President Joko Widodo has officially announced that the capital will be relocated to East Kalimantan and will be inaugurated in 2024, “Indonesia’s new capital is part of the massive transformation in the country!”
Ministries and government agencies will be relocated to the new capital from 2024 to 2045. For a country to become digitally enabled, it will require a massive data migration strategy in which government services are fully integrated, transparent, and secure. A regulatory framework for national digital transformation, encompassing four major domains: internal policy, governance, management, and service, must be established.
What steps need to be taken to ensure a secure effective cloud migration?
The Indonesian government’s “One Data” policy and the digital government environment are expected to have a significant impact on the design of big data architecture and infrastructure. In Indonesia, digital governance policies emphasise establishing stewardship, accountability, roles and decision-making authority for the city’s digital presence.
To avoid misalignment during the implementation of the digital strategy, the Indonesian government intends to establish a well-designed digital governance framework that will fully govern data protection and security.
Policymakers concerned with establishing security and data protection policies that balance the need to protect data with the need to enable secure data flows will always face challenges. To make this work, some governments have imposed stringent regulations, while others have developed a wide range of technical and security policies that overlap with existing international standards, resulting in a complex web of conflicting policies.
However, from a technological standpoint, we will explore the best solutions that will complement Indonesia’s “One Data” policy and practice.
Several trends emerge in the new shift towards the “One Data” policy. The first of which is the transition to “Datafication”. This practical concept has proven to be effective and is expected to deliver as all ministries prepare to migrate data and workflow in preparation to move to the new capital city. It is critical to plan the migration strategically to ensure that data is fully backed up and automated.
Another aspect to consider is expanding on the backup data classification. To guarantee data is always recoverable and available in the event of outages, attacks, loss or cyber threats, ministries must protect all workloads with backups, supplemented with snapshots and replication where appropriate.
This function enhances data governance practices, thereby increasing citizen and investor trust. Further, being prepared by implementing data classification and infrastructure resources can help in combating cyberthreat or data loss has effectively reduced the risk of a data breach.
The Virtual Public Sector Day held on 23 March 2022 is aimed at providing insights and practical solutions that enable the Indonesian public sector to maximise its data capability through comprehensive, centralised data protection, a cost-effective and secure data-driven process during the migration of data to the new capital.
The urgency of cloud modernisation
Kicking off the session, Mohit acknowledges that the pandemic brought significant changes in culture and perspective. In the new normal where remote working has been established, “data has to be readily available,” Mohit opines.
Yet, merely having data is not enough, “Data is oil only when it is used.” Everyone is in the process of realigning the data strategy, configuring their data policy on where data should be kept and how they should be used.
For Mohit, in the future that the world is heading towards, data needs to be accessible, backed up and secured. “You will get hit, it is going to happen,” Mohit claims. “The question is, what is your recovery strategy and how are you managing your data?”
Mohit observes that many governments have rapidly pivoted to build their applications on cloud – due to the elasticity and security that cloud offers. However, he agrees that some data will continue to reside on-prem, which is why hybrid models are embraced.
It is vital to learn how to use your entire set seamlessly. Organisations are dealing with legacy systems as well as “legacy people,” making the point that skillsets need to develop alongside the modernisation journey.
Closing his address, he strongly recommends governments look for specialists to partner with instead of doing everything on their own. “Let the experts do what they do best,” Mohit urges.
“It not only allows the best systems and infrastructure to be put in place but also frees up the organisation’s staff to concentrate on the business and focus on driving growth.”
Data strategies to power a digital government
Raymond Goh Senior Director, Systems Engineering, Asian & Japan, Veeam spoke next on the nuts and bolts of devising a data strategy in the public sector.
“How are we embracing technology? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?”, Raymond asks.
According to Raymond, there will always be pressure regardless of whether one is an optimist or pessimist. Data is exploding and organisations are running out of capacity to store data. There are several implications of that:
- De-duplication and compression to redress the capacity gap
- Feasibility of media technology like object storage architecture
- Intelligent data management that increases efficiency and utilisation
While data management is needed, Raymond acknowledges the challenges that organisations face including manual data classification from different inputs and applying it to compliance, disaster recovery, security or archive strategy. Yet there is hope in that there is cognitive computing and AIto sort, tag, place and automate data movement.
Sharing some of the use cases of data management systems, Raymond highlights the use case in the business continuity plan. Some of the key benefits are as follows:
- Backup Data classification from tier-based archiving to cloud and/or tape to cater for ZB data growth
- Disaster Recovery data classification together with infrastructure resources to combat cyberthreat or data loss
- Using criticality and gap assessments to ensure governance and compliance
Raymond also emphasises that it is a gradual process towards a hybrid cloud model and not “a big bang” approach.
Accordingly, Raymond shares how Veeam helps organisations with digital transformation. For Veeam, there are 5 stages of intelligent data management:
Protect all workloads using backups, complemented by snapshots and replication where appropriate, to ensure they are always recoverable and available in the event of outages, attack, loss, or theft.
- Cloud mobility
Provides easy portability and fast recovery of ANY on-premises or cloud-based workloads to Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Azure Stack to maintain business continuity and Availability across hybrid cloud environments
View the full breadth of your data, accompanied by the infrastructure that it passes through and resides on, so that you can pivot from reactive to proactive management for better business decisions.
Optimise data utilisation across multi-cloud environments with workflows that ensure consistent execution of otherwise manual and complex backup, recovery, and data management tasks.
Data becomes self-managing by learning to protect itself with appropriate SLAs (Singapore Land Authority), methods, and locations to meet business objectives or comply with broader IT (Information Technology) initiatives.
From his experience, he concludes that utilising Veeam offers agencies a better data management system that can allow government agencies to provide better and faster services to citizens. Overall, it enables agencies the ability to protect, manage and unleash data.
Enhancing government services and citizen experience through cloud technology
Mohammad Ghozie Indra Dalel, Country Manager, Indonesia Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services followed with a sharing of how AWS can assist government agencies in their cloud modernisation journey.
According to Ghozie, Forbes has predicted that 80% of enterprise IT will move to the cloud by 2025, asserting the inevitable trend of cloud adoption.
Compared to traditional infrastructure, there are many benefits of cloud computing, including the on-demand delivery of IT resources over public or private networks without the up-front costs and long-term contracts. Apart from that, cloud computing offers pay-as-you-go pricing and the agility to scale up and down.
Ghozie shared that AWS Regions are comprised of multiple AZs for high availability, high scalability, and high fault tolerance. Applications and data are replicated in real-time and consistent in the different AZs.
On the topic of security, Ghozie articulated AWS’ shared responsibility model.
- Security in the Cloud: Customer responsibility will be determined by the AWS Cloud services that a customer selects
- Security of the Cloud: AWS is responsible for protecting the infrastructure that runs all the services offered in the AWS Cloud
Emphasising how industry leaders in Indonesia are building on AWS, Ghozie cited some prominent case examples of how AWS has helped the public sector devise solutions for their workflow.
During the pandemic, the government allocated Kartu Prakerja US$ 1.4 billion in 2021 to offer monetary incentives on top of skills training for those who complete these training courses. However, many attempted to exploit the government programme for their own monetary gain by submitting multiple registrations under different identities.
To make sure more Indonesians can benefit from its programme, Kartu Prakerja worked with AWS to improve and scale its identity verification process. With Amazon Textract’s computer vision technology, it can automatically extract data from copies of personal identification cards in seconds.
In closing, Ghozie concludes by stating that AWS improves operations safely and allows agencies to deploy resources at scale and with speed. He shared that the experience of AWS is something the government agencies can leverage to power their journey towards cloud modernisation.
Power Talk: “One Data” policy – Facilitating interaction between the government and citizens using the right technology
In the next segment, Mohit moderated a panel discussion with the following panellists:
- Habisanti, Country Manager, Indonesia, Veeam
- Raymond Goh, Senior Director of Systems Engineering, Asia & Japan, Veeam
- Setiaji, Chief of Digital Transformation Officer, Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia
- Wahyu Andrianto, Head of Data Planning, Analysis & Utilisation, Sekretariat Satu Data Indonesia, BAPPENAS
- Mohammad Ghozie Indra Dalel, Country Manager, Indonesia Worldwide Public Sector, Amazon Web Services
Mohit was keen to gain a perspective on global trends towards cloud adoption and modernisation.
Raymond observes that there is a movement towards intelligent data management. While there are still traditional workloads residing on-prem, there are data that are associated with the applications that are hosted on cloud. He added that there is a need to create an environment to support the applications.
Wahyu concurred with Raymond’s observations that there is design and the use of cloud as the main factor. He echoed Mohit’s perspective that cloud is indeed the future, and in fact “now.”
Ghozie noted that governments all over the world have been reaping the benefits of digital transformation. Many leading countries have been using cloud providers and have a specific policy to implement a cloud-first policy. Apart from that, there are also benefits in data classification where data is stored in different locations.
Setiaji added that the benefits of cloud are closely linked to the drivers of cloud adoption. Data migration often needs to be supported by big and unique infrastructure. Cloud offers scalability, without the need to have extensive manpower to manage the infrastructure, as well as security, because cloud has many systems in place for security.
On the considerations that organisations must bear in mind when moving to cloud, Habisanti commented that having one consolidated data is an ideal situation as it can allow for multiple uses of data. She highlighted that cloud adoption is a journey that happens in phases. The most important consideration for agencies is to ensure that there is clean data. For Habisanti, it is feasible – the key is to pick the right technology and solution, which is what Veeam has expertise in.
Identifying the right data management solution is what Veeam can do to help agencies protect and unleash the data to provide better and faster services to society. Habisanti added that Veeam can protect workloads across all platforms – from legacy systems to cloud. Further, they can monitor to detect malicious activities.
The expected benefits of cloud aside, Mohit was interested to know if there were benefits that Setiaji discovered after starting the journey of cloud modernisation.
For Setiaji, the benefits include:
- Agility: The ability to release the product faster to consumers
- Elasticity: The ability to increase and decrease capacity according to workload
Adding to that observation, Mohit remarked that while Singapore used to be wary about releasing things until they have tested, the urgency of deployment during COVID-19 saw the quick deployment of TraceTogether on cloud. Cloud makes it easy to scale and adapt in an agile manner.
Despite the benefits of cloud, Mohit remarked that there is hesitation in the movement to cloud. Ghozie concurs and said that the main reason is the lack of familiarity. People are not acquainted with cloud and might not have a strategy for moving to cloud.
The reluctance to move to cloud could also be related to challenges that people face, Habisanti suggests. It has to do with the fact that governments and organisations are still locked in legacy systems. She also feels that there is a lack of human resources and skillsets on the journey of transformation – Veeam can help bridge that gap with automation.
Looking for advice for public sector agencies seeking to move towards cloud, Mohit asked Habisanti for her thoughts.
“Regulations have to support the use of cloud,” Habisanti believes. Agencies should not follow the hype and take in any solution. “Learn the needs and details of your business and prioritise what needs to be solved. Not all problems are equally important.”
In concluding the segment, Mohit reiterates the scalability of cloud services which is the flexibility that governments can harness. However, he asserts the need to find platforms and services that can enable organisations to seamlessly transition to cloud.
After the informative presentations, delegates participated in interactive discussions facilitated by polling questions. This activity is designed to provide live-audience interaction, promote engagement, hear real-life experiences, and facilitate discussions that impart professional learning and development for participants.
In the first poll, delegates were asked about what they think will be their organisation’s biggest challenge on data immutability during the capital relocation. Delegates were split between the long time required to recover data from backup (35%) and their customers’ confidence in the company (38%). Others found the compromising of backup copies (19%) as challenging, while the rest cited other reasons (8%).
One delegate shared that his challenge was in getting people aligned to the same understanding and coordinating between data owners. Another opined that having the same understanding of the purpose of the collaboration and partnership is important.
Wahyu added that establishing the standards and regulations is key during capital relocation. Habisanti cautioned delegates to be aware of expectations because when there is a lot of data to compile, there is a need for support systems, the right people and the right technology to support it.
Delegates were asked about their organisation’s expectations on recovery time and recovery points, should there be a disaster, disruption, cyberattack, corruption. An overwhelming majority (87%) expressed the desire to get back in less than 1 hour without any loss of transaction or data, while the rest (13%) said they could wait for up to 4 hours with data losses and downtime.
Mohit highlighted that not all data can be recovered within the first hour or at all and that there is a need to differentiate the criticality of the data. Raymond echoed the point made by Mohit and emphasised the need to classify and identify data that is truly critical for operations.
When it came to data recovery, Ghozie mentioned that there is no one formula. He added that recovering all data can be costly, which is why data classification is critical.
The next question inquired about the delegates’ confidence in their organisation’s data/workload can move securely across platforms/cloud. The majority (41%) are fairly sure, while others were very confident (23%), uncertain (27%) or not confident (9%).
One delegate shared the big concerns when moving workloads across platforms including governance, security, and willingness of the ministries to put data on cloud.
Habisanti said Veeam is one of the solutions when organisations are pivoting towards hybrid solutions – Veeam offers the portability from on-prem to cloud and from cloud to multi-cloud.
On their key concern in their consideration to move to the cloud, most (61%) were concerned about security and governance. The remaining delegates were concerned about the need to re-skill talent (15%), vendor lock-in (8%), operational costs (8%) and other concerns (8%).
Ghozie remarked that security is a concern for many public sector agencies because of a lack of understanding of cloud. Setiaji added that he believes in the security of cloud services and AWS has helped support his organisation manage the training of their staff on the cloud platform.
Mohit emphasised that it is s transformation journey – it is not lift-and-shift because it requires a transformation of applications.
In the final poll, delegates were asked about the area of interest for their organisation and what they value the most. More than a third (39%) were interested in the ease of doing business through a simplified technology consumption model. The rest of the delegates were interested in the visibility into cross-system data and infrastructure to identify unexpected changes and potential risks (26%), tools that can deliver automation in areas like compliance and data classification (26%) and delivering business resiliency through highly available applications and workloads (9%).
In closing, Ghozie emphasised that the needs of the time require new strategies, models, and technological adoption. Working with partners will help public sector organisations tap on the experience of the experts to transform their operations. In doing so, agencies can focus on delivering better and faster citizen services.
Habisanti, Country Manager, Indonesia Veeam thanked all the delegates for their participation and insights on the topic. She reiterated that Veeam can offer the support that organisations need for cloud modernisation and encouraged delegates to continue to have conversations about the ever-evolving technology landscape. She invited the delegates to reach out to her and the team if they had any queries or wanted to explore ways to collaborate.
Both in normal circumstances and in times of crisis, Thai people are known to generate a lot of innovative ideas and continue to develop products that make their lives better. This encompasses and encapsulates the nation’s most recent campaign, Innovation Thailand, which promotes Thai creativity to a global audience.
The Innovation Thailand Alliance consists of partners from a variety of sectors including government agencies, private organisations, educational institutions, and civil societies. Through it, the National Innovation Agency of Thailand (NIA), is expanding the scope of its Innovation Thailand platform.
The fundamental goal is to use national/local ideas to revitalise the nation by promoting awareness of and pride in inventive Thai works. Allies will serve as ambassadors in the effort to promote Thailand as an innovative nation. They will be able to exchange knowledge and skills with one another at the same time.
All stakeholders are enthusiastic to help Thailand achieve its goal of being one of the world’s top 30 innovative nations by 2030 and turning Thailand into an innovation-driven country.
Innovation Capabilities of Thai People
The National Innovation Agency’s mission is to support and develop Thailand’s innovation system to promote economic restructuring and competitive enhancement.
“We began the Innovation Thailand campaign before COVID-19 because we faced a significant challenge in terms of how not only Thai people but also global clients, perceive the nation’s unique products and services,” explains Dr Pun-Arj.
Even though this may not be directly related to innovation, the NIA has attempted to communicate and brand national innovation in such a way that it can be easily connected not only with Thais but also with international customers – this is how they started the Innovation Thailand platform.
Thailand is a tourist destination and one of the top three in the world, which has caused the country to innovate their lifestyle as well as their livelihood.
Thai culture places a high value on craftsmanship and attention to detail. Thai innovation for artful living is a process created exclusively by the fusion of modern technology and knowledge passed down from one generation to the next.
“We have created ingenious solutions through this method that enhances the standard of living in terms of society, prosperity, health, safety, and the environment,” Dr Pun-Arj furthers.
They began to construct a community to exchange ideas, develop, and manage innovation that would result in delivering some information or any significant strategic movement that the government could initiate.
They are recruiting more Chief Innovation Officers from not only the private sector but also the public sector and universities, as part of their primary target group.
Dr Pun-Arj is looking to enhance the opportunities brought in by innovation, particularly at the regional level in the city. This is because they are working not only on economic development but also on the skillset of the social innovation division and platform.
“As a result, our primary focus is on regionalisations of innovation possibilities, as well as startups – innovation-based firms,” reveals Dr Pun-Arj.
He believes that every successful community is built upon a robust and well-functioning infrastructure. Hence, Thailand’s industries and infrastructure will be modernised to meet upcoming challenges.
“In the past, one of our five-year priorities included buildings which we identify as system integrators. As the system and ecosystem become more robust, we are transitioning from system integrators to full core facilitators.”
He emphasised the need to consider the impact of being a system integrator before transforming themselves into focal facilitators. Furthermore, the country wants to make better use of the enormous resource of innovation in universities to conduct research and technology in collaboration with other organisations across the world.
Through the City Innovation Index, which focuses primarily on districts and cities, the NIA promotes and monitors the constant innovation and evaluation of diverse organisations. Periodically, they performed surveys in particular industries to evaluate and propose answers for the difficulties they face.
A strong innovation strategy will evaluate the overall objectives, the target portfolio for innovation initiatives, and the process for allocating the necessary resources. The portfolio clearly defines innovation-critical benchmarks and bounds. Therefore, the nation will become democratic and transparent.
“I believe the government’s most essential innovation strategy focuses on three specific concerns. You must have highly strong and capable businesses of all sizes that will establish a very strong enterprise on its own. And secondly, you must have laws and regulations,” Dr Pun-Arj asserts. “In addition, governance is also required and identifying future risks.”
Thailand is struggling with several issues, including inequality, which includes limited access to public services, digital technology, education, and environmental problems. High manufacturing costs and new types of competition in the global supply chain became challenges for Thailand, with this, innovation has emerged as the country’s answer.
Additionally, there are many challenges in terms of digital transformation and government service and the nation is pushing for innovation that can deliver a good policy and deploy it into practice.
In the previous five-year plan, NIA primarily focused on the job of system integrator into four core facilitators. “That is why the short-term strategy is to train management in the methods, programmes, and activities that we have implemented over the last five years.”
NIA is primarily concentrated on strengthening the potential of regional innovation in several key sectors such as new technologies, assistance for startups, venture capital creation or investment for innovation, and internationalisation of Thailand’s innovation.
Dr Pun-Arj envisions a stronger Thai economy and society, with innovation playing a key role in propelling it. The Bio-Circular-Green Economy (BCG) model is a plan for the country’s growth and post-pandemic recovery. The BCG model focuses on four strategic sectors: agriculture and food, wellness and medicine, energy, materials, and biochemicals and tourism and creative economy.
It emphasises using science, technology, and innovation to turn Thailand’s comparative advantage in biological and cultural diversity into a competitive advantage. The primary aim is to support the sustainability of biological resources, develop local economies and communities and make Thai BCG industries more competitive and resilient to societal changes.
The approach is meant to make Thailand’s economy, society, and environment more sustainable and inclusive. “To achieve the 2030 goal, we must work incredibly hard to encourage innovation in this BCG economy. At the same time, the national policy needs to be improved.”
Dr Pun-Arj has been recognised as a pioneer in the domains of foresight and innovation management in the country. He counsels anyone aspiring to be a great innovator to fully comprehend the concepts of uncertainty and failure.
“Innovation will help us grow as a community or nation by making ourselves and others aware of the importance of innovation,” Dr Pun-Arj concludes.
Seven intelligent robots have been installed in the wards of Yishun Community Hospital (YCH) to welcome patients and bring supplies to the bedside. These brand-new Temi Robots, known as Angel, were introduced to support nursing care so that nurses could focus their time and energy on clinical tasks while still giving patients a personal and meaningful touch.
These robots are loaded with patient education materials that patients and their caregivers can easily access, in addition to providing announcements and reminders throughout the day in all four major languages.
They also have a variety of features like games and entertainment, teleconference tools, and translation capabilities. YCH hopes to further improve patient engagement and satisfaction in its wards with the new addition.
A pilot project using Nao Robots was also used by YCH in previous years to assist dementia patients in their rehabilitation. Robot Therapy, which was started by the staff at YCH in 2018, is now a part of the therapy-related services offered there.
YCH, which is conceived of as a healing space for patients, offers intermediate care for recovering patients who do not require the intensive care services of an acute-care hospital. With rehabilitation and therapy at the heart of the hospital’s mission, the team was eager to investigate the potential of the innovation, Robot Therapy.
Because they can perform a wide range of tasks with little to no value added, hospital robots offer a reliable solution, freeing up doctors, nurses, and surgeons to focus on more high-value work. Robots have become an integral part of the healthcare industry, with many hospitals now using them to perform both surgical and administrative tasks.
In addition, prior to the arrival of Nao Robots in Singapore, a few local nursing homes used Paro, a robot that mimics the appearance, movement, and sounds of a baby seal. The therapeutic robot seal’s use is like animal therapy in that the robot helps to calm elderly people who have dementia or a loss of cognitive function.
The Nao robot, on the other hand, came with higher expectations: it can express emotions like laughter or sadness during interactions; it can interact and communicate with patients in different languages; and it has optic, audio, and impact sensors and motors to detect surroundings, interpret detection, and activate programmed responses.
Various interaction and language modes can be programmed into the Nao robot. The YCH Robot Therapy team took advantage of this by incorporating the robot into specific therapy sessions. This increased efficiency freed up nursing time, which could then be used for other care activities. Nao robot therapy sessions were trialled with 48 patients from the Dementia ward in October 2018.
Patients with Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) require more care and attention, so this was chosen as the pilot ward. By introducing the Nao robot, YCH has increased patient engagement, motivate them to engage in social activities, and shorten the time required for social activities so that caregivers could concentrate on other care-related tasks.
The implementation process was divided into three stages: training staff, selecting suitable patients and assessing seniors who participated in the Robot Therapy programme using the Observed Emotion Rating Scale.
Singhealth asserts that the COVID-19 pandemic, which hastened the adoption of these solutions and accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare systems globally, has sparked a tremendous interest in digital technology and virtual health solutions.
A group of clinician innovators from SingHealth sought to ascertain whether digital interventions are more affordable and provide patients with greater value and benefits in anticipation of this continuing upward trend, and they discovered that this may not always be the case for some eye conditions.
Officially launched on 29 November 2022, the ANU School of Cybernetics provides unrivalled teaching and research that pioneers a new approach to engineering and technology design. School Director, ANU Distinguished Professor Genevieve Bell, noted that the School nurtures and trains a new generation of critical thinkers and practitioners who can navigate an increasingly complex world and who are committed to ensuring safe, sustainable, and responsible technology futures.
She said the new School’s leadership is working hard to help transform the way society engages with technology. Their aim is to help ensure that everyone can participate in building the future. And they are working to find new ways to think about and talk about the role of technology in our lives. The ANU School of Cybernetics is dedicated to helping lead and enrich this vital conversation.
The School and its curriculum draw on the rich history of cybernetics globally and reimagine it for the 21st-century challenges. The goal is to make sure major societal transformations can be successfully navigated.
The ANU School of Cybernetics offers the Master of Applied Cybernetics, a PhD program that recruits students as a cohort, and a series of microlearning experiences for organisations, communities, and individuals.
The School’s research program investigates how emerging cyber-physical, technological systems – such as robotics, digital voice assistants, and autonomous systems – operate across a range of settings and sectors including the creative industries, marine sciences, agriculture, and climate change research.
Distinguished Professor Bell said another key focus of the School was examining who is building and managing our AI-enabled future. There is a need to develop the ability to respond quickly to changing situations and complex systems and many, diverse voices must be involved in making those decisions and building new knowledge, she said.
The last few years have shown that better stories about the future need to be told; stories that are more equitable, fair, and just, and that, equally, more work needs to be present to make those stories not just possible but true.
To help launch the School, an inaugural curated exhibition featuring more than 100 historical and contemporary pieces is on display until 2 December in the award-winning Birch Building on the ANU campus.
From the world’s first computer graphics, animations, special effects, and electronic music, Australian Cybernetic: a point through time explores 50 years of technology and creativity in computing that have influenced the technology, cinema, gaming, and television we know today.
The collection of interactive, immersive, and provocative creations also includes an Emmy Award-winning virtual reality film; an acclaimed installation examining the resources, human labour, and algorithmic processing of a virtual assistant technology system; and a kinetic sculpture named ‘Albert’ that has been delighting audiences for 54 years, among many other displays.
The cybernetic futures lead at the School said the exhibition speaks firmly to the School’s approach of observing the past to help shape a course for the role of technologies in today’s world. He noted that for the first time, historic, contemporary, and conceptual cybernetic works are being brought together in a unique exhibition. People are invited to take a tour through time and learn about the history of technology and art and how this contributed to cybernetics and the multimedia, tech and music enjoyed today.
The Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has launched nine satellites, including eight nanosatellites, into space from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Andhra Pradesh.
The 44-metre-long rocket’s primary payload is the Earth Observation Satellite-6 (EOS-6) or Oceansat-3, a third-generation satellite to monitor oceans. It is a follow up to OceanSat-1 or IRS-P4 and OceanSat-2 launched in 1999 and 2009, respectively. Oceansat-3 will provide data about ocean colour, sea surface temperature, and wind vector data for oceanography, climatology, and meteorological applications.
The Oceansat-3 was placed in the polar orbit at a height of about 740 kilometres above sea level. While it weighs approximately 1,100 kilogrammes, which is only slightly heavier than Oceansat-1, for the first time in this series, it houses three ocean observing sensors. These include an Ocean Colour Monitor (OCM-3), Sea Surface Temperature Monitor (SSTM), and Ku-Band scatterometer (SCAT-3). There is also an ARGOS payload, a press release mentioned.
The OCM-3, with a high signal-to-noise ratio, is expected to improve accuracy in the daily monitoring of phytoplankton. This has a wide range of operational and research applications including fishery resource management, ocean carbon uptake, harmful algal bloom alerts, and climate studies. The SSTM will provide ocean surface temperature, which is a critical ocean parameter to provide various forecasts ranging from fish aggregation to cyclone genesis and movement. Temperature is a key parameter required to monitor the health of the coral reefs, and if needed, to provide coral bleaching alerts. The Ku-Band Pencil beam scatterometre will provide a high-resolution wind vector (speed and direction) at the ocean surface, which will be useful for seafarers, including fishermen and shipping companies. Data regarding temperature and wind is also particularly important for ocean and weather models to improve their forecast accuracies.
ARGOS is a communication payload jointly developed with France and it is used for low-power (energy-efficient) communications including marine robotic floats (Argo floats), fish-tags, drifters, and distress alert devices valuable in search and rescue operations.
The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science and Technology, Jitendra Singh, stated that ISRO will continue to maintain the orbit of the satellite and its standard procedures for data reception and archiving. Major operational users of this satellite include Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoEs) institutions such as the Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) and the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
INCOIS has also established a state-of-the-art satellite data reception ground station within its campus with technical support from the National Remote Sensing Centre (ISRO-NRSC). Singh asserted that ocean observations such as this will serve as a solid foundation for India’s blue economy and polar region policies. A representative from MoES noted that the launch of Oceansat-3 is significant as it is the first major ocean satellite launch from India since the initiation of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (UNDOSSD, 2021-2030).
The Indian Space Research Organisation is the national space agency of India, headquartered in Bengaluru. It operates under the Department of Space, which is overseen by the country’s Prime Minister.
Astronomers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have completely automated the classification of 1,000 supernovae using a machine-learning (ML) algorithm. The Zwicky Transient Facility, or ZTF, a sky survey instrument located at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory, collected data that the algorithm was then used to analyse.
“We needed a helping hand, and we knew that once we trained our computers to do the job, they would take a big load off our backs,” says Christoffer Fremling, a staff astronomer at Caltech and the mastermind behind the new algorithm tagged as SNIascore.
A year and a half after SNIascore classified its first supernova in April 2021, they are approaching the pleasant milestone of 1,000 supernovae. Every night, ZTF scans the night sky for alterations known as transient events. This covers everything, from asteroids in motion to recently devoured stars by black holes to exploding stars known as supernovae.
ZTF notifies astronomers worldwide of these transient events by sending out hundreds of thousands of alerts each night. Other telescopes are then used by astronomers to monitor and learn more about the nature of the shifting objects. Thousands of supernovae have so far been found thanks to ZTF data.
Members of the ZTF team cannot organise all the data on their own due to the constant flow of data that comes in every night. According to Matthew Graham, project scientist for ZTF and research professor of astronomy at Caltech, “the traditional notion of an astronomer sitting at the observatory and sieving through telescope images carries a lot of romanticism but is drifting away from reality.”
Instead, to help with the searches, the team has created ML algorithms. SNIascore was created to categorise potential supernovae. There are two main categories of supernovae: Type I and Type II. In contrast to Type II supernovae, Type I supernovae are devoid of hydrogen.
When material from a companion star flows onto a white dwarf star, causing a thermonuclear explosion, a Type I supernova is produced. When a massive star collapses due to its own gravity, a Type II supernova happens. Type Ia supernovae, or the “standard candles” in the sky, can be classified by SNIascore. These are dying stars that explode with a steady-state thermonuclear blast.
Astronomers can gauge the universe’s expansion rate thanks to Type Ia supernovae. Fremling and colleagues are currently expanding the algorithm’s capabilities to classify additional types of supernovae soon.
Every night, after ZTF has recorded sky flashes that may be supernovae, it sends the data to the SEDM spectrograph at Palomar, which is in a dome a short distance away (Spectral Energy Distribution Machine).
To determine which supernovae are likely Type Ias, SNIascore collaborates with SEDM. As a result, the ZTF team is working quickly to compile a more trustworthy data set of supernovae that will allow astronomers to conduct additional research and, ultimately, learn more about the physics of the potent stellar explosions.
“SNIascore is incredibly precise. We have observed the performance of the algorithm in the real world after 1,000 supernovae” says Fremling. Since the initial launch in April 2021, they have found no clearly misclassified events, and they are now planning to implement the same algorithm with other observing facilities.
According to Ashish Mahabal, who oversees ZTF’s machine learning initiatives and is the centre’s lead computational and data scientist at Caltech, their work demonstrates how ML applications are maturing in near real-time astronomy.
The SNIascore was created as part of the ZTF’s Bright Transient Survey (BTS), which is currently the most comprehensive supernova survey available to the astronomical community. The entire BTS dataset contains nearly 7000 supernovae, 90 per cent of which were discovered and classified by ZTF while the remaining 10 per cent were contributed by other groups and facilities.
A Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) collaborative research team has synthesised a nanoparticle named TRZD that can perform the dual function of diagnosing and treating glioma in the brain. It emits persistent luminescence for the diagnostic imaging of glioma tissues in vivo and inhibits the growth of tumour cells by aiding the targeted delivery of chemotherapy drugs.
The nanoparticle offers hope for the early diagnosis and treatment of glioma, especially cerebellar glioma, which is even harder to detect and cure with existing methods. The research results have been published in Science Advances, an international scientific journal.
Limitations of existing diagnostic and therapeutic approaches
Glioma is the most common form of malignant primary brain tumour, accounting for roughly one-third of all brain tumours. While magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used to diagnose glioma, the technology lacks sensitivity. Cerebellar glioma, a relatively rare brain tumour, is even harder to detect with MRI. To facilitate early detection and treatment, an alternative method with improved sensitivity and precision is needed to diagnose glioma.
A chemotherapy agent called Doxorubicin is an effective treatment for glioma. However, its application may also damage normal cells, and it is associated with a range of side effects. To enhance doxorubicin’s clinical efficacy and minimise its side effects, a novel approach is needed to apply the drug to tumour cells in a more targeted manner.
In response to the diagnostic and therapeutic needs of glioma, a research team co-led by Dr Wang Yi, Assistant Professor of the Department of Chemistry at HKBU, and Professor Law Ga-lai, Professor of the Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, has synthesised a novel near-infrared (NIR) persistent luminescence nanoparticle called TRZD, which can play a dual role in diagnostic imaging and as a drug carrier for glioma.
An imaging probe for glioma diagnosis
The research team evaluated the efficacy of TRZ (i.e., TRZD without doxorubicin) in diagnostic imaging for glioma with a mouse model. First, TRZ particles were excited by UV light to initiate luminescence. Mice with tumour tissues injected into their cerebrum and cerebellum were then treated with TRZ. Over the next 24 hours, TRZ luminescence was detected at the tumour sites of the mice.
However, when the same experiment was conducted with TRZ without T7 peptides, and TRZ without both the red blood cell membrane coating and T7 peptides, no luminescence was detected at the tumour sites of the mice. The results show that the red blood cell membrane coating can prolong the function of TRZ by stabilising the nanoparticle, and it can slow down its natural uptake by the human body.
The research team further evaluated the anti-tumour efficacy of TRZD using a group of mice who had had their cerebrum and cerebellum injected with tumour tissues.
After applying TRZD for 15 days, the average diameter of their tumours was reduced to 1 mm. They also survived 20 days longer on average compared to the control group, who had not received TRZD. Besides, cell death was observed in the tumour region but not in normal brain tissue.
The results indicate that TRZD’s therapeutic effect on glioma has good selectivity because doxorubicin is brought specifically to tumour cells due to T7 peptide’s strong affinity with tumour cells’ surface receptors and its ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. As a result, doxorubicin can be applied in a more targeted manner, and hopefully, its side effects can be minimised with reduced drug dosage.
The team concluded that the nanotechnology demonstrates promising potential, and it could be developed into a new generation of anti-glioma drugs that can perform the dual function of diagnosis and treatment. It also offers hope for the development of treatment protocols for other brain diseases.
The Vietnam Information Security Association (VNISA) surveyed 135 organisations and enterprises in Vietnam on ensuring information security. One out of every four organisations and businesses have had their systems interrupted or attacked in 2022, while 76% of organisations and businesses lack sufficient staff for information security.
The information was revealed by former Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC), Nguyen Thanh Hung, who is chair of VNISA, during a plenary session at an international workshop during the Vietnam 2022 Information Security Day.
The survey found that 58% of organisations have doubts about technology and 47% about security holes. Around 68% of organisations and businesses said they still don’t have enough money to invest in information security annually. At the workshop, Tran Dang Khoa, the Deputy Head of the Authority of Information Security, said that in the last 11 months, the agency has recognised, warned, and instructed companies on how to handle 11,212 cyberattacks. The number of information systems in accordance with the new levels accounts for 54.8%. One of the key tasks of the agency in 2023 is submitting information to the Prime Minister for the issuance of a directive on legal compliance and security.
The workshop was sponsored by MIC and organised by VNISA and MIC and addressed “safe” digital transformation. MIC’s Deputy Minister, Nguyen Huy Dung, stated that ensuring safety in cyberspace is the task of all agencies, units, and people. Dung stressed that digital transformation is a national long-term programme. It means bringing people’s and businesses’ activities into a digital environment. It is necessary to protect more than 3,000 information systems of the state’s agencies, as well as activities in cyberspace of nearly one million businesses, five million business households, 26 million households, and 100 million people.
Dung noted that ensuring safe cyberspace and safety for organisations and people in cyberspace is the responsibility of all agencies, organisations, and people, with the principle ‘like cyberspace, like the real world’. The agencies in charge of certain fields in real life will also be in charge of those fields in the virtual environment, he said.
In October, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh issued Directive No. 18/CT-TTg on accelerating the implementation of activities to respond to cybersecurity incidents in Vietnam. The directive states that the government will pay more attention to reviewing, detecting, and fixing vulnerabilities and weaknesses. It will proactively monitor and detect any network information insecurity risks to promptly handle incidents. It will strictly implement regulations on reporting online information security incidents.
As OpenGov Asia reported, the directive describes cybersecurity as an important, cross-cutting pillar in the creation of digital trust. Its promotion will protect the country’s prosperous development in the digital era as the country attempts comprehensive national digital transformation. Chinh urged stakeholders to thoroughly grasp the contents of the Directive and devise measures to address and timely handle cybersecurity incidents. Stakeholders include ministers and heads of ministerial-level agencies, among others.