workforce.

The Minister Steve Whan underscores the significance of this landmark agreement, emphasising the commitment of the NSW Government to shape a digitally empowered future for the state. Beyond just bridging the skills gap, the NSW Digital Compact is laying the foundation for a resilient and inclusive digital workforce.

The Minister highlights that the compact represents a substantial opportunity for government, industry, and education leaders to work together in changing people’s perceptions of ‘tech’ and expanding the inclusivity of the sector.

The Chair of the NSW Skills Board and CEO of ANZ branch of the partnering tech firm stressed the research commissioned by the NSW Skills Board, projecting a shortfall of 85,000 digital workers by 2030. To address this gap, the compact partners aim to achieve 20% of new hires coming from alternative pathways by the same year. The Chair believes that the compact will play a pivotal role in providing a pipeline of diverse talent to fill high-paying, secure jobs that are being created in NSW’s rapidly growing digital sector.

The NSW Digital Compact Partners include the NSW Government, several major global companies, the Institute of Applied Technology Digital, TAFE NSW, Tech Council of Australia, and all NSW/ACT universities. This diverse coalition reflects a collective commitment to building a robust and inclusive digital workforce, ensuring that NSW remains at the forefront of digital innovation in the years to come.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.