New Report: Emerging technology and challenges of AI and Automated Decision-Making in News and Media

New Report: Emerging technology and challenges of AI and Automated Decision-Making in News and Media

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 5 December 2023

The ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) calls for an increased investment in research, evaluation tools and infrastructure to address emerging challenges of generative AI and automated decision-making in news and media environments. 

This call comes from the AI and Automated Decision-Making in News and Media: Key technologies and emerging challenges report released today. 

The report describes the latest phase of media automation, driven by recent advances in artificial intelligence. It draws on peer-reviewed research to map emerging challenges associated with the use of generative AI and automated decision-making across the news and media environment, from lack of competition in web search engines; limited transparency of recommender systems; ongoing challenges of moderation and curation of online content; to automated ad blacklisting and its unintended consequences.

“This has been a massive collaborative effort, bringing together insights from 22 experts from the ADM+S Centre, from across diverse disciplines and career stages.” said first author of the report, Dr Dang Nguyen, Research Fellow at the RMIT University node of the ADM+S. 

Associate Professor James Meese, Associate Investigator at the RMIT University node of the ADM+S Centre explained, “Our news and media environments are undergoing/experiencing a period of rapid automation. 

“Our hope is that the report provides a valuable introduction to the key automated systems and processes operating across the sector and various emerging challenges associated with this wider transition.”

One of the recommendations made in the report, suggests the deployment of innovative methods such as a social ‘cyber range’ for testing and analysing a range of issues already occurring on digital platforms.

These test environments are often used in cyber security to test issues in a contained environment. In a similar way, researchers believe we need a social test environment or ‘cyber range’, a national research infrastructure, to test and analyse digital platforms and social media content to reduce harms, anticipate problems and support positive outcomes from digital platforms.

Figure: Automated systems and emerging challenges from the report: Nguyen et. al. (2023). AI and Automated News and Media: Key Technologies and Emerging Challenges. Melbourne: ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, RMIT University.

“The cross-disciplinary nature of ADM+S has helped us think more creatively about how basic and applied research could address these emerging issues,” said Assoc Prof Meese.

This report provides an overview of the technologies and emerging challenges of AI and Automated Decision-Making in News and Media environments.  It is recommended for policymakers, industry participants, researchers and citizens seeking a better understanding of this current phase of media automation.

Report Authors:
Dang Nguyen, James Meese, Jean Burgess, Julian Thomas, Louisa Bartolo, Nicholas Carah, Dominique Carlon, Jeffrey Chan, Sam Kininmonth, Amanda Lawrence, Ramon LobatoAriadna Matamoros Fernández, Silvia Ximena Montaña-Niño, Lucinda Nelson, Jing QianAaron Snoswell, Damiano Spina, Arjun Srinivas, Nicholas Suzor, Avantik Tamta, Patrik Wikstrom, and Joanna Williams.


Social media ads are littered with ‘green’ claims. How are we supposed to know they’re true?

Earthy products including soap, toothbrush and loofah on green background
Yuriy Golub/Shutterstock

Social media ads are littered with ‘green’ claims. How are we supposed to know they’re true?

Author  Christine Parker
Date 1 December 2023

Online platforms are awash with ads for so-called “green” products. Power companies are “carbon neutral”. Electronics are “for the planet”. Clothing is “circular” and travel is “sustainable”. Or are they?

Our study of more than 8,000 ads served more than 20,000 times in people’s Facebook feeds found many green claims are vague, meaningless or unsubstantiated and consumers are potentially being deceived.

This costs consumers, as products claiming to be greener are often more expensive. And it costs the planet, as false and exaggerated green claims – or “greenwashing” – make it seem more is being done to tackle climate change and other environmental crises than is really happening.

The widespread use of these claims could delay important action on tackling climate change, as it dilutes the sense of urgency around the issue.

The colours of environmental friendliness

Our research is part of a newly published report produced by the not-for-profit Consumer Policy Research Centre, researchers at Melbourne Law School and the Australian Ad Observatory, a project of ADM+S (ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society).

The Ad Observatory captures ads from the personal Facebook feeds of around 2,000 people who “donate” their ads to the project via a browser plugin. This lets us analyse otherwise unobservable and ephemeral ads.

We found the most common claims were “clean”, “green” and “sustainable”. Other popular terms were “bio”, “recycled” or “recyclable”, “pure” and “eco-friendly”, often with no explanation of what lay behind them. All are very general, undefined terms, yet they imply a more environmentally responsible choice.

Our report didn’t verify each claim nor analysed their accuracy. We intended to highlight the volume and breadth of the green claims consumers see in social media ads.

Many ads used colours and symbols to put a green “halo” around their products and business. These included green, blue and earthy beige tones, background nature imagery and emojis featuring leaves, planet Earth, the recycling symbol and the green tick, often with no context or specific information.

A sample of green-coloured ads collected by our Ad Observer project. The claims in these ads may well be true, but consumers often need to ‘deep dive’ to verify this information.
CPRC, Author provided

The top five sectors making green claims were energy, household products, fashion, health and personal care, and travel.

This was consistent with a recent internet sweep by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which found 57% of the business websites checked were making concerning claims. The proportion was highest among the cosmetic, clothing and footwear, and food and drink packaging sectors.

Examples of blue-coloured ads. The claims in these ads may well be true, but in many cases consumers need to ‘deep dive’ to verify this information.
CPRC, Author provided

Strong incentives for greenwashing

Recent Consumer Policy Research Centre research shows 45% percent of Australians always or often consider sustainability as part of their purchasing decision-making. At least 50% of Australians say they are worried about green claim truthfulness across every sector.

Given consumer concern, businesses have a strong incentive to “green” their businesses. But that comes with a strong incentive to claim more than is justified.

Major Australian business regulators – the ACCC and Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) – are both prioritising enforcement action against greenwashing.

ASIC has issued dozens of interventions against misleading and deceptive environmental disclosures by companies and super funds. The ACCC has issued draft guidance for businesses on how to avoid greenwashing when making environmental and sustainability claims.

A Senate inquiry into greenwashing is expected to report in mid-2024 as to whether stricter regulation is necessary to protect consumers from misleading greenwashing.

What is ‘sustainable’, anyway?

Our research highlights the plethora of green claims businesses make in social media advertising. Consumers are forced to choose between accepting claims at face value or committing to a deep dive to research each product they buy and the claims they make.

Many green claims come from the energy sector, with some energy companies claiming to be “greener” without any detail. Some claim carbon offsets or carbon neutrality – highly contested terms.

Ads for “sustainable” travel often showed destinations emphasising a connection with nature, but did not explain what aspect of the travel was sustainable.

Examples of travel ads containing ‘green’ claims. The claims in these ads may well be true, but often consumers need to ‘deep dive’ to verify this information.
CPRC, Author provided

One personal care brand heavily advertised its “sustainable” packaging, but the fine print showed it related only to the boxes their products are shipped in, not the actual product packaging. A claim like this can create an undeserved green halo across a whole product range.

Claims that products are biodegradable, compostable or recyclable can be particularly problematic, since this is often technically true yet practically difficult. Some products labelled biodegradable may need to be taken to a specific facility, but a consumer might assume they will biodegrade in their home compost bin.

What can we do?

Australians cannot wait years for enforcement action against potentially misleading green claims. The economy and the digital world is moving too fast and the need for sustainability is too urgent. Governments must enact laws now to ensure green terms are clearly defined and based on the truth.

The European Union is currently working on a “Green claims” directive that seeks to ban generic claims such as “eco-friendly”, “green”, “carbon positive” and “energy efficient”. Claims would have to be specific, meaningful and based on independently verified excellent environmental performance.

The United Kingdom has already issued similar guidance via an environmental claims code and is also considering stricter legislation.

Australian regulators should have the power to blacklist green terms that cannot be substantiated and are inherently meaningless or misleading.

Some high-polluting sectors should be banned from making any kind of green claim in advertising, due to the overwhelming negative environmental impact of their business models and practices, as the EU is considering. Fossil-fuel companies, for example, should not be permitted to use green claims in marketing.

Australian consumers deserve green choices that are clear, comparable, meaningful and true.The Conversation

Christine Parker, Professor of Law, The University of Melbourne and Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Call for stricter regulations on green claims in online advertising

Green recycling symbol on recycled paper

Call for stricter regulations on green claims in online advertising

Author  ADM+S Centre
Date 1 December 2023

Consumers are increasingly mindful of the environmental impact of a product when making purchasing decisions, and marketers know it.

But how environmentally friendly are the goods you are buying? And how accurate are the “green” claims being made by advertisers in online ads?

“Many claims to be greener that are made in social media advertising are just that: claims only. There is no way to check if they are telling the truth,” said one author of the report, Professor Christine Parker, Chief Investigator at the University of Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S).

Other areas, such as the European Union, are moving to ban some claims and clearly define others so that consumers can rely on them, and the Australian Federal Government should do this too, Professor Parker said.

“This is important not just to guide consumers towards the right products, but also to guard against consumers being ripped off, as products and services claiming they are green are often more expensive,” said Professor Parker.

“Some high-polluting sectors should be entirely banned from making any kind of green claim in advertising, given their business models and practices. Fossil-fuel companies, for example, should not be permitted to use ‘greenwashing’.”

The research is in the report Seeing Green: Prevalence of Environmental Claims on Social Media. The report was produced by the Consumer Policy Research Centre and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

Lead author Chandni Gupta, deputy CEO of the Consumer Policy Research Centre (CPRC), said there is evidence that Australians look for environmentally friendly products, often shelling out extra for them despite the rising cost of living.

“When a company makes claims that it is ‘greener’, or that their brand is ‘for the planet’, it gives the organisation a green halo without having to be clear about what they’re actually doing for the environment,” Ms Gupta said.

Fellow researcher Julian Bagnara, of Melbourne Law School, analysed more than 20,000 impressions and 8,000 Facebook ads. He found terms such as ‘clean’ and ‘sustainable’ were frequently used with no explanation of what lay behind them. So were emojis such as the Earth, the recycling icon, green ticks and green hearts.

These advertisements were contributed by Facebook users to the Australian Ad Observatory project, a research project run by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. 

“Many Australians want to do the right thing by the environment where they can, and it’s important that they be able to rely on what businesses claim about their green credentials if they are to make free and fair decisions on where their money goes,” Mr Bagnara said.

Professor Parker warned that the widespread use of these terms makes it looks like change is happening when it is not: “This could delay important Government action on tackling climate change as it dilutes the sense of urgency around the issue.”

The report urges that the Federal Government legislate to give power to define and regulate green claims to the ACCC (the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) and ASIC (Australian Securities and Investment Commission).

 “Currently, Australian consumer law does not allow regulators to make rules about the standards of information for goods and services,” she warned.


ADM+S researchers elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Heather and Axel AAH fellows
Prof Axel Bruns and Prof Heather Horst elected Fellows of AAH

ADM+S researchers elected Fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 23 November 2023

ADM+S Chief Investigators Prof Heather Horst from Western Sydney University, and Prof Axel Bruns from Queensland University of Technology, have been elected two of 31 new Fellows of the Australian Academy of the Humanities – the highest honour for humanities scholars in Australia.

Academy Executive Director Inga Davis announced the new Fellows on 22 November 2023.

“Our new Fellows represent remarkable achievement across the breadth of the humanities. Their contributions to the cultural and social tapestry of Australia cannot be overstated,” said Inga.

Prof Horst was acknowledged for her research around human and cultural aspects of digital technologies.

A sociocultural anthropologist by training, Heather researches material culture and the mediation of social relations through digital media and technology.

Her current research examines the circulation of music in Melanesia (especially PNG) through mobile technologies, the global Fijian fashion system as well as ethnographic research on Automated Decision-Making in different national contexts.

Prof Horst said, “it’s an honour to be recognised and to join such an esteemed group of colleagues to further strengthen and sustain the humanities in Australia and internationally.”

Prof Bruns was acknowledged for his journalistic work in aspects of digital media, news & politics.

Axel’s current work focusses on the study of user participation in social media spaces, and its implications for our understanding of the contemporary public sphere, drawing especially on innovative new methods for analysing ‘big social data’.

“Well beyond my own efforts, this is also a great recognition of the strengths of our collective work in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre and Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society – so much of the work I do relies on the great team of researchers we have assembled in these centres,” said Axel.

The Australian Academy of the Humanities is an independent, not-for-profit organisation with a Fellowship of over 700 humanities leaders championing their unique role in understanding the past, explaining the world we live in, and imagining and shaping the future.

In total 40 new members were elected to the Australian Academy of Humanities Fellowship including Fellows, Corresponding Fellows, and Honorary Fellows. Read the full list of new members on the Australian Academy of the Humanities website.


ADM+S researcher awarded prestigious Ramón y Cajal grant

Dr Aitor Jiménez, recipient of Ramón y Cajal grant
Dr Aitor Jiménez, recipient of Ramón y Cajal grant

ADM+S researcher awarded prestigious Ramón y Cajal grant

Authors  Natalie Campbell
Date 9 November 2023

ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Aitor Jiménez has been awarded a Ramón y Cajal grant from the Spanish Ministry of Science, one of only seven recipients selected from the field of law.

The most prestigious competitive research grant program in Spain, the Ramón y Cajal grant provides a five-year employment contract plus additional funding for research, for post-doctoral researchers to establish and lead their own groups and projects within Spanish universities, research centres, or institutions.

Dr Jiménez’s project, The Colonial Lives of Data, expands on his work at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S).

“In this project, I aim to empirically illustrate how the datafication of racism in Spain is deeply rooted in its imperial legacy, and more specifically in the repressive and surveillance structures and infrastructures designed to enforce Spain’s racial capitalism,” explains Dr Jiménez.

The research aims to link colonial technologies of power with contemporary datafied systems used in borders or across the criminal justice system, all within a transdisciplinary and decolonial framework.

Dr Jiménez will “empirically trace the genealogy of the scientific, statistical, and algorithmic construction of racial lines from their early colonial origins to their latest postimperial developments.”

“I will then Map, categorize, and analyse ongoing instances of the datafication of racism in the Spanish public sector.

“In my view, it is only by examining where colonial powers established their data-centric punitive-surveillance technologies for racial categorisation that we can fully comprehend today’s algorithmic racism practices.”

The Colonial Lives of Data project will draw insights from various disciplines, including law, sociology, science and technology, history, and decolonial theory, to shift from a narrow, technology-centric analysis of algorithmic discrimination to a more comprehensive, sociohistorical, and transhistorical understanding.

The main objective of the Ramón y Cajal program is to strengthen the research capacity of Research and Development groups and organisations from public and private sectors.

The Spanish Ministry of Science grants are co-financed by the receiving organisations, who in turn, identify and define their research strategies and those areas in which they wish to specialise. Applicants must identify a research line they wish to develop which could make substantive contribution to their field and corresponds to the programs and subprograms of the State Plan for Scientific Research.

Dr Jiménez will commence this five-year position in Spain in 2024, after completing a three-year Research Fellow position at the ADM+S Centre, University of Melbourne node.

View the full list of recipients (ESP)


Who will write the rules for AI? How nations are racing to regulate artificial intelligence

Purple/blue circuit board with AI text on it

Who will write the rules for AI? How nations are racing to regulate artificial intelligence

Authors  Fan Yang & Ausma Bernot
Date 8 November 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a label that can cover a huge range of activities related to machines undertaking tasks with or without human intervention. Our understanding of AI technologies is largely shaped by where we encounter them, from facial recognition tools and chatbots to photo editing software and self-driving cars.

If you think of AI you might think of tech companies, from existing giants such as Google, Meta, Alibaba and Baidu, to new players such as OpenAI, Anthropic and others. Less visible are the world’s governments, which are shaping the landscape of rules in which AI systems will operate.

Since 2016, tech-savvy regions and nations across Europe, Asia-Pacific and North America have been establishing regulations targeting AI technologies. (Australia is lagging behind, still currently investigating the possibility of such rules.)

Currently, there are more than 1,600 AI policies and strategies globally. The European Union, China, the United States and the United Kingdom have emerged as pivotal figures in shaping the development and governance of AI in the global landscape.

Ramping up AI regulations

AI regulation efforts began to accelerate in April 2021, when the EU proposed an initial framework for regulations called the AI Act. These rules aim to set obligations for providers and users, based on various risks associated with different AI technologies.

As the EU AI Act was pending, China moved forward with proposing its own AI regulations. In Chinese media, policymakers have discussed a desire to be first movers and offer global leadership in both AI development and governance.

Where the EU has taken a comprehensive approach, China has been regulating specific aspects of AI one after another. These have ranged from algorithmic recommendations, to deep synthesis or “deepfake” technology and generative AI.

China’s full framework for AI governance will be made up of these policies and others yet to come. The iterative process lets regulators build up their bureaucratic know-how and regulatory capacity, and leaves flexibility to implement new legislation in the face of emerging risks.

A ‘wake-up call’

China’s AI regulation may have been a wake-up call to the US. In April, influential lawmaker Chuck Shumer said his country should “not permit China to lead on innovation or write the rules of the road” for AI.

On October 30 2023, the White House issued an executive order on safe, secure and trustworthy AI. The order attempts to address broader issues of equity and civil rights, while also concentrating on specific applications of technology.

Alongside the dominant actors, countries with growing IT sectors including Japan, Taiwan, Brazil, Italy, Sri Lanka and India have also sought to implement defensive strategies to mitigate potential risks associated with the pervasive integration of AI.

AI regulations worldwide reflect a race against foreign influence. At the geopolitical scale, the US competes with China economically and militarily. The EU emphasises establishing its own digital sovereignty and striving for independence from the US.

On a domestic level, these regulations can be seen as favouring large incumbent tech companies over emerging challengers. This is because it is often expensive to comply with legislation, requiring resources smaller companies may lack.

Alphabet, Meta and Tesla have supported calls for AI regulation. At the same time, the Alphabet-owned Google has joined Amazon in investing billions in OpenAI’s competitor Anthropic, and Tesla boss Elon Musk’s xAI has just launched its first product, a chatbot called Grok.

Shared vision

The EU’s AI Act, China’s AI regulations, and the White House executive order show shared interests between the nations involved. Together, they set the stage for last week’s “Bletchley declaration”, in which 28 countries including the US, UK, China, Australia and several EU members pledged cooperation on AI safety.

Countries or regions see AI as a contributor to their economic development, national security, and international leadership. Despite the recognised risks, all jurisdictions are trying to support AI development and innovation.

By 2026, worldwide spending on AI-centric systems may pass US$300 billion by one estimate. By 2032, according to a Bloomberg report, the generative AI market alone may be worth US$1.3 trillion.

Numbers like these, and talk of perceived benefits from tech companies, national governments, and consultancy firms, tend to dominate media coverage of AI. Critical voices are often sidelined.

Competing interests

Beyond economic benefits, countries also look to AI systems for defence, cybersecurity, and military applications.

At the UK’s AI safety summit, international tensions were apparent. While China agreed with the Bletchley declaration made on the summit’s first day, it was excluded from public events on the second day.

One point of disagreement is China’s social credit system, which operates with little transparency. The EU’s AI Act regards social scoring systems of this sort as creating unacceptable risk.

The US perceives China’s investments in AI as a threat to US national and economic security, particularly in terms of cyberattacks and disinformation campaigns.

These tensions are likely to hinder global collaboration on binding AI regulations.

The limitations of current rules

Existing AI regulations also have significant limitations. For instance, there is no clear, common set of definitions of different kinds of AI technology in current regulations across jurisdictions.

Current legal definitions of AI tend to be very broad, raising concern over how practical they are. This broad scope means regulations cover a wide range of systems which present different risks and may deserve different treatments. Many regulations lack clear definitions for risk, safety, transparency, fairness, and non-discrimination, posing challenges for ensuring precise legal compliance.

We are also seeing local jurisdictions launch their own regulations within the national frameworks. These may address specific concerns and help to balance AI regulation and development.

California has introduced two bills to regulate AI in employment. Shanghai has proposed a system for grading, management and supervision of AI development at the municipal level.

However, defining AI technologies narrowly, as China has done, poses a risk that companies will find ways to work around the rules.

Moving forward

Sets of “best practices” for AI governance are emerging from local and national jurisdictions and transnational organisations, with oversight from groups such as the UN’s AI advisory board and the US’s National Institute of Standards and Technology. The existing AI governance frameworks from the UK, the US, the EU, and – to a limited extent – China are likely to be seen as guidance.

Global collaboration will be underpinned by both ethical consensus and more importantly national and geopolitical interests.The Conversation

Fan Yang, Research fellow at Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society., The University of Melbourne and Ausma Bernot, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Australian Graduate School of Policing and Security, Charles Sturt University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


$2.6M in ARC Discovery Grants for 6 projects

Colourful data landscape

$2.6M in ARC Discovery Grants for 6 projects

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 31 October 2023

On 30 October the Australian Research Council announced a total of $220.2 million of funding as part of the ARC Discovery Projects scheme, including six projects involving ADM+S researchers.

Researchers from the ADM+S Centre will collaborate on the following projects funded over the next three years.

Professor Kalervo Gulson, Professor Greg Thompson, Professor Marcia McKenzie, Professor Sam Sellar, Associate Professor Kirsty Kitto, Dr Simon Knight, & Dr José-Miguel Bello y Villarino (ADM+S at The University of Sydney)

The rapid introduction of artificial intelligence into education is occurring with inadequate policy support. Additionally, there is a lack of stakeholder input into decisions about the use of AI in education. Utilising social science and data science approaches, this project aims to democratise policy about AI in education by building tools to monitor policies, and developing collaborative policy making methods. The expected outcomes include publicly available policy resources to anticipate, and respond to, the role of AI in education, and participatory frameworks for policy-making. The benefits include informed stakeholder engagement, and concrete policy recommendations that are globally relevant and adaptable to the Australian context.

Associate Professor Stephen Harrington, Professor Kristy Hess, Dr Aljosha Karim Schapals, and Associate Professor Timothy Graham (ADM+S at QUT)
This project examines an emergent series of tactics used by political actors (i.e. politicians, lobbyists, political groups, etc.) that we are calling ‘Dark Political Communication’ (DPC). DPC differs markedly from existing, well-established modes of political communication, as it often involves the deliberate spread of disinformation, use of highly inflammatory language, antagonism towards the press and democratic institutions, as well as actions that seek to exacerbate social discord. In this project, we will provide the first-ever complete account of DPC tactics, and provide a series of recommendations to journalists about how their practice can best evolve to address this novel communication paradigm.

Professor Andrew Roberts (ADM+S at University of Melbourne), Dr Celine van Golde, & Professor Kimberley Wade
The aim of this project is to establish how the use of Body Worn Cameras to record statements in domestic and family violence cases affects assessment of a complainant’s credibility at trial. It will generate new knowledge about the influence of: (i) the physical environment in which recordings are made, (ii) the audio and visual quality of recordings, and (iii) fact-finders’ (judges and jurors) emotional responses to recordings. Expected outcomes of the project include law reform and policy recommendations to improve the practice of recording victim/witness statements and management of the use of such evidence in criminal proceedings.

Professor Paul Long, Dr Ash Watson (ADM+S at UNSW), Dr Ali Alizadeh, Associate Professor Shane Homan, &  Dr Thomas Bartindale

This project aims to fill a significant gap in the Australian Government’s National Cultural Policy to ‘Revive’ the cultural sector. The project expects to reveal the ignored sector of non-professional, homemade, amateur and do-it-yourself creativity. Intended outcomes include the first detailed study of the contribution of the 45% of Australians who creatively participate in the arts as producers of forms including poetry, music and fine art and their relationship with the professional cultural and creative industries. Participatory mapping methods that expand new knowledge should provide public benefits in broader recognition and understanding of the value of everyday Australian creativity, seeking to impact democratic policymaking.

Professor Patrik Wikstrom, Professor Jean BurgessDr Ariadna Matamoros Fernandez from ADM+S at QUT with Dr Joanne Gray and Dr Jonathon Hutchinson

This project is the first to systematically investigate how algorithmic content recommendation is shaping everyday Australian cultural experience over time, in the particular context of TikTok—the digital platform where Australians spend the most time online. The project provides critical evidence to support the government’s ongoing policy initiatives intended to regulate the activities of digital platforms. Its methodological innovations directly address the challenges of studying commercial platforms’ recommender systems through a mixed-method research design combining computational and qualitative analysis, bridging universal and individual perspectives and introducing ‘citizen science’ approaches to the field of platform studies.

Dr Xiangmin Zhou, Associate Professor Jeffrey Chan (ADM+S at RMIT University), Professor Dr Lei Chen, & Dr Timoleon Sellis
This project aims to create a next generation recommender system that enables enhanced task allocation and route recommendation on spatial crowdsourcing platforms. It expects to address key challenges in situation-aware reliable recommendation for big spatial crowdsourcing data, which is vital in improving users’ service experience and decision making. Expected outcomes of this project include advanced data models, efficient algorithms and query techniques to create a Crowd-guided Advanced Spatial Crowdsourcing Analytics (CASCA) system that is effective, efficient, crowd-guided, and situation-aware. It will benefit crowdsourced media data analysis and big data fields, bringing economic and social benefits to Australian industries and users.

The ARC Discovery Project scheme supports research that expands the knowledge base and research capacity in Australia and provides economic, commercial, environmental, social and/or cultural benefits for Australia.

Announcing the funding recipients, ARC CEO Ms Judi Zielke PSM said, “The Discovery Projects will share funding that supports excellent basic and applied research to expand Australia’s knowledge base and research capability, and enhance the scale and focus of research in the Australian Government priority areas.”

View the full list of projects.


ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess appointed Distinguished Professor at QUT

Professor Jean Burgess

ADM+S Associate Director Jean Burgess appointed Distinguished Professor at QUT

Author  ADM+S Centre
Date 27 October 2023

Professor Jean Burgess has been appointed Distinguished Professor of QUT, in recognition of her outstanding research contributions and global reputation.

Associate Director of the national ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Professor Jean Burgess is Professor of Digital Media in the QUT Digital Media Research Centre and School of Communication.

Professor Sheil said Professor Burgess was an internationally renowned researcher on the social implications of digital media technologies, platforms, and cultures.

“A prominent author and editor, Professor Burgess recently co-led the Generative AI Rapid Response Information Report, prepared for the Australian Government, which will inform consideration of the role of artificial intelligence in Australian society,” Professor Sheil said.

“From YouTube to Twitter and the iPhone, Professor Burgess has led the study of new platforms and emerging technologies in the field of communication and has developed innovative methods for investigating their role in society and everyday life.”

An author or editor of more than 120 scholarly publications on these subjects including seven books, Professor Burgess’ latest co-authored book, Everyday Data Cultures (2022), focuses on how ordinary people deal with the ever-increasing presence of data, AI and automation in everyday life.

She has held a number of ARC Discovery and Linkage grants and has partnered successfully with a range of Australian and international government, industry and community organisations to address the practical challenges and opportunities posed by digital media and automation.

She is a Fellow of the International Communication Association, the Australian Academy of Humanities, and the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of the ARC College of Experts.


How apps and influencers are changing the way we sleep, for better or for worse

Person lying in bed looking at phone

How apps and influencers are changing the way we sleep, for better or for worse

Author  Deborah Lupton
Date 27 October 2023

Insomnia is not just a personal issue that affects an individual’s health and wellbeing. It’s a public health issue, affecting public safety. It’s a socioeconomic issue, as poorer sleep is linked to a lower education and income. And, increasingly, it’s a commercial issue.

The global insomnia market is expected to reach US$6.3 billion by 2030, driven by increased diagnoses and therapy, as well as sleep aids, including sleep apps.

There’s an app for that

There are numerous digital devices and apps to help people sleep better. You can buy wearable devices, such as smartwatches and smart rings or wristbands, to digitally monitor your sleep. You can download apps that record how long you sleep and where you can log your tiredness and concentration levels.

Some devices are designed to promote sleep, by generating white or brown noise or other peaceful sounds. You can also buy “smart” pillows, mattresses and a range of smart light-fittings and lightbulbs to help track and improve sleep.

Such technologies operate to “digitise” sleep as part of “the quantified self”. They render sleep practices and bodily responses into data you can review. So these devices are promoted as offering scientific insights into how to control the disruption to people’s lives caused by poor sleep.

You can listen to “sleep stories” – bedtime stories, music or guided meditations meant to help you sleep. Then there are the sleep blogs, podcasts and social media content on TikTok, YouTube and Instagram.

Where there is social media content, there are social media “influencers” sharing their take on sleep and how to get more of it. These “sleep influencers” have accumulated large numbers of followers. Some have profited, including those who live-stream themselves sleeping or invite audiences to try to wake them up – for a price.

Sharing and connecting can help

There may be benefits to joining online communities of people who can’t sleep, whether that’s in an online forum such as Reddit or a specially designed sleep improvement program.

Sharing and connection can ease the loneliness we know can impact sleep. And technology can facilitate this connection when no-one else is around.

We know social media communities provide much-needed support for health problems more generally. They allow people to share personal experiences with others who understand, and to swap tips for the best health practitioners and therapies.

So online sharing, support and feelings of belonging can alleviate the stresses and unhappiness that may prevent people from finding a good night’s sleep.

What is this fixation costing us?

But there are some problems with digitising sleep. A focus on sleep can create a vicious cycle in which worrying about a lack of sleep can itself worsen sleep.

Using sleep-tracking apps and wearable devices can encourage people to become overly fixated on the metrics these technologies gather.

The data generated by digital devices are not necessarily accurate or useful, particularly for groups such as older people. Some young people say they feel worse after using a sleep app.

There are also data privacy issues. Some digital developers do not adequately protect the very personal information smart sleep devices or apps generate.

Then, there’s the fact using digital devices before bedtime is itself linked to sleep problems.

Are we missing the bigger issue?

Other critics argue this intense focus on sleep ignores that sleeping well is impossible for some people, however hard they try or whatever expensive devices they buy.

People living in poor housing or in noisy environments have little choice over the conditions in which they seek good sleep.

Factors such as people’s income and education levels affect their sleep, just as they do for other health issues. And multiple socioeconomic factors (for instance, gender, ethnicity and economic hardship) can combine, making it even more likely to have poor sleep.

Plane flying low over houses
People living in poor housing or in noisy environments have little choice over their sleep environment.
Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Sleep quality is therefore just as much as a socioeconomic as a biological issue. Yet, much of the advice offered to people about how to improve their sleep focuses on individual responsibility to make changes. It assumes everyone can buy the latest technologies or can change their environment or lifestyle to find better “sleep health”.

Until “sleep health inequalities” are improved, it is unlikely digital devices or apps can fix sleep difficulties at the population level. A good night’s sleep should not be the preserve of the privileged.The Conversation

Deborah Lupton, SHARP Professor, Vitalities Lab, Centre for Social Research in Health and Social Policy Centre, and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, UNSW Sydney

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


ADM+S Members Selected for 2024 Visiting Researcher Program

University of Amsterdam Visiting Researchers 2024
University of Amsterdam Visiting Researchers 2024.
Top left to right: Peibo Li, Miguel Gomez-Hernandez, & Sarah Cupler; Bottom left to right: Arjun Srinivas, Shohreh Delari, & Hao Xue

ADM+S Members Selected for 2024 Visiting Researcher Program

Authors  Natalie Campbell
Date 25 October 2023

Six ADM+S Research Fellows and PhD Students have been selected through a competitive application process to participate in the 2024 Visiting Researcher Program at the University of Amsterdam.

Peibo Li, Dr. Hao Xue, and Dr. Shohreh Deldari will collaborate with researchers at the Hybrid Intelligence Centre (HIC), while Arjun Srinivas, Sarah Culper, and Miguel Gomez-Hernandez will work with the Gravitation Program Public Values in the Algorithmic Society (AlgoSoc).

These participants were chosen for their potential to advance their research theses, expand their professional networks, and contribute to the strategic objectives of the ADM+S Centre. They will also present their research in various formats to consortium researchers.

The HIC operates along four interconnected research lines: Collaborative HI, Adaptive HI, Responsible HI, and Explainable HI. Successful applicants demonstrated a keen interest in Hybrid Intelligence (HI), which combines human and machine learning to amplify both human and machine intelligence by combining their complementary strengths.

Peibo’s thesis explores ‘Interpretable Graph-based Representation Learning,’ while Dr. Deldari and Dr. Xue focus on transparent machines, bias, and explainability, aligning with the HIC’s mission of putting humans at the center of AI.

AlgoSoc addresses the need for an informed societal perspective on automation and decision-making, particularly in areas like justice, health, and media. Successful applicants had to demonstrate how their research aligned with AlgoSoc’s objectives, and would benefit their thesis research.

Participants will also engage in additional research activities during their stay in Europe such as conferences, workshops, meetings, and collaborations with fellow researchers, institutions, and ADM+S Partner Organizations.

Students and researchers are being funded through the ADM+S Visiting Researcher program, as well as co-contributions through UNSW, QUT, University of Melbourne and Monash University nodes.


ADM+S researchers recognised at the International Symposium on Wearable Computing

ADM+S researchers at UbiComp/ISWC 2023
Left to right: Flora Salim, Kaixin Ji, Hiruni Kegalle & Yonchanok (Pro) Khaokaew with UbiCompl/ISWC award presenter.

ADM+S researchers recognised at the International Symposium on Wearable Computing

Authors  Natalie Campbell
Date 25 October 2023

ADM+S researchers have taken out two awards at the 2023 Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing (UbiComp) International Symposium on Wearable Computing (ISWC) for research that uses ChatGPT to improve sleep quality and the identification of human activities using signals from wearable devices.

ADM+S students Yonchanok (Pro) KhaokaewKaixin Ji, Marwah Alaofi, Hiruni Kegalle, and mentor Prof Flora Salim won the Student Challenge award for their research poster ‘zzzGPT: An Interactive GPT Approach to Enhance Sleep Quality’, receiving $1000 USD prize money from the Toyota Research Institute.

Also part of the team was UNSW Master student Thuc Hanh Nguyen, supervised by Prof Flora Salim and Pro Khaokaew. Hanh’s work was instrumental given her Master research on sleep quality recognition from sensor data, and her experience in the sleep data analysis on the dataset used for the competition.

Kaixin said that people were very interested in their work, and everyone was talking about our student challenge project.

“We also learned a lot by attending the workshops, talks, and paper sessions. The Ubicomp people were really trying to use innovation to solve problems. It opened our eyes about user needs and technologies.”

ADM+S researchers Dr Damiano Spina, Kaixin Ji, Prof Falk Scholer, Dr Danula Hettiachchi and Prof Flora Salim were also awarded the Best Poster Award for their work, ‘Towards Detecting Tonic Information Processing Activities with Physiological Data’

“It’s an incredible experience to receive the awards barefooted at the beach, during the UbiComp/ISWC Gala Dinner,” said Prof Salim.

Held in Cancun, Mexico, the UbiComp/ISWC is a leading international conference that brings together researchers, designers, developers and practitioners to present and discuss understanding of human experiences and social impacts of ubiquitous, pervasive and wearable computing.

Prof Salim is a member of the UbiComp steering committee, an organising committee member and co-chair of the UbiComp/ISWC doctoral colloquium. Flora took three ADM+S students researching in the field to attend the conference and engage with the international network of researchers.

“I’m thrilled to have had the chance to take my students to UbiComp for their first time and I hope it’s not going to be their last. It’s a top-notch research community that looks at enabling ‘computing everywhere’ through sensing, mobile and wearable systems, intelligent environments, and studies of user experience and the societal impact of computing,” she said.

“It’s an amazing multidisciplinary community that is incredibly supportive. It is truly one that would be hard not to return to, and also give back.”

Pro Khaokaew and Kaixin Ji participated in the doctoral colloquium, a mentoring program designed for academic exchange between HDR students in the UbiComp community. Both Pro and Kaixin received feedback from five globally renowned experts on papers they presented on their thesis topics.

“Everyone in the UbiComp community is keen on taking the innovations discussed at the conference and making them practical. You can easily see how each project is a perfect fit for this community’s vision,” said Pro.

Hiruni Kegalle was selected to be a student volunteer following a competitive selection process.

“My involvement in the conference as a student volunteer allowed me to collaborate with the organising committee and exposed me to the community. I made new friends with other student volunteers and conference attendees,” she said.

The Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing conference (UbiComp) series commenced in 1999, and over the years this has become the premier A* peer-reviewed conference series for research in ubiquitous computing. The ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computing (ISWC) is the premier A* conference in wearable computing and has been merged with UbiComp since 2013.

ADM+S Students were supported by the ADM+S Centre to attend the Ubicomp/ISWC conference as part of the Centre’s Higher Degree Research training program.


‘Digital inclusion’ and closing the gap: how First Nations leadership is key to getting remote communities online

Mapping the Digital Gap Co-researcher Guruwuy Ganambarr using her mobile phone to connect to wifi in Gäṉgaṉ homeland, East Arnhem Land, NT.
Mapping the Digital Gap Co-researcher Guruwuy Ganambarr using her mobile phone to connect to wifi in Gäṉgaṉ homeland, East Arnhem Land, NT. Daniel Featherstone, CC BY-NC-SA

‘Digital inclusion’ and closing the gap: how First Nations leadership is key to getting remote communities online

Authors  Daniel Featherstone and Lyndon Ormond-Parker
Date 23 October 2023

There are more than 1,500 remote First Nations communities and homelands around Australia, and about 670 of them have no mobile phone coverage. In research with 495 people from ten remote communities, we found 45.9% were “highly excluded” from increasingly important digital services and tools.

Digital inclusion for First Nations people is part of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. The agreement calls for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to have “access to information and services enabling participation in informed decision-making regarding their own lives”, and “equal levels of digital inclusion as other Australians by 2026”.

There is still some way to go, as our research shows. As one person in a remote community described their situation, “the internet here in Galiwin’ku past 10am is hopeless. [It] further marginalises people already living in an isolated community.”

A new report by the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group, released today, proposes a series of practical strategies to the Australian government to reduce the digital divide for First Nations Australians, particularly those living in remote communities and homelands.

Digital inclusion and the digital gap

We are part of a team that studies digital inclusion – the ability to access, afford, and effectively use digital technologies – across Australia. Each year, we publish the Australian Digital Inclusion Index which gives scores out of 100 for inclusion in different regions and groups of people around the country.

In our Mapping the Digital Gap project, we are researching digital inclusion among First Nations people in remote communities.

There is a significant gap in digital inclusion for First Nations people compared with other Australians, which widens substantially with remoteness.

Nationally, we found a “digital gap” of 7.5 points between First Nations people and others in Australia. In remote Australia the gap is 24.4 points, and in very remote communities and homelands it is 25.3 points.

A map of Australia coloured in shades of red, with darker shades around capital cities and the east coast and lighter shades inland. A key shows how the colours correspond to different scores on the Australian Digital Inclusion Index.
First Nations scores on the Australian Digital Inclusion Index by remoteness, including the gap against the national average.
Mapping the Digital Gap: 2023 Outcomes Report, CC BY-NC-SA


The biggest contribution to this gap comes from access to communications services. There are some 1,545 remote First Nations communities and homelands across Australia, and 670 have no mobile coverage. Many of the others need much better access to affordable and reliable connections.

First Nations people primarily use prepaid mobile services for voice and data, so expanded access to mobile and wifi services are a critical first step.

Of the 495 remote First Nations people who participated in our study, 45.9% were rated as “highly excluded” based on their inclusion index scores, compared with 9.4% of people across Australia.

First Nations leadership on closing the digital gap

The First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group was established by Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland in January 2023 to provide First Nations leadership on policy and programs to address closing the digital gap.

The advisory group consists of five highly experienced First Nations people, supported by a seven-person expert panel and a secretariat within the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure. The group is chaired by veteran media professional and Noongar woman Dot West, with researcher Lyndon Ormond-Parker, an Alyawarr man and coauthor of this article, as deputy chair.

A group of nine people posing for a photograph.
Members of the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group and the expert panel with Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland. Back row, left to right: Che Cockatoo-Collins, Neil Turner, Daniel Featherstone, Lyndon Ormond-Parker and Scott Winch. Front row, left to right: Lauren Ganley, Michelle Rowland, Dot West and Talei Elu. Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts, CC BY-NC-SA


The advisory group’s initial report was released by West, Rowland, and Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney. This report follows the release of the federal government’s First Nations Digital Inclusion Plan in July.

In the introduction to the report, West outlines the importance of Closing the Gap Target 17:

Digital inclusion is a critical enabler for a vast array of other benefits, including health, education and social connectedness, as well as making sure First Nations people have access to the information they need to make decisions for themselves and their families.

She describes the need for a collaborative approach to achieve this ambitious target.

To meet Target 17 will require significant and new investment by governments in partnership with industry and those communities where the digital gap is most pronounced. The most effective approaches will be ones that reflect local priorities and are based on direct engagement with communities.

In the report, the advisory group outlines a number of practical recommendations to help close the digital gap. These include:

  • providing affordable pre-paid mobile plans
  • improved access to government communications programs
  • fit-for-purpose connectivity options such as community wifi connections, prepaid NBN services, new satellite internet projects, and upgrades to improve TV access.

Other recommendations are supporting the development of digital skills needed to safely and confidently use online services, and access to relevant news and media, including local First Nations services.

Improving national data collection for the 70% of First Nations people who live in urban and regional Australia, to measure progress, is another key recommendation. This builds on an earlier outcome of the advisory group’s advocacy, an interactive map of connectivity in First Nations communities.

Shared decision-making

The National Agreement on Closing the Gap is built on a partnership approach between governments and First Nations people, which includes co-design and co-delivery of programs.

The first of the reforms at the centre of the agreement is to “strengthen and establish formal partnerships and shared decision-making”. If this reform is enacted by governments nationally, it is likely to lead to meaningful progress on Closing the Gap.

This advisory group provides an example of how First Nations leadership can provide practical, appropriate and evidence-based input on key policy areas that affect First Nations people and communities.The Conversation

Daniel Featherstone, Senior Research Fellow, RMIT University and Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Principal Research Fellow, RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


ADM+S Affiliate recognised in 2023 Top 100 People in Artificial Intelligence

Professor Rachel Thomas

ADM+S Affiliate recognised in 2023 Top 100 People in Artificial Intelligence

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 20 October 2023

ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S) Affiliate Prof Rachel Thomas has been named in the Business Insiders 2023 Top 100 People in Artificial Intelligence. The list recognises people who are not only pushing the boundaries of the field but also those who are seeking to ensure AI develops steadily and responsibly.

Rachel Thomas is a professor of practice in the Centre for Data Science at QUT and co-founder of, which created one of the world’s most popular deep learning courses. The non-profit organisation offers free online classes and support materials for learners from around the world in multiple languages.

Previously, she was founding director of the Center for Applied Data Ethics at University of San Francisco and has was an early engineer at Uber. 

Buisness Insider set out to identify the people behind the AI, those building it, utilizing it, and thinking carefully about its risks.

The publiction wrote “The people on our list will likely impact the future of this technology and how it may shape our lives.”


RMIT PhD Student Visiting Researcher at University of Bristol

Edward Small at the University of Bristol
Edward Small at the University of Bristol

RMIT PhD Student Visiting Researcher at University of Bristol

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 18 October 2023

ADM+S PhD student Edward Small from RMIT University has completed a four-month research program with Machine Learning and Computer Vision (MaVi) at the University of Bristol.

As a visiting researcher at the University of Bristol, Edward worked on Explainable AI in Healthcare and Climate Science with the Transparent AI Team (TrAIT), working across two main projects.

One project, working under Professor Santos-Rodriguez alongside Dr. Jeffrey Clark and Christopher McWilliams, looked at using counterfactual explanations to query and reason with AI models that assist in decision-making for intensive care units.

In another project, working with Dr. Jeffrey Clark, Nawid Keshtmand, Michelle Wan, Dr. Elena Fillola Mayoral, Dr. Enrico Werner and Dr. Christopher Bourdeaux, the group investigated a new method that uses counterfactuals as anchor points to assess how a patient is progressing in ICU or how a country/region compares to climate targets.

Edward says, “the work being done at Bristol in AI is deep, broad, and incredibly well supported. If a topic exists in AI, someone at Bristol is working on it.”

Reflecting on his stay, Edward says a key insight from the experience was the effectiveness of problem orientated meetings, opposed to time-boxed ones. This approach meant that the team would discuss a specific aspect of a paper/problem until they felt it was sufficiently solved.

“Sometimes this took 10 minutes, sometimes this took 2 hours, and these discussions were open for anyone to join. These were incredibly helpful in facilitating corkscrew thinking, as well as gaining insight from researchers who we may not usually look to for information,” he said.

“The team I worked with were simply fantastic to be with. Intelligent, supportive, creative, and fun. There wasn’t a single day where I didn’t want to work. The university also had very frequent talks from leading researchers, and the discussions following these talks were always very stimulating.”

During his time with the Transparent AI Team (TrAIT), Edward co-authored two papers, TraCE: Trajectory Counterfactual Explanation Scores, and Counterfactual Explanations via Locally-Guided Sequential Algorithmic Recourse. They also produced two workshop papers; the summary of one can be featured on Montreal AI ethics Institute.

“The work we completed during my time at Bristol has really inspired a new direction for us to look when it comes to XAI tools, especially in high-impact areas like healthcare.”

Upon returning to Australia, Edward’s work with the team at Bristol will continue. As well as gaining interest in new areas of AI, and inspiring new ideas for his own research, Edward says the biggest takeaway from his time at Bristol is the connections made.

“Raul, Jeff and I are meeting once a week to facilitate continued collaboration, with plans to conduct clinical trials with our support tools. We are also exploring new domains to apply our methodologies to, as well as looking to work directly with more ICU clinicians to ensure any work we do for ICU support tools is well aligned with those who will be using it.”

Edward researches fairness, explainability and transparency in automated decision-making, with supervisors Prof Flora Salim, Dr Jeffrey Chan and Dr Kacper Sokol. 

His research examines the robustness and stability of current fairness strategies, and looks to resolve the mathematical conflict between group fairness and individual fairness.

The four-month program was supported by ADM+S and Bristol University.


Media students explore the impact of automated decision-making on the everyday

RMIT Media Studio Exhibition
RMIT media students showcase their films at an exhibition on 19 October

Media students explore the impact of automated decision-making on the everyday

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 27 October 2023

In a partnered studio with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, media students from RMIT University have used video methods to explore and illustrate how automated decision-making (ADM) intersects with the everyday.

Students’ projects range from impacts of generative AI on the art sector, the manufacture of driverless cars, Spotify algorithms, period tracking apps and more.

During the semester, students engaged with researchers from ADM+S to learn more about the uses of automated decision-making in society across the areas of health, news and media, mobilities and social services. 

Natalie Campbell, Research Communications Officer at the ADM+S said it was fantastic to see the student’s interpretations of the research topics, and technical media skills improving through the studio.

“Listening to the students discuss their projects, it was evident they felt inspired chatting to ADM+S researchers about these topics.

“The final outputs are a great example of research translation, using creative media making skills to communicate complex ideas and findings,” she said.


Students heard from ADM+S researchers Jeni Lee, Emma Quilty, Kath Albury, Ramon Lobato, Aitor Jimenez, Nic Carah, Haiqing Yu as well as ADM+S professional staff Nick Walsh, Natalie Campbell and Leah Hawkins during the studio project. Many students sought interviews with ADM+S experts to enhance the depth of their explainer videos and gain a better understanding about some of the complexities of these topics.

For example, Aya Ishii worked with PhD student Cecily Klim to break down the pros and cons of period tracker apps, in her short film ‘Are Period Tracking Apps Reliable?’ Aya’s film was inspired by the question ‘how is intimate data being collected and stored, and where is is being shared?’ Cecily leant her expertise in emerging technologies within contraceptive advocacy and provision to help Aya explore the governance of sexual technologies, lack of transparency in privacy across digital platforms, and the biases that arise from algorithms.

Prof Mark Sanderson appears in Luka Corrado’s video ‘How does Google Maps determine the fastest route?‘ which investigates how machine learning algorithms persistently evaluate data sources to identify traffic trends and congestion points, ensuring precise and up-to-the-minute guidance for app users.

Students showcased their work in an exhibition titled Decoding AI on Thursday 19 October at RMIT University.

View all student projects.


Young ICT Explorers visit ADM+S at QUT

Young ICT Explorers visit QUT
Young ICT Explorers from East Brisbane State School with Professor Daniel Angus (right).

Young ICT Explorers visit ADM+S at QUT

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 11 October 2023

On 4 October 2023, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society at QUT hosted fifteen East Brisbane State School Grade 6 students to present their projects for the 2023 Young ICT Explorers national competition.

The Young ICT Explorers (YICTE) is a non-profit competition supported by CSIRO Digital Careers, The Smith Family, Kinetic IT and School Bytes. The annual competition encourages primary and high school students from years three to 12 to use their imagination and passion to create an invention that could change the world using the power of technology.

“The QUT excursion was amazing. I enjoyed meeting the researchers. They taught us the unique things they each did. I learned that all the students and researchers work together with different roles, like programming,” said grade six student Sebastian Barlow.

“The part I enjoyed the most, was when we had an opportunity to talk to the professionals and understand their current jobs, that can inspire children to start thinking about their future,” said student Artemy Plekhanov.

While at QUT, the students presented the following projects virtually to the YICTE judges.

Child Seat Saver
The Child Seat Saver is designed to prevent young children from being injured or fatally harmed whilst traveling, or being restrained in a vehicle by using an Arduino microcontroller in the seat which operates in conjunction with a simple mobile app, to alert a parent when their child is unbuckled but also when their mobile device moves away from the vehicle while there is still a child in the seat.

Air Smart
The Air Smart Air Pollution Monitor will monitor air quality within and outside the city using a gas sensor and Arduino to measure local air quality over time and compare the air pollution at key locations. The sensor is designed to show the difference in pollution levels between urban and semi-rural areas to highlight the need to reduce air pollution in these areas.

Hydro Green
Hydro Green is a portable, renewable energy source powered by water currents. When an Underwater Propeller Thruster is activated by the flow of the water, it spins and that movement creates energy. This energy goes through our voltage regulator to maintain the constant output which makes mechanical energy, which then goes into a dynamo generator that converts it into electrical energy.

Multi Sphere Delivery
And lastly, the Multi Sphere Delivery project presents a driving/flying hybrid delivery vehicle that conquers traffic congestion, weather delays and capacity issues. The vehicle uses magnetic propellors to fly like a drone, and driverless car capabilities to navigate roads on the ground.

The program encourages students to use creativity and innovation to gain a greater understating of the diverse capabilities of technology, which was evident amongst the students visiting ADM+S. The students engaged with Centre researchers and heard about some of the current research and innovation happening in the tech space, hopefully inspiring a new generation of careers in technology.

East Brisbane State School Student Aarush Khadka reflected on the visit to QUT, commenting “one thing I learnt from talking to the researchers at QUT is that many researchers and students work together to create big and complicated projects. Overall, I thought the university was lots of fun and something to take inspiration from.”

Finalists of the 2023 competition will be announced in November.


Remote First Nations communities are among the most digitally excluded people in Australia: Report

MDG 2023 report launch
Gangan co-researcher Djamika Ganambarr using the communities public phone.

Remote First Nations communities are among the most digitally excluded people in Australia: Report

Author  RMIT University Media Release
Date 26 September 2023

Research from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society (ADM+S) at RMIT University has found a significant gap in digital inclusion for First Nations people compared with other Australians, which widens substantially with remoteness.

About 43% of the 1,545 First Nations communities and homelands across Australia have no mobile service – including some with only a shared public phone or no telecommunications access – highlighting a need for action to close the digital gap.

The “Mapping the Digital Gap” 2023 Outcomes Report released today addresses the previous lack of data on the nature and scale of the digital gap for First Nations people.

The project supplements the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) to enable comparative results against national data.

Under ADII modelling, 45.9% of remote First Nations research participants are highly excluded, compared to 9.4% percent of the Australian population, illustrating the considerable disparities.

Nationally, the gap in digital access between First Nations people and other Australians is 7.5 points out of 100.

But the gap widens significantly to 24.5 points for remote First Nations people and 25.4 points for those living in very remote communities.

ADM+S Centre lead investigator and RMIT Senior Research Fellow, Dr Daniel Featherstone, said with government and other services increasingly moving online, it’s crucial that all Australians can effectively access and use digital technologies.

“Everyone should have the opportunity to benefit from digital technologies,” he said.

“We use these technologies to access essential services for health, welfare, finance and education, participate in social and cultural activities, follow news and media, as well as connect with family, friends, and the wider world.”

“Improving digital inclusion and access to services is critically important to ensure informed decision-making and agency among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”

This report marks the first time the digital gap for First Nations people has been measured nationally by remoteness categories – from major cities to outer regional, remote and very remote – across various demographic indicators.

The study found accessing digital technologies was most challenging in remote communities due to limited communications infrastructure, low household access and patchy, congested mobile services.

With residents in remote communities typically on low incomes, 84% of these respondents in the study used or shared a mobile device, and 94% of these used pre-paid services.

The high cost of pre-paid data and low household uptake of fixed broadband also led to significant affordability issues.

“While pre-paid services allow people more control over mobile costs, they typically cost more per gigabyte,” said Featherstone.

“This often leads to data rationing and periods without service. These affordability constraints have a significant impact on access.”

53.3% of First Nations people surveyed in the study said they had sacrificed paying for essentials such as food or bills to stay connected, compared to 19.1% of other Australians.

Featherstone said these compounding factors of access and affordability end up impacting the ability of First Nations people in remote communities to use online services, mobile apps and stay safe online.

Factors such as older age, disability, language barriers, low educational attainment and income can further impact their digital ability.

The research team are working across 12 remote First Nations communities over four years to understand the scale and nature of the digital gap.

Co-investigator and Principal Research Fellow at ADM+S, RMIT University, Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker (Alyawarr), said the project was enabling the team to track Target 17 of the National Partnership Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Target 17 refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people having equal levels of digital inclusion by 2026.

“Having First Nations leadership and perspectives in the research is critical in supporting appropriate community-led solutions,” said Ormond-Parker.

Next steps

Mapping the Digital Gap is funded by Telstra and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society.

The research team have actively contributed to policy and program reviews, including participation on the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group to Communications Minister Hon. Michelle Rowland MP. Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker is Deputy Chair of the Advisory Group, with Dr Daniel Featherstone on the Expert Panel supporting the group.

Further research is scheduled for this year and next, including updated community reports and contributions to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index dashboard and reporting.

“Through these initiatives, we hope to contribute to closing the digital gap and helping foster agency and self-determination across Australia’s remote First Nations communities,” he said.

“Mapping the Digital Gap: 2023 Outcomes Report” was prepared for ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. (DOI: 10.25916/a01g-fp91).

Daniel Featherstone, Lyndon Ormond-Parker, Lauren Ganley, Julian Thomas, Sharon Parkinson, Kieran Hegarty, Jenny Kennedy, Indigo Holcombe-James, Lucy Valenta and Leah Hawkins are co-authors.


30 years of the web down under: how Australians made the early internet their own

Old photo of an old desktop computer in a library
Blacktown City Librairies, CC BY-SA

30 years of the web down under: how Australians made the early internet their own

Author  Kieran Hegarty
Date 22 September 2023

The internet is growing old. While the roots of the internet date back to the 1960s, the popular internet – the one that 99% of Australians now use – is a child of the 1990s.

In the space of a decade, the internet moved from a tool used by a handful of researchers to something most Australians used – to talk to friends and family, find out tomorrow’s weather, follow a game, organise a protest, or read the news.

The popular internet grows up

This year marks 30 years since the release of Mosaic, the first browser that integrated text and graphics, helping to popularise the web: the global information network we know today.

Google is now 25, Wikipedia turned 21 last year, and Facebook will soon be 20. These anniversaries were marked with events, feature articles and birthday cakes.

But a local milestone passed with little fanfare: 30 years ago, the first Australian websites started to appear.

The web made the internet intelligible to people without specialist technical knowledge. Hyperlinks made it easy to navigate from page to page and site to site, while the underlying HTML code was relatively easy for newcomers to learn.

Australia gets connected

In late 1992, the first Australian web server was installed. The Bioinformatics Hypermedia Server was set up by David Green at the Australian National University in Canberra, who launched his LIFE website that October. LIFE later claimed to be “Australia’s first information service on the World Wide Web”.

Not that many Australians would have seen it at the time. In the early 1990s, the Australian internet was a university-led research network.

The Australian Academic and Research Network (AARNet) connected to the rest of the world in 1989, through a connection between the University of Hawaii and the University of Melbourne. Within a year, most Australian universities and many research facilities were connected.

The World Wide Web was invented by English computer scientist Tim Berners-Lee and launched in 1991. At the time, it was just one of many communication protocols for creating, sharing and accessing information.

Researchers connected to AARNet were experimenting with tools like Gopher and Internet Relay Chat alongside the web.

Even as a research network, the internet was deeply social. Robert Elz, one of the computer scientists who connected Australia to the internet in 1989, became well-known for his online commentaries on cricket matches. Science fiction fans set up mailing lists.

These uses hinted at what was to come, as everyday Australians got online.

The birth of the public internet

Throughout 1994, AARNet enabled private companies to buy network capacity and connect users outside research contexts. Ownership of the Australian internet was transferred to Telstra in 1995, as private consumers and small businesses began to move online.

With the release of web browsers like Mosaic and Netscape, and the increase in dial-up connections, the number of Australian websites grew rapidly.

At the start of 1995, there were a couple of hundred. When the Australian internet went public just six months later, they numbered in the thousands. By the end of the decade there were hundreds of thousands.

Everyday Australians get connected

As everyday Australians went online, students, activists, artists and fans began to create a diverse array of sites that took advantage of the web’s possibilities.

The “cyberfeminist zine” geekgirl, created by Rosie X. Cross from her home in inner-west Sydney, combined a “Do It Yourself” punk ethos with the global distribution the web made possible. It was part of a diverse and flourishing feminist culture online.

Australia was home to the first fully online doctorate, Simon Pockley’s 1995 PhD thesis Flight of Ducks.

Art students presented poetry as animated gifs, labelling them “cyberpoetry”. Aspiring science fiction writers published multimedia stories on the web.

The Australian internet goes mainstream

Political parties, government and media also moved online.

The Age Online was the first major newspaper website in Australia. Launched in February 1995, the site beat Australia’s own national broadcaster by six months and the New York Times by a year.

Though The Age was first, ABC Online and ninemsn – linked to the Hotmail email service – were the most popular.

During the 1998 federal election, ABC Online saw over two million hits per week. Political parties, candidates and interest groups were quick to establish a web presence, kicking off the era of online political campaigning.

The web also became big business. By the end of the decade, Australia had its own internet entrepreneurs, including a future prime minister. Established media companies dominated web traffic.

Internet fever” was sweeping Australian businesses, leading to an “internet stocks frenzy”. The internet had gone mainstream and the “dot com bubble” was rapidly inflating.

Looking back on the decade the popular internet was born

The public, open, commercial internet is now a few decades old. Given current concerns about the state of the internet – from the power of large digital platforms to the proliferation of disinformation – it might be tempting to look at the 1990s as a “golden age” for the internet.

However, we must resist looking back with rose-coloured glasses. What is needed is critical scrutiny of the conditions that underpinned internet use and attention to how a diversity of people incorporated technology in their lives and helped transformed it in the process. This will help us understand how we got the internet we have and how we might achieve the internet we want.

Understanding online history can be particularly difficult because many sites have long-since disappeared. However, archiving efforts like those of the Internet Archive and the National Library of Australia make it possible to look back and see how much things have changed, what concerns are familiar, and remember the everyday people who helped transform the internet from a niche academic network to a mass medium.The Conversation

Kieran Hegarty, Research Fellow (Automated Decision-Making Systems), RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Listen to Kieran Hegarty with Stephanie Wood on ABC Radio National Drive 30 years of the internet in Australia.


ADM+S acknowledged for contribution to Commonwealth Governments’ discussion paper on Safe and Responsible AI

Purple image with text "How do large language models work?"
Pexels/Google DeepMind

ADM+S acknowledged for contribution to Commonwealth Governments’ discussion paper on Safe and Responsible AI

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 22 September 2023

The rapid rise of generative AI is revolutionising the generation of content, and around the world people are looking to governments to lead the conversation on its regulation.

How should the Australian federal government take action to promote artificial intelligence and automated decision-making that is safe and responsible?

The Minister for Industry and Science Hon Ed Husic has highlighted that the government is committed to a thoughtful approach to the challenges of generative AI while ensuring they also maximise the benefits.

“While AI has been with us for a while and contains great benefits for both individuals and organisations, it’s important we get the balance right on its introduction,” said Hon Ed Husic.

In June 2023, the Australian Government called for public submissions for their discussion paper Supporting Responsible AI

The discussion paper builds on the recent Rapid Research Report on Generative AI delivered by the government’s National Science and Technology Council.

Hon Ed Husic provided some details about submissions received in a recent article published in the Australian Financial Review.

He said that more than 500 submissions were received, reflecting the interest and concern people have around regulations of AI.

“Nearly every submission agreed that getting the guardrails right was about more than just creating new laws. It also meant investing in capability building and education, creating standards, and in co-ordinating and upskilling existing regulators and policymakers,” said Hon Ed Husic.

However there was a divided response on whether Australia explicitly needed new laws to address the growth and management on artificial intelligence. 

“Most of the submissions from the technology companies said updating existing laws would be more effective than introducing new laws specifically for AI developers and users.

“They pointed out that there were many laws that already influenced AI development. But laws will need to be updated.”

Hon Ed Husic highlighted the submission made by The Centre for Automated Decision Making and Society and the existing legal frameworks identified in this report that need updating to address AI’s challenges.

“These included administrative law, copyright law, privacy, political advertising and campaign laws, and rules for financial advisers, medicine and lawyers.

“Consumer and human rights groups, on the other hand, and members of the public, supported explicit new AI laws. The need for watermarking or labelling of AI-generated material was identified by many as a new and urgent issue.

“And there was a real concern that an explosion of cheap AI content would see people spending more time battling information overload, cancelling any productivity gains.

“These are all real and serious concerns. Ones that, as a government, we will grapple with over the next while.

“Getting the balance right will be important. Important in allowing AI to enhance our economic prospects and national wellbeing and protecting Australians,” said Hon Ed Husic.

Read the full ADM+S Submission to the Safe and Responsible AI in Australia Discussion Paper


Australian Ad Observatory features on Hungry Talks

Jaia Guildford-Carey talking to Prof Christine Parker
Left to right: Jaia Guildford-Carey and Prof Christine Parker

Australian Ad Observatory features on Hungry Talks

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 21 September 2023

Since 2021, the Australian Ad Observatory has collected over 300,000 unique ads. The Observatory represents the largest library of ads collected from the Australian general public. 

Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society have been analysing these ads to identify problematic advertising, such as green claims and unhealthy food advertising as well as alcohol and gambling advertising.

Professor Christine Parker from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society and Law Professor at the University of Melbourne spoke about the Australian Ad Observatory with host Jaia Guildford-Carey on a recent episode of Hungry Talks.

Professor Parker said that they are interested in what advertising people are seeing on Facebook because a lot of advertising is personalised and targeted. 

“The various social media platforms, what they’re doing is they’re collecting lots of data about you, and people like you, that they think might be relevant to you. And that is governing what is coming through your feed.

“In traditional legacy media, advertising appeared on billboards, magazines and TV where everybody could see the same ads.

“However when you are looking at social media we don’t really know what different people are getting and whether some people are getting lots of one type of ad and others are getting a lot of another kind of ad,” said Professor Parker.

The Australian Ad Observatory is seeking participants to donate their Facebook Ads to this valuable research. Visit the Australian Ad Observatory website to find out more about the project and how to get involved.

View the Hungry Talks Episode 7: Sustainability and Ethics (Prof Christine Parker talks to Jaia Guildford-Carey from 50:55)


Research supports call for improved safety of dating apps

Dating apps on mobile phone screen

Research supports call for improved safety of dating apps

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 19 September 2023

Online dating apps could be forced to make changes through government legislation unless they lift their standards and improve safety for users.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland announced that popular dating companies such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge have until June 30 to develop a voluntary code of conduct that addresses user safety concerns.

The code could include improving engagement with law enforcement, supporting at-risk users, improving safety policies and practices, and providing greater transparency about harms, she said.
But, Rowland added, if the safety standards are not sufficiently improved, the government will use regulation and legislation to force change.

The government is responding to Australian Institute of Criminology research published last year that found three-in-four users of dating apps or websites had experienced some form of sexual violence through these platforms in the five years through 2021.

“Online dating is actually the most popular way for Australians to meet new people and to form new relationships,” Rowland said.

“The government is concerned about rates of sexual harassment, abusive and threatening language, unsolicited sexual images and violence facilitated by these platforms,” she added.

Earlier this year, the federal government convened a national rountable that brought representatives from the sector face-to-face with experts, advocates and law enforcement agencies to discuss the situation playing out online.

ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making researcher Professor Kath Albury from Swinburne University studies behaviours on online dating and social media platforms, and said users reported a wide variety of problematic experiences.

“The harms range from receiving unwanted contact or images — unwanted texts and images that maybe are using slurs or sexually explicit when a person hasn’t consented to receiving sexually explicit communication,” Professor Albury said.

“And they range from that kind of day-to-day, the equivalent of flashing in the offline environment or on-street harassment — someone yelling out a comment to you, that’s what it feels like with that kind of contact — to, at times, racist or discriminatory language, transphobic language, stalking in some cases, and in other cases quite threatening behaviours — so moving from the dating apps on to other social platforms to stalk, or offline stalking or indeed physical harassment.”

Professor Albury said the handling of complaints was a key area where users wanted to see improvement.
“There could be clearer communication around what happens when you report an unwanted contact or a questionable or threatening contact, and what the app does with that information,” Professor Albury said.

“There could also be a clearer sense of how fast you can expect to get feedback or a very personal response from the app if you report an issue.

“One of the things that dating app users are concerned about is the sense that complaints go into the void, or there’s a response that feels automated, or not personally responsive in a time when they’re feeling quite unsafe or distressed,” Albury said.

Read more

Watch ABC interview with Professor Kath Albury


ADM+S Research Fellow invited to deliver the 2023 Hancock Lecture

2023 Hancock Lecture

ADM+S Research Fellow invited to deliver the 2023 Hancock Lecture

Author Kathy Nickels
Date 13 September 2023

ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Thao Phan from Monash University will be the featured speaker for the Australian Academy of Humanities 2023 Hancock Lecture. 

Each year, the Australian Academy of Humanities invites an outstanding scholar at the earlier stages of their careers to talk at the Hancock Lecture about their work in an accessible way for the everyday Australian.

In the talk ‘Artificial figures: gender-in-the-making in algorithmic culture’, Dr Phan will explore how, in the making of AI systems and technologies, gender too is being made.

This lecture centres on questions of power, politics, and identity in today’s algorithmic culture. It asks: how are more-than-human systems reconfiguring the terms of all-too-human categories like gender, race, and class? How does gender influence how new technologies are made intelligible, mediating the expectations of a user, consumer, or audience? 

And finally, how might these encounters with AI reveal the artifice of gender as a system that is tied to the realm of the artificial as much as it is to nature and what we call ‘the natural’?

The Hancock Lecture will be hosted 4pm, Thursday 16 November 2023 at the Kaleide RMIT Union Theatre, Melbourne. Visit the Hancock Lecture webpage to register for this event.

The Hancock Lecture is being hosted as part of the Australian Academy of the Humanities 54th Annual Academy Symposium. Visit the Symposia webpage for further information and registration for this event.


ADM+S researchers recognised at 2023 Australian Good Design Awards

2023 Australian Good Design Award recipients
2023 Australian Good Design Award recipients

ADM+S researchers recognised at 2023 Australian Good Design Awards

Authors Natalie Campbell
Date 12 September 2023

Congratulations to ADM+S researchers who have been recognised for their creative and innovative contributions to Australian design at the 2023 Australian Good Design Awards.

Established in 1958, the Australian Good Design Awards have been setting the international standard for good design for more than six decades and are recognised by the World Design Organization (WDO) as Australia’s peak international design endorsement program.

Held on 8 September 2023, the annual awards night celebrated projects from around the world in design, architecture, engineering, research, fashion, and social impact. Entries covered a vast range of sectors and industries, showcasing everything from product and building design, systems, and processes that support business and communities.

ADM+S researchers from the Monash Emerging Technologies Research Lab Prof Sarah Pink, Dr Debora Lanzeni, Prof Vaike Fors, Prof Yolande Strengers, and their colleagues Dr Melisa Duque and Assoc Prof Shanti Sumartojo, received a Good Design Award for their book ‘Design Ethnography’.

Design Ethnography presents an ethical, inclusive and interventional design research approach, tailored to the challenges of our world in crisis. The book draws on the shared design ethnographic practice of its six female authors over ten years, with a commitment to engender safe and trusted futures for people, planet, other species and technologies.

Dr Lanzeni explains, “it’s such an honour for our book to have this enormous recognition in the world of design. This methodology traverses disciplines and knowledge environments, aiming to move forward an engaged, committed and innovative mode of research in partnership with stakeholders.

What is essential is to grasp and understand the contemporary challenges that society and the planet are going through.”

Prof Sarah Pink took home two additional Gold Winner awards for her short film ‘Smart Homes for Seniors’ and research project ‘City Sensing Data Futures’.

Smart Homes for Seniors is a character-led design anthropological documentary which follows five senior households over 6 months as they experience and experiment with smart home technology. Directed by Prof Pink, the film advocates for co-designing technologies and related services with seniors themselves in their homes to better support wellbeing and ageing in place.

City Sensing Data Futures is a research collaboration between the Emerging Technologies Research Lab and City of Melbourne. The project created and demonstrated an ethics-based inclusive design for the capture and use of real-time city data in public spaces, which respects values of trust, privacy, transparency, open communication and care.

Prof Pink said, “our collaboration with the City of Melbourne and the amazing Tegan KopGemma Baxter and Catherine Hill has been a real highlight for me, and to make it even better our project won a prestigious Gold Design Award.

I’m very proud have led our fantastic ETLab team of design ethnographers Debora LanzeniMelisa DuqueShanti SumartojoRobert Lundberg, industrial designer Ilya Fridman, and enormous thanks to Bianca Vallentine for her stunning project management and design skills.”

All three projects are synonymous with the Awards’ philosophy of shaping a better world through creativity and innovation, and share the objective of Good Design to create a better, safer and more prosperous future through design excellence.


Call for Papers: 21st Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC 2024)

CIRC 2024 Call for Papers
CIRC 2024 Call for Papers

Call for Papers: 21st Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC 2024)

Authors Haiqing Yu and Natalie Campbell
Date 11 September 2023

In 2024 the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society will be hosting the 21st Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC 2024) in Brisbane. The theme of the event is ‘Politics and Geopolitics of Automated Decision-Making on the Global Chinese Internet’ and will be held on 17-18 June.

The Chinese Internet has a unique technological and politico-cultural ecosystem. It is characterized by the Great-Firewall censorship regime, a vibrant platform-centered digital economy, and highly connected and engaged consumers and users. These features are complemented with a fast-paced and dynamic experimentation with intelligent and disruptive technologies across an expanding array of areas, platforms, sectors, and national boundaries. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain—technologies and digital tools that contribute to automated decision-making (ADM)—are used to innovate digital economy, service provision, transport and mobility, media/propaganda, labor relations, and cross-border trade, and so forth. They also shape societal processes, contributing to new forms of social governance, cultural production and social engagement, resetting labor relations, and transforming power dynamics across industries, sectors, and national boundaries. Chinese Internet and technology companies like Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Bytedance are the forerunners in the AI race and technological innovation. They are encouraged by the Chinese Party-state to develop research and innovation capacities in cutting-edge technologies, while bearing the brunt of state regulations on content and data control on the one hand and of the high-tech fallout with the US on the other hand.

The politics of ADM in China impacts on how Chinese people live and work, even after they travel and immigrate to other places. Made-in-China digital companies, born-in-China entrepreneurs, or entities and organizations with Chinese investment or influence look to created-in-China models and tested-in-China protocols for inspiration. However, they face challenging problems across a wide range of areas in social, institutional, cultural, legal and ethical domains, both inside China and beyond. It is especially so when Chinese Internet companies expand overseas and become strategic players in the global Chinese Internet. Together with Chinese players in telecommunications and information services, Chinese Internet companies, entrepreneurs, users, and their associates have found themself embroiled in the geopolitics of digital communication, technology, and governance.

The global Chinese Internet is centered around and complicated by politics and geopolitics. Underpinning the politics and geopolitics of the global Chinese Internet are the new and disruptive ADM technologies and technological systems, which are used in a wide range of scenarios, from consumer profiling to citizen surveillance on- and offline. China’s role in politics and geopolitics concerning AI applications, blockchain operations, data governance, digital surveillance, and automated media, etc., can have significant implications beyond its borders and the Chinese speaking world.

How to make sense of and govern these changes brought about by ADM technologies and systems with Chinese characteristics and how to support the development of a global framework for responsible, ethical, and inclusive ADM continue to be a policy challenge and scholarly interest. The significance of politics and geopolitics of the global Chinese Internet and its role in ADM+S in and outside China makes Chinese Internet research a multidisciplinary subject that is beyond the traditional Internet research and China studies.

CIRC 2024 calls for papers and exhibitions that examine politics and geopolitics of the global Chinese Internet in relation to ADM. It features two major streams: (1) examining ADM in the Chinese context, and (2) situating Chinese ADM in the global context.

CIRC 2024 will be organized and sponsored by ADM+S, Australia’s cross-disciplinary, national Centre of Excellence, which aims to create the knowledge and strategies necessary for responsible, ethical, and inclusive automated decision-making. The conference will be held at the QUT node of ADM+S. It will not only be the first CIRC conference to be held physically in the Southern Hemisphere but also the first in the CIRC history to bring scholars outside the traditional fields and disciplines in China studies and Internet research to engage in meaningful dialogues on topics ranging from Chinese Internet to ADM politics and geopolitics.


Suggested topics include:

Stream 1: Examining ADM in the Chinese Context

  • Pre-digital histories of ADM in China
  • Conceptual debate on what AI and/or ADM is in China
  • The imaginaries of AI and machine in China
  • Political economy of Generative AI in China
  • Generative AI and the future of education, work, and play in China
  • Chinese policies on ADM governance and their politics
  • Chinese model for ADM governance: the role of the private sector
  • Spatial and local logics of ADM governance and policy making in China.
  • Governance and production of machine learning data sets
  • AI in social movement and civic activism
  • Surveillance regimes and cultures of compliance and deviation
  • Cross-sectoral collaboration in ADM industries
  • Financialization of ADMs in and beyond China
  • Research methods: challenges, innovations, and reflections in studying ADM in China

Stream 2: Situating Chinese ADM in the Global Context

  • International policy perspectives in ADM and China
  • Decentering Chinese ADM (global perspectives)
  • Comparative analysis of China’s governance of ADM and AI vis-a-vis the global context
  • The geopolitics of ADM in the Asia-Pacific region
  • Comparative analysis of data and IP governance for model training
  • The expansion of China’s ADMs to the world and the pushbacks
  • Global competition for ADM material infrastructure – e.g. data centers, chips and minerals
  • Chinese investment in global ADM companies and stock markets
  • Open or closed? Debating China’s global leadership in ADM
  • Research methods: challenges, innovations, and reflections in studying Chinese ADM in the global context.

Individual paper abstracts:
Please submit your abstract of 300-500 words (including the paper’s main argument, method, and contribution), with a short biography for each author.
Panel proposals: 1500 words with 3-4 abstracts and author details.

Please send paper abstracts and panel proposals to:


Since 2005, the Chinese Internet Research Conference (CIRC) has featured a graduate student paper contest. This important tradition highlights the best work(s) by members of the new generation of CIRC scholars.

To participate in this contest, the papers need to be authored / co-authored by students only. They cannot be co-authored by any faculty member or postdoc. The papers should be written in full, in a similar format as journal articles (8,000 words), but not published or accepted for publication in an academic journal, book, or any other formal outlet or platform. They should include authors’ names and affiliations.

Winners—1st price and runner(s) up—will be chosen by the CIRC Steering Committee (in collaboration with the conference organising committee). The result will be announced on the last day of CIRC 2024 on 18 June 2024.

If you wish to participate in the student paper contest, please send your full paper to the following email, with the subject “Student paper contest”, by 30 May 2024:


Deadline for the submission of individual paper abstracts and panel proposals: 28 February 2024
Notifications of acceptance / confirmation of attendance: 30 March 2024

More details to come. Registrations will open in early 2024.

For general enquiries, please contact:


ADM+S researchers appointed to the Communication Research and Practice editorial board

Dr T.J. Thomson and Dr James Meese of RMIT University
Dr T.J. Thomson and Dr James Meese of RMIT University

ADM+S researchers appointed to the Communication Research and Practice editorial board

Authors Natalie Campbell and T.J. Thomson
Date 7 September 2023

ADM+S researchers Dr James Meese and Dr T.J Thomson from RMIT University have been appointed to editorial board of Communication Research and Practice, a Taylor & Francis journal published on behalf of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association.

The journal aims to publish research that contributes to international scholarship and practice in the broadly defined field of communication, as well as papers that develop new ideas in the field. It is particularly interested in supporting original and innovative work by early career researchers in the Australasian region.

The editorial board is comprised of both established and emerging Communication scholars and thinkers from Australia, New Zealand and beyond. Board members are selected to provide diverse perspectives from the many sub-disciplines within ‘Communication’, such as traditional and digital media, organisational, corporate and intercultural communication, communication theory, equity, disability and diversity, and much more.

Board members are tasked with reviewing scholarship for the journal as well as providing advice and guidance to the journal’s editor, Prof Terrence Lee.

Dr Thomson said, “it’s a privilege and a delight to contribute my expertise in visual communication and media to the journal. Digital media are visual media and I look forward to reviewing submissions that advance our growing understanding of how visual messages are made, shared, and engaged with across diverse contexts.”

Read Prof Lee’s welcome to the new board.


Google turns 25: The search engine revolutionised how we access information, but will it survive AI?

Text "Google"
Flickr/sergio m mahugo, Edited by The Conversation CC BY-NC-SA

Google turns 25: The search engine revolutionised how we access information, but will it survive AI?

Authors  Mark Sanderson, Julian Thomas, Kieran Hegarty & Lisa Given
Date 4 September 2023

Today marks an important milestone in the history of the internet: Google’s 25th birthday. With billions of search queries submitted each day, it’s difficult to remember how we ever lived without the search engine.

What was it about Google that led it to revolutionise information access? And will artificial intelligence (AI) make it obsolete, or enhance it?

Let’s look at how our access to information has changed through the decades – and where it might lead as advanced AI and Google Search become increasingly entwined.

Google’s homepage in 1998.
Brent Payne/Flickr, CC BY-SA

1950s: public libraries as community hubs

In the years following the second world war, it became generally accepted that a successful post-war city was one that could provide civic capabilities – and that included open access to information.

So in the 1950s information in Western countries was primarily provided by local libraries. Librarians themselves were a kind of “human search engine”. They answered phone queries from businesses and responded to letters – helping people find information quickly and accurately.

Libraries were more than just a place to borrow books. They were where parents went to look for health information, where tourists requested travel tips, and where businesses sought marketing advice.

The searching was free, but required librarians’ support, as well as a significant amount of labour and catalogue-driven processes. Questions we can now solve in minutes took hours, days or even weeks to answer.

1990s: the rise of paid search services

By the 1990s, libraries had expanded to include personal computers and online access to information services. Commercial search companies thrived as libraries could access information through expensive subscription services.

These systems were so complex that only trained specialists could search, with consumers paying for results. Dialog, developed at Lockheed Martin in the 1960s, remains one of the best examples. Today it claims to provide its customers access “to over 1.7 billion records across more than 140 databases of peer-reviewed literature”.

This photo from 1979 shows librarians at the terminals of online retrieval system Dialog.
U.S. National Archives

Another commercial search system, The Financial Times’ FT PROFILE, enabled access to articles in every UK broadsheet newspaper over a five-year period.

But searching with it wasn’t simple. Users had to remember typed commands to select a collection, using specific words to reduce the list of documents returned. Articles were ordered by date, leaving the reader to scan for the most relevant items.

FT PROFILE made valuable information rapidly accessible to people outside business circles, but at a high price. In the 1990s access cost £1.60 a minute – the equivalent of £4.65 (or A$9.00) today.

The rise of Google

Following the world wide web’s launch in 1993, the number of websites grew exponentially.

Libraries provided public web access, and services such as the State Library of Victoria’s Vicnet offered low-cost access for organisations. Librarians taught users to find information online and build websites. However, the complex search systems struggled with exploding volumes of content and high numbers of new users.

In 1994, the book Managing Gigabytes, penned by three New Zealand computer scientists, presented solutions for this problem. Since the 1950s researchers had imagined a search engine that was fast, accessible to all, and which sorted documents by relevance.

In the 1990s, a Silicon Valley startup began to apply this knowledge – Larry Page and Sergey Brin used the principles in Managing Gigabytes to design Google’s iconic architecture.

After launching on September 4 1998, the Google revolution was in motion. People loved the simplicity of the search box, as well as a novel presentation of results that summarised how the retrieved pages matched the query.

In terms of functionality, Google Search was effective for a few reasons. It used the innovative approach of delivering results by counting web links in a page (a process called PageRank). But more importantly, its algorithm was very sophisticated; it not only matched search queries with the text within a page, but also with other text linking to that page (this was called anchor text).

Google’s popularity quickly surpassed competitors such as AltaVista and Yahoo Search. With more than 85% of the market share today, it remains the most popular search engine.

As the web expanded, however, access costs were contested.

Although consumers now search Google for free, payment is required to download certain articles and books. Many consumers still rely on libraries – while libraries themselves struggle with the rising costs of purchasing material to provide to the public for free.

What will the next 25 years bring?

Google has expanded far beyond Search. Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, Pixel devices and other services show Google’s reach is vast.

With the introduction of AI tools, including Google’s Bard and the recently announced Gemini (a direct competitor to ChatGPT), Google is set to revolutionise search once again.

As Google continues to roll generative AI capabilities into Search, it will become common to read a quick information summary at the top of the results page, rather than dig for information yourself. A key challenge will be ensuring people don’t become complacent to the point that they blindly trust the generated outputs.

Fact-checking against original sources will remain as important as ever. After all, we have seen generative AI tools such as ChatGPT make headlines due to “hallucinations” and misinformation.

If inaccurate or incomplete search summaries aren’t revised, or are further paraphrased and presented without source material, the misinformation problem will only get worse.

Moreover, even if AI tools revolutionise search, they may fail to revolutionise access. As the AI industry grows, we’re seeing a shift towards content only being accessible for a fee, or through paid subscriptions.

The rise of AI provides an opportunity to revisit the tensions between public access and increasingly powerful commercial entities.The Conversation

Mark Sanderson, Professor of Information Retrieval, RMIT University; Julian Thomas, Distinguished Professor of Media and Communications; Director, ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, RMIT University; Kieran Hegarty, Research Fellow (Automated Decision-Making Systems), RMIT University, and Lisa M. Given, Professor of Information Sciences & Director, Social Change Enabling Impact Platform, RMIT University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.


Call for Papers: Electronics Ecologies WASTE


Call for Papers: Electronics Ecologies WASTE

Author  Loren Dela Cruz
Date 30 August 2023

In Reassembling Rubbish, Josh Lepawsky argues that a more democratic electronics industry would involve “forms of public decision making in design and manufacturing” and that “production itself must be much more radically politicized.” To participate in reimagining electronics production, however, “citizens need access to data about wastes arising upstream in resource extraction and manufacturing” to counter the usual emphasis on downstream e-waste and recycling.

The second event in the Electronics < > Ecologies series for ADM+S, WASTE advances this agenda by exploring the material discards that attend each step of the supply chain for computational devices. Interrogating the current turn to circular design as a way out of the waste problem, we will focus on the very definition of waste that the electronics industry has adopted. The aim is to reveal blindspots, policy weaknesses, and problems that may arise as automated decision-making begins to influence product design, manufacturing and disposal.

Australia has one of the highest e-waste rates in the world. And while neighbouring countries have substantial markets for informal reuse and resale, current international regulations fall short of facilitating a legitimate secondary market for electronics due to outdated notions of “developing” economies’ needs.

Recycling is poor consolation for the environmental damage already wrought in the production and refinement of rare resources in technology supply chains. WASTE invites industry practitioners, designers, journalists and activists to join pioneers in the field of waste and discard studies to explore these issues, documenting the geopolitical and environmental dependencies involved in material extraction, use, reuse and recycling. Experiments that foreground the value of electronics discards and best practices for product stewardship are particularly welcome, to show the ongoing potential of technology’s many lives and afterlives.

Learning from already existing circular economies in the Asia-Pacific, and emerging best practices in sustainable user experience design, WASTE will share theories and approaches that support productive parasitism and durability as design priorities for electronics.

Researchers interested in being considered for a select number of presentation slots are invited to submit a 2-page position paper on one of the following themes:

  • Use/users/reusers
  • Secondary use markets, entrepreneurs and platforms
  • The temporality of use and disuse
  • Services supporting extended use, resale and reverse logistics
  • Re-use value: ethics of preservation and durability
  • Recycling v reuse case studies e.g. ocean-bound plastics
  • Theories of value
  • Wasted energy: hibernating, dormant, and comatose compute
  • Manufacturing, mining, chemical and material waste
  • Wasted landscapes: Sacrificial zones and superfund sites

As with all Electronics < > Ecologies events, scholars in the fields of design, cultural history, geography, media & communication, law, gender, Indigenous and socio-technical studies are particularly welcome to apply, to counter the dominance of majority male engineering voices in debates about the future state of technology and its uses.

Send 2-page papers to by 21 September 2023. Selected participants will be notified by 2 October 2023.

Event details
Electronics < > Ecologies #2 — WASTE
Monday 30 October 2023
University of Technology Sydney

Virtual and in person attendance will be available. Registration details will be announced shortly.

Learn more about the Electronics < > Ecologies series by visiting


Digital Energy Futures documentary wins Social Impact Award at SCINEMA International Film Festival

Digital Energy Futures Documentary Title Screen

Digital Energy Futures documentary wins Social Impact Award at SCINEMA International Film Festival

Author  Kathy Nickels
Date 28 August 2023

Digital Energy Futures documentary directed by ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making researcher Prof Sarah Pink has received the Social Impact Award from the Royal Institution of Australia SCINEMA International Film Festival.

The documentary was one of eight films selected to feature in the 2023 SCINEMA film festival, one of the largest science film festivals in the southern hemisphere. 

This film explores how people living in Australia see their future lives in a country where increasingly extreme weather, concerns about public health, growing levels of technological automation are creating uncertainty about demand for electricity in the future.

The documentary was directed by Prof Sarah Pink, and created by filmaker Jeni Lee from the ADM+S Centre at Monash University alongside researcher Dr Kari Dahlgren, from the Emerging Technologies Research Lab at Monash University.

The filmmakers follow the everyday lives of five households to ask how they are inventing their own ways to live with emerging technologies, imagining and planning for their own futures in ways that might complicate the ambitions of industry and policy makers.

SCINEMA runs from August 1 to August 31 every year. To be part of the festival and watch the films for free, register at the SCINEMA website.


ADM+S research featured in leading search engine conference SIGIR 2023

Dr Damiano Spina at SIGIR Conference 2023
Dr Damiano Spina at SIGIR Conference 2023

ADM+S research featured in leading search engine conference SIGIR 2023

Author  Loren Dela Cruz
Date 24 August 2023

ADM+S PhD Students Marwah Alaofi and Kaixin Ji, and Associate Investigator Dr Damiano Spina from RMIT University recently presented their research on generating user-centred approaches to evaluating and understanding information retrieval and interaction at the 46th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (SIGIR).

SIGIR is the premier international forum for the latest developments and discussions in the Information Retrieval domain. In its 46th edition, SIGIR ’23 featured keynotes delivered by figures from both academia and industry, including representatives from tech companies such as Google and Microsoft, with a specific focus on the impact and the potential of Large Language Models (LLMs) in Information Retrieval research and development.

Damiano and Kaixin presented their work on understanding how our bodies, through pulse, sweat levels, and pupil size, are reacted and impacted during information-processing tasks such as reading, listening, speaking and typing. Their study informs machine learning models that train on this type of data. This research is a result of a collaboration with an ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Danula Hettiachchi and supervised by ADM+S Investigators Prof Flora Salim, Prof Falk Scholer and Dr Damiano Spina.

Read the paper: Examining the Impact of Uncontrolled Variables on Physiological Signals in User Studies for Information Processing Activities

Marwah presented her latest findings in using LLMs to generate synthetic search queries. Her research quantifies the similarity between human and LLM-generated queries and how they contribute to document pooling. Developed in collaboration with Luke Gallagher from RMIT University and supervised by ADM+S Investigators Prof Mark Sanderson and Prof Falk Scholer, and Paul Thomas from Microsoft, this research is part of Marwah’s ongoing research into understanding and measuring the impact of variability across users.

Read the paper: Can Generative LLMs Create Query Variants for Test Collections? An Exploratory Study

This research is supported by the Australian Research Council (CE200100005, DE200100064, DP180102687).


ADM+S Submission to the Commonwealth Government’s Discussion Paper on Safe and Responsible AI

Crowd in motion
ADM+S Submission on Safe and Responsible AI in Australia

ADM+S Submission to the Commonwealth Government’s Discussion Paper on Safe and Responsible AI

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 17 August 2023

On 4 August 2023 ADM+S researchers made a submission to the Commonwealth Government’s Discussion Paper on Safe and Responsible Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The submission, made in response to the Department of Industry, Science and Resource’s consultation on Safe and Responsible AI in Australia, seeks to inform government consideration on how regulatory systems can promote responsible, ethical, and inclusive AI and ADM for the benefit of all Australians.

The ADM+S submission is the product of a collaborative process involving direct contributions from ADM+S researchers, led and consolidated by Prof Kimberlee Weatherall from the University of Sydney Law School.

Bringing together researchers from different institutions, disciplines and perspectives, this effort consolidates research and thinking to prompt government interventions around the risks that fast and innovative AI developments are posing to society, and greater public concern.

The paper outlines 19 consultation questions, discussing topics from foundation models, conformity and assurance, risk-based approaches, responsible AI practices in Australia, international developments of AI, and more.

The paper also includes key definitions of relevant terms, an overview of Australia’s existing enforcement gaps when it comes to AI, barriers to transparency, and a comparison to alternative regulatory designs which favour different approaches such as voluntary intervention or more rigorous regulations.

The updated regulatory and policy responses will build on the government’s multimillion investment in responsible AI through the 2023–24 Budget.

Read the full report via APO.


ADM+S acknowledged for contributions to eSafety Commissioner Report on Generative AI

2023 eSafety Position Statement on Generative AI
2023 eSafety Position Statement on Generative AI

ADM+S acknowledged for contributions to eSafety Commissioner Report on Generative AI

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 15 August 2023

On 15 August 2023 the eSafety Commissioner released their Tech Trends Position Statement on Generative AI, acknowledging the ADM+S Centre and multiple key researchers for their contributions to the report.

With the arrival of generative AI, machine learning is no longer restricted to making predictions or classifications, and instead, can create completely new outputs trained from existing information. These systems include chatbots, image or video generators, and voice generators.

With these tech advancements come opportunities and risks. As Australia’s independent online safety regulator and educator, eSaftey’s commitment to understanding and anticipating tech trends and emerging challenges is reflected in a series of Tech Trend reports, collaborating with researchers, regulators, and industry experts to define interventions that can immediately improve user safety and empowerment.

The Tech Trends Position Statement on Generative AI provides an overview of the generative AI lifecycle, examples of its use and misuse, consideration of online safety risks and opportunities, as well as regulatory challenges and approaches.

Other topics covered in the report include:
• Generative AI lifecycle
• Risks, harms and opportunities
• Regulatory challenges and approaches
• eSafety’s approach
• Advice for users

Finally, the report suggests industry adopts a Safety by Design approach, incorporating safety measures at every stage of the product lifecycle and placing the onus on technology companies.

Read the full report


Dr Amanda Lawrence awarded Wikimedia Research Fund Grant

Image by Takver from Australia, Wikimedia Commons
Image by Takver from Australia, Wikimedia Commons

Dr Amanda Lawrence awarded Wikimedia Research Fund Grant

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 11 August 2023

ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Amanda Lawrence has been awarded a research funding grant from the Wikimedia Foundation for her project, ‘Wikipedia, reliable sources and public policy issues’.

Through the Wikimedia research fund, the foundation seeks to promote the Wikimedia research community by supporting projects with potential for direct, positive impact on local or global Wikimedia communities.

‘Wikipedia, reliable sources and public policy issues’ will investigate the role of policy and research reports from organisations, government agencies, think tanks and academic research centres on Wikipedia.

Dr Lawrence said, “this research project seeks to understand the extent that policy research reports and papers from organisations are being cited on Wikipedia, what kinds of sources are being cited and how can editors and readers be supported in evaluating their credibility.”

Dr Lawrence’s recently completed PhD focussed on how diverse research publications and public policy from organisations are used and managed, setting a foundation for this deeper analysis of reliable sources on open knowledge systems.

“A key part of Wikimedia’s defence system against mis/disinformation is its content and citation policies. However, Wikipedia’s reliable sources policies are still grounded in traditional notions of the research publishing economy as primarily commercial and scholarly publishers and mainstream news media.

This is problematic for public policy and public interest topics which tends to have a more diverse media economy of sources, including organisations based in government, civil society, education and commercial sectors, and genres such as reports, policy briefs, fact sheets and datasets.”

Dr Lawrence will be leading the research project, in collaboration with Mr Angel Felipe Magnossao de Paula from RMIT University and Universitat Politècnica de València.

The funding criteria preferences research around technical and socio-technical solutions with the potential to enhance the technology in support of the Wikimedia projects, themes synonymous with Dr Lawrence’s role as Research Fellow in Open Knowledge Systems at RMIT University, and her previous role as Wikimedian in Residence at ADM+S.

“The project will provide new insights not only for Wikimedia but also for the wider evidence and policy research community. It will also help to strengthen Wikipedia’s verifiability processes and Wikimedia’s role as a leader in digital and media literacy and education.

I’m really looking forward to working with and learning from other researchers in Australia and the wider Wikimedia research community!”


ADM+S researcher awarded 2023 Max Crawford Medal

TJ Thomson
Medal recipient, Dr TJ Thomson

ADM+S researcher awarded 2023 Max Crawford Medal

Authors  Natalie Campbell and Dr TJ Thomson
Date 7 August 2023

Congratulations to Dr TJ Thomson from RMIT, who has been awarded the 2023 Max Crawford Medal, Australia’s most prestigious award for achievement and promise in the humanities.

On 7 August the Australian Academy of the Humanities, one of Australia’s four learned academies, announced Dr TJ Thomson, Senior Lecturer & DECRA Fellow at RMIT and ADM+S Affiliate, as the winner of the 2023 Medal.

Sitting at the intersection of visual communication and journalism studies, Dr Thomson’s research helps people understand the media they consume and encourages them to consider where it comes from, who is making it and how it’s made or edited.

“Having a more elevated sense of media literacy and engaging with trusted quality news sources helps people to be more engaged in society. Journalism is a place of public debate, exchange and conversation,’ Dr Thomson explains.

“If you’re not connecting to the media, you’re missing out on that whole conversation. And public institutions and organisations involved in that debate are also missing out on your voice and participation in that debate.”

Through a range of engagements, including a major campaign calling on people to check their media facts in partnership with the Australian Associated Press and Facebook, TJ helps Australians identify misinformation (things that are untrue or lacking context) and disinformation (claims that are intended to deceive) online.

He is also part of a ARC-funded grant that uses media literacy to try to combat misinformation in partnership with the ABC, National Film and Sound Archive, Museum of Australian Democracy and the Australian Library and Information Association.

Professor John Griffiths, the Awards Committee Chair of the Max Crawford Medal, commented, “TJ’s work excels in the criteria that define the Max Crawford medal. He is goal focussed, his work has quality and impact, and has clear implications concerning the enrichment of cultural life.

In the selection process, his nomination was seen as compelling, and he was described as a ‘brilliant scholar conducting an exemplary career.’”

The unique intersection of Dr Thomson’s research and his background in photojournalism is highly relevant alongside the rising use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to develop images. His recent study What Does a Journalist Look like? Visualizing Journalistic Roles through AI focuses on the potentials and perils of generative visual AI, a topic that ties in with the theme of this year’s Annual Academy Symposium, which is being co-convened by ADM+S director Prof Julian Thomas, and associate director Prof Jean Burgess.

“The humanities play a foundational role in helping societies solve complex problems and in enabling people to engage with, understand, appreciate, and learn from culture. I’m grateful for the Academy’s work to champion initiatives and individuals who strengthen Australian society and deepen its understanding of its culture,” said Dr Thomson.

Dr Thomson will be presented with the medal during the 54th Annual Academy of the Humanities Symposium, held in Melbourne on 16-17 November 2023.


Dr Thao Phan Elected to the National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science

Thao Phan

Dr Thao Phan Elected to the National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science

Authors  Natalie Campbell
Date 4 August 2023

ADM+S Research Fellow Dr Thao Phan from Monash University has been elected to the Academy of Science’s National Committee for the History and Philosophy of Science (NCHPS).

As a committee member, Dr Phan joins a cohort of Australian scholars who actively engage in shaping the future of their field. Her expertise in feminist technoscience, gender studies, and race studies will inform policy debates within the NCHPS, to ensure growth in the field and support its researchers.

Committee members act as a point of contact for individuals involved in documenting, analysing, and publicising excellence in past and present Australian science, and work to ensure accessibility to these findings.

NCHPS Committee members assess the state of the field to consistently promote collaborations and maintain effective communication within the HPS/STS (History and Philosophy of Science/Science and Technology Studies) community.

Dr Phan said, “as an ECR representative on the committee, I’ll be keeping the Academy connected to the growing community of science and technology studies (STS) scholars in the region.

I’ll also be serving as a link between Australian and overseas researchers, and contributing an STS perspective to science and policy debates in Australia.”

Among the multidisciplinary academics in the group, Dr Phan’s intersecting sociological and technological research interests will promote the growth and support of diverse research initiatives within the field.


ADM+S Higher Degree Research Students build global connections at Oxford Internet Institute

Pictured from left: Anand Badolo, Dominique Carlon & Kunal Chand.
Pictured from left: Anand Badolo, Dominique Carlon & Kunal Chand.

ADM+S Higher Degree Research Students build global connections at Oxford Internet Institute

Authors  Anand Badola, Dominique Carlon & Kunal Chand
Date 4 August 2023

Higher Degree Research Students Anand Badola, Dominique Carlon and Kunal Chand from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society at QUT, recently attended the Oxford Internet Institute Summer Doctoral Programme (OII-SDP) where they participated in 2 weeks of classes and workshops, received feedback on their research projects, and met 28 other participants from around the world.

Reflecting on their experiences, Anand, Dominique and Kunal said, “The OII-SDP was a truly brilliant experience, opening our eyes to broader academic perspectives and setting the foundations to establish long lasting connections and friendships with scholars from across the world.

“There are too many experiences to mention, however some highlights included conducting a networking analysis with Bernie Hogan, a practical ethnographic class on the streets of Oxford with Adam Badger, learning creative ways of disseminating research with Kathyrn Eccles, examining the parallels between UFOs and Bayesian statistics with Joss Wright and using museum artefacts as a form of research ideation with Gemma Newlands.

“In addition to insightful classes on AI and social theory and scrutinising what topics are excluded from academic research, we also had wonderful experiences such as punting (where we were boarded by a pirate duck), visited Bletchley Park and the Museum of computing, and stayed at Christchurch college.

“The greatest highlight by far was forming friendships and collaborations from a network of brilliant and inspiring minds from across the world.”

The students extend their thanks to the OII, particularly Gemma Newlands for hosting a wonderful programme, and to the Digital Media Research Centre at QUT and the ADM+S for supporting their participation.


ADM+S Research Fellow Yong-Bin Kang recognised at the prestigious VIC iAwards 2023

VIC iWards

ADM+S Research Fellow Yong-Bin Kang recognised at the prestigious VIC iAwards 2023

Authors Anthony McCosker & Yong-Bin Kang
Date 4 August 2023

ADM+S Research Fellow Yong-Bin Kang has achieved recognition at the prestigious VIC iAwards 2023. As an integral part of two outstanding teams at Swinburne University, Yong-Bin has garnered the VIC iAwards Winner in the ‘Government & Public Sector Solution’ category and the VIC iAwards Merit Recipient in the ‘Technology Platform Solution’ category.

The iAwards ‘unearths, recognises and rewards excellence in Australian innovation that is making a difference and has the potential to create positive change for the community – whether this is at home, in the office or on a global scale’.

The VIC iAwards Winner was earned for the innovative AI-powered 5G IoT solution, designed to transform roadside asset monitoring using SmartGarbos. By leveraging cutting-edge technologies like smart IoT devices and edge computers, this solution addresses the critical issue of roadside asset maintenance. Developed in collaboration with Swinburne University of Technology, Brimbank City Council, Optus, and Amazon Web Services (AWS), the project has brought significant advancements to the municipality of Brimbank City Council.

Building on this work, Yong-Bin led an ADM+S project with Professor Anthony McCosker, Chief Investigator from the ADM+S at Swinburne University, to develop an AI governance framework and action plan for Brimbank City Council. The final report for the project will be released soon and will help guide other Councils seeking to deploy AI technologies responsibly.

The VIC iAwards Merit Recipient was awarded to Vidverity’s state-of-the-art online teaching platform. This recognition highlights the fruitful collaboration between Swinburne researchers and software engineers in Natural Language Processing and Artificial Intelligence, and Vidversity’s exceptional expertise in the education domain. Together, they have crafted an innovative and highly effective modern learning platform.

Winners of the iAwards National finals will be announced in Adelaide at the end of August 2023.


ADM+S Researchers awarded 2023 ARC Future Fellowships

ADM+S recipients, Prof Yolande Strengers and Dr James Meese
ADM+S recipients, Prof Yolande Strengers and Dr James Meese

ADM+S Researchers awarded 2023 ARC Future Fellowships

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 28 July 2023

Congratulations to 2023 ARC Future Fellowship recipients Dr James Meese from RMIT University and Prof Yolande Strengers from Monash University.

ADM+S researchers secured more than two million dollars in funding to support their respective projects.

The Future Fellowships program provides funding to mid-career researchers to support high quality research in areas of national and international benefit.

ADM+S Future Fellowship projects:

  • Professor Yolande Strengers: Home helper robots: Understanding our future lives with human-like AI.
  • Dr James Meese: Aligning personalised news recommendations with the public interest.

Prof Strengers’ research aims to understand and plan for the social effects of embedding ‘cute’ home helper robots into people’s everyday lives. The project is expected to generate new knowledge and resources to understand and respond to the emerging opportunities and risks associated with home helper robots, and ultimately inform robot design and policy to improve social outcomes, consumer protections and human-robot relationships.

Dr Meese’s project aims to investigate the growth of personalised recommendations in the Australian news sector, which sees readers and automated systems collectively adopting curatorial roles previously undertaken by editors. The research expects to provide the first evidence base around the adoption and deployment of personalised recommendations across the Australian news media, enhancing our understanding of how to sustain the important democratic role that the institution of journalism plays in a personalised and automated environment.

Centre director Prof Julian Thomas said, “we’re delighted by the successes of our ADM+S colleagues in the ARC’s 2023 Future Fellowship round.

“The Future Fellowship scheme plays a vital role in supporting Australia’s next generation of research leaders. Our Centre benefits enormously from the extraordinary work these scholars are doing in illuminating both the positive social possibilities and the hazards of our increasingly connected lives.”

Read the list of ARC funding projects here.


ADM+S and Telstra launch 2023 Australian Digital Inclusion Index

ADM+S Researchers at the 2023 ADII Launch
ADM+S Researchers at the 2023 ADII Launch

ADM+S and Telstra launch 2023 Australian Digital Inclusion Index

Author  Natalie Campbell
Date 26 July 2023

Together with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society, Telstra has launched the 2023 Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) which reveals that digital inclusion is improving, but gaps remain persistent, and in some cases, have grown.

Telstra CEO Vicki Brady introduced the report and announced that digital inclusion is improving in Australia. However, findings indicate improvements are not being evenly shared.

Vicki Brady said “digital inclusion is based on the premise that everyone should be able to make full use of digital technologies and the benefits they bring. The index is all about measuring those trends of digital inclusion, and it measures across all states and territories in Australia.

Digital exclusion should not be an inevitable outcome of increased digitization, and there’s absolutely a need for ongoing conversation at a national level about what we do to address this.”

The ADII was first developed as a collaboration between Telstra and Swinburne University researchers in 2015 as a survey measure for three key dimensions of digital inclusion in Australia: Access, Affordability, and Digital Ability.*

Key Findings from the 2023 ADII Report
Figure: Key Findings from the 2023 ADII Report

The 2023 report indicates the overall ADII score continues in an upward trend from 67.5 in 2020, 71.1 in 2021, to the latest measure of 73.2.

*Data on these three measures is collected through surveys and weighted to the Australian population to produce a number between 0-100. These three scores are then combined (with equal weighting) to produce the overall digital inclusion/index score.

For the first time ever, the 2023 ADII measured the digital gap between First Nations and non-First Nations people in Australia. The gap is 7.5 points, with a considerably larger gap between First Nations and non-First Nations people living in remote (21.6 points) and very remote (23.5 points) areas.

Mapping the Digital Gap, a collaborative project between ADM+S and Telstra, enabled this statistic to be measured, by collecting digital inclusion data in 10 remote First Nations communities.

The ADII brings digital inclusion to the forefront of consideration for policymakers, businesses, and community organisations to inform the development of more effective policies, products, and programs to improve digital inclusion.

This year’s report found that the number of highly excluded Australians has dropped from 10.6% in 2021 to 9.4% in 2023. Digital ability has also improved nationally, from 64.4 points in 2021 to 64.9 points in 2023.

However, the recent report indicates while people with high levels of digital inclusion continue to grow their digital ability, those with lower digital inclusion are seeing smaller increases, and even some declines – particularly for people in the lower income bracket, or Australians aged over 75.

The 2023 report launch celebrated the continuing partnership between ADM+S and Telstra, and our joint mission to improve digital inclusion in Australia by identifying critical barriers through empirical research.


First Nations Digital Inclusion Plan launched to address the digital divide

Minister Rowland speaking at FNDIP launch in Sydney
Minister Rowland speaking at First Nations Digital Inclusion launch in Sydney

First Nations Digital Inclusion Plan launched to address the digital divide

Author  Leah Hawkins
Date 26 July 2023

The First Nations Digital Inclusion Plan developed to support a secure, sustainable and inclusive digital future for First Nations Australians has been launched by Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland.

The First Nations Digital Inclusion Plan (FNDIP) seeks to address communications access, affordability and digital ability divides for First Nations communities.

“This is particularly critical for people living in rural and regional communities, where the tyranny of distance has the greatest impact,” said Minister Rowland at the launch in Darwin.

It comes as the findings from the first year of the Mapping the Digital Gap project were launched with the Australian Digital Inclusion Index last week, confirming a notable digital gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, with the gap significantly higher for those in remote and very remote communities.

The FNDIP outlines a framework for delivering Target 17 (Access to Information) of the National Agreement on Closing the Gap by 2026, which aims for the elimination of digital inequality for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. It incorporates targeted approaches to improving digital inclusion along the dimensions of access, affordability, and digital ability, and an emphasis on quality data – including that from the Mapping the Digital Gap project – to support the development agenda of First Nations communities.

Members of the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group and Expert Panel, Dr Lyndon Ormond-Parker (ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society at RMIT University) and Partner Investigator Lauren Ganley, (Head of Telstra’s First Nations Strategy & Engagement), spoke at the launch of the FNDIP. They discussed the work of the Advisory Group in the development of the Plan and the importance of closing the digital divide alongside Minister Rowland and Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney.

“Digital inclusion means all Australians, including First Nations people, have access and use digital technologies effectively to improve their everyday lives,” said Minister Burney.

“Strengthening digital inclusion for First Nations people, especially if they live in regional or remote Australia, provides significant opportunities for increased connections to community, country and cultural identity.”

The FNDIP has been developed by The Australian Government, represented by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), with relevant members of the Coalition of Peaks, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations and businesses and industry. The Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts (DITRDCA), the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group, Australian Government agencies and relevant state and territory government agencies also contributed to development of the Plan.


Call for Papers: Electronics Ecologies REPAIR

Person repairing technology

Call for Papers: Electronics Ecologies REPAIR

Author  Loren Dela Cruz
Date 21 July 2023

Is electronics repair a right? And if so, who needs it?

The “Right to Repair” championed by consumers, advocates and entrepreneurs in recent years seems to be gaining traction. Policymakers around the world have responded to campaigns by iFixit, The Repair Association and other organizations with repairability ratings and guides, and legislation is advancing to discourage manufacturers from restrictive features such as proprietary fasteners and soldered-in components. A new wave of startups including Fairphone and Framework have found appreciative consumers for durable electronics, instigating a range of responses from established players who now promote repairable product concepts, “circular” design principles and a growing marketplace for parts, tools and manuals.

But even if a robust right to repair was enshrined by governments everywhere, would this stem the flood of e-waste generated by the existing business model for computer hardware? AI is just the latest in a long line of software hype cycles that have accelerated hardware disposability, created increased demand for specialized systems and components, and frustrated repair and reuse efforts. Even motivated companies cannot arrest the amount of physical hardware exhausted and abandoned in the move to a data-centric economy, and employees as much as consumers are left with little choice but to comply.

Given the dwindling supply of rare earth minerals, emissions from extraction, manufacturing and transport, and the staggering amount of electronics discarded and sent to hibernation globally every day, the benefits of keeping electronic devices in circulation for as long as possible seem obvious. But proprietary software, especially when deployed by vertically-integrated firms, erects barriers to the many social, commercial and ecological opportunities a healthy repair ecosystem creates.

The first in a new event series Electronics < > Ecologies organised by Melissa Gregg for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S), REPAIR brings together expert practitioners, activists and researchers to discuss the planetary problem of electronics repair. We aim to broaden the current focus for repair activism to ask some fundamental questions: Can repairable electronics really solve the problem of product obsolescence? And what does electronics repair look like at scale?

Researchers interested in being considered for a select number of presentation opportunities should write a 2-page position paper outlining your current work in relation to one of the following themes:

  • Use cases, success stories and new opportunities for repair and reuse
  • Life cycle assessment: definitions, debates, deficiencies
  • Deep dives on system designs, hacks and repair workarounds
  • Commercial, B2B and B2C repair and refurbishment
  • Repair technicians’ livelihoods and experiences
  • Repair services and practices outside North America and Europe
  • Cross cultural comparisons of repair: independent entrepreneurs, informal markets, franchises, large corporates
  • Community, non-profit and non-metro repair
  • Repair’s software dependencies: open source vs. proprietary options
  • Repair and maintenance in Military, Government, Education and Enterprise IT
  • AI’s role in repair: e.g. diagnostics, fleet level analytics, predictive services, materials assessment

As with all Electronics < > Ecologies events, scholars in the fields of cultural history, geography, media & communication, law, gender, indigenous and socio-technical studies are particularly welcome to apply, to counter the dominance of majority male engineering voices in debates about the future state of technology and its uses.

Send 2-page papers to by August 4. Selected participants will be notified by August 14.

Event details
Electronics < > Ecologies #1 — REPAIR
Wednesday 30 August 2023
Griffith University, South Bank Campus
Brisbane, Australia

Virtual and in person attendance will be available. Registration details will be announced shortly.

Learn more about the Electronics < > Ecologies series by visiting


Lala Gutchen receives Caring for Country and Culture award at the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony

National NAIDOC Awards 2023 (Image credit: NAIDOC Week / Flickr)
National NAIDOC Awards 2023 (Image credit: NAIDOC Week / Flickr)

Lala Gutchen receives Caring for Country and Culture award at the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony

Author  Leah Hawkins
Date 6 July 2023

Congratulations to Mapping the Digital Gap co-researcher Lala Gutchen, Meuram woman from Erub Island in the Torres Strait, on her receipt of the Caring for Country and Culture award at the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony.

The award recognises Lala for her tireless commitment to the preservation of her country, language, and culture.

Lala is a dedicated community leader and educator, and is working to preserve the Erub Mer language for future generations. Working closely with her father, Kapua Gutchen, an Erub Mer mentor and language holder, they have recorded over 2000 unrecorded words in Erub Mer. She has worked with the Australian Literacy and Numeracy foundation, as well as tech giants Google and Apple, to create an Erub Mer literacy app, the first of its kind, as well as informing development of an early literacy game.

She was the first Torres Strait person to give on-country evidence as a key cultural witness in the successful Queensland Land Court case Waratah Coal vs Youth Verdict, showing the impact the Waratah Coal’s Galilee Coal Project would have on the Torres Strait which are threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change.

She has also been working as a co-reseacher with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society’s (ADM+S) Mapping the Digital Gap research project over the last couple of years, providing invaluable expertise, local knowledge, and contributing to data collection that will provide a map of digital inclusion outcomes in Erub and contribute to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) data snapshot of digital inclusion in remote First Nations communities across Australia.

Practising her culture as a fisherwoman and traditional gardener, Lala works on land and sea, demonstrating her exemplary strength, dedication, and her passion for preserving cultures and protecting the land.

Murrawah Johnson, Birdi Woman and Youth Verdict lead campaigner said, “Lala has done more in the last five years in her community than a lot of people do in their lifetime – and really, she is just getting started.”

Watch the National NAIDOC Award coverage on ABC iview (Lala from 1:17:44)


Prof Sarah Pink awarded 2023 Australian Laureate Fellowship

Sarah Pink

Prof Sarah Pink awarded 2023 Australian Laureate Fellowship

Author  Loren Dela Cruz
Date 3 July 2023

ADM+S Chief Investigator Professor Sarah Pink from Monash University has been awarded a 2023 Australian Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Research Council.

One of 17 Australian Laureate Fellows to be recognised in 2023, Professor Pink has received $3,074,590 in funding for her project, The impact of human futures on Australia’s digital and net zero transition (FL230100131).

The five-year research project will involve new ethnographic methods to investigate the role of future human values, practices, and trust in developing a path towards technologically supported environmental sustainability. It will deliver large-scale qualitative models of possible Australian futures and will combine this with quantitative forecasts to aid sustainable transitions in our economy (including in energy and automation).

Professor Pink is the second ADM+S Chief Investigator to be awarded the prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship. Professor Axel Bruns was awarded a Fellowship in 2021.

“The Australian Laureate Fellowship scheme is fundamental to providing an excellent research training environment, exemplary mentorship to nurture early-career researchers, and conducting research for the benefit of the Australian and international communities,” said ARC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Judi Zielke PSM in a media announcement today.

Professor Pink is Co-Leader of the ADM+S Centre’s Transport and Mobilities Focus Area and People Research Program. She is an expert in automation and digital and emerging technologies, working across areas including future mobilities, health, homes and organisations. Pink is known globally for her leadership in futures anthropology and design anthropology, her methodological innovation in visual, sensory digital and qualitative futures research, and her expertise in combining theoretical scholarship with intervention in interdisciplinary and stakeholder projects.

Read the Australian Research Council announcement


Human-AI Cooperation to Tackle Misinformation and Polarization

CACM article - Human-AI Cooperation to Tackle Misinformation and Polarization

Human-AI Cooperation to Tackle Misinformation and Polarization

Author  Loren Dela Cruz
Date 28 June 2023

A new article co-authored by ADM+S researchers Dr Damiano Spina (RMIT University), Prof Mark Sanderson (RMIT University) and Prof Daniel Angus (QUT) along with Assoc Prof Gianluca Demartini (UQ), Dr Dana Mckay (RMIT University), Dr Lauren L. Saling (RMIT University) and Ryen W. White (Microsoft Research), discusses the need for closer collaboration between humans and machines to better address misinformation and polarization.

Published in the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) flagship magazine, Communications of the ACM (CACM), the article Human-AI Cooperation to Tackle Misinformation and Polarization explores two test cases: The first addresses a new framework to tackle misinformation by assisting fact-checkers with computational methods, and the second seeks new models to understand how search engines deliver personalized search results when little or no algorithmic personalization exists.

The article was featured in the ‘Big Trends’ section of the CACM’s special edition on the East Asia and Oceania region which showcases the most impactful research in computer science and technology in the region.

Co-chair of the CACM East Asia and Oceania Region Special Section and ADM+S Chief Investigator Prof Flora Salim (UNSW) said that, “The article is selected among all the submissions to the special section as one of the four big trends in the region. The article highlights the impact of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research on misinformation and polarization conducted in Australia, but has findings and implications that are regional and global, and of interest to the CACM readership worldwide. Congratulations to all the authors for this outcome”.

Read the full article:

Learn more about the Communications of the ACM – East Asia and Oceania Region Special Section:


Generative AI: Language models and multimodal foundation models

Person using ChatGPT on phone

Generative AI: Language models and multimodal foundation models

Author  Loren Dela Cruz
Date 1 June 2023

ADM+S Centre Directors Prof Julian Thomas (RMIT University) and Prof Jean Burgess (QUT) have co-led a report with Prof Genevieve Bell AO (ANU) and Prof Shazia Sadiq (UQ) on Generative AI: Language models and multimodal foundation models.

Commissioned by Australia’s National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) at the request of the Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon Ed Husic MP in February 2023, the rapid research report addressed the following questions:

  • What are the opportunities and risks of applying large language models (LLMs) and multimodal foundation models (MFMs) learning technologies over the next two, five and ten years?
  • What are some examples of strategies that have been put in place internationally by other advanced economies since the launch of models like ChatGPT to address the potential opportunities and impacts of artificial intelligence (AI)?

Publicly released by the office of Australia’s Chief Scientist today, the report was written in response to rapid changes in the industry following the launch of ChatGPT (a generative AI-powered chatbot) in November 2022 and included input from 24 expert contributors and 7 peer reviewers including ADM+S researchers Dr Jose-Miguel Bello y Villarino (University of Sydney), Dr Dang Nguyen (RMIT University), Prof Christine Parker FASSA (University of Melbourne), Prof Jason Potts (RMIT University), Dr Aaron Snoswell (QUT), Prof Nicolas Suzor (QUT), Prof Kimberlee Weatherall (University of Sydney), Prof Haiqing Yu (RMIT University) and Prof Karen Yeung (University of Birmingham).

“The current ‘ChatGPT moment’ is provoking public conversation about the role AI should have in Australian society… Generative AI raises questions about opportunities and risks of widespread adoption; the scope and adequacy of national strategic planning and policies; the fitness of legal and regulatory approaches; and the implications of increasing geopolitical competition and geo-specific regulation in AI-related technologies and industries,” the report states.

The NSTC is responsible for providing advice to the Prime Minister and other Ministers on important science and technology issues facing Australia.

“It is incredibly gratifying to know that this work has helped inform the Australian government’s approach to and consultation on AI regulation,” said Prof Jean Burgess, Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making & Society (ADM+S), and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.

The report was developed in partnership with the Australian Council of Learned Academies, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the Australian Academy of Science.

Read the full report:

Media enquiries:
Loren Dela Cruz
Communications and Engagement Manager