From The Editor 

Imagine you live in a smart city that knows your face and follows your every move – the places you go, the people you see, and all of the things you do along the way. Over time, autonomous artificial intelligence (AI) builds a profile that reports on how likely you are to commit a crime. When that risk is high, the police take pre-emptive action. Welcome to hyper-surveillance and the next generation of predictive policing.”

The above quote is from an April 27, 2018 article in The Conversation, which notes that “both India and China are currently implementing this level of surveillance to bring down crime rates and detect terrorists before they strike” and that “London and elsewhere in the United Kingdom have been using similar technology for some time.” The article is by David Tuffley, Senior Lecturer in Applied Ethics and Socio-Technical Studies, School of ICT., Griffith University, who emphasizes the need for a human in charge with a replay of the glitch scene from the 1987 Robocop film. See below, AI can help in crime prevention, but we still need a human in charge. 

On the other hand, here is an AI development that few of us will feel threatened by.

“Computer scientists have created a deep-learning, software-coding application that can help human programmers by writing chunks of code in response to keywords.”

This quote is from a 25 April 2018 ScienceDaily article by Rice University, which notes “Programming today is very different than it was 30 or 40 years ago….Computers today are in our pockets, on our wrists and in billions of home appliances, vehicles and other devices. The days when a programmer could write code from scratch are long gone.” The article gives a link to the Bayou AI tool so that users can try it out.  See below, Turning deep-learning AI loose on software development. 

Our August 2015 article, New Ways of Teaching Lead to First Year Students Scientific Breakthrough, was optimistic about improvements in teaching processes, globally and in Australia. However,  recent research  on teachers and teaching brings a mixture of good and bad news from various sources, especially The Conversation.  See below, Good and Bad News for Teachers.

“With tentacles that reach far across portfolio, federal, state and private sector lines, Bill Ferris has given the Prime Minister a blueprint for government reform that could be interpreted as ‘enough rope’. That it is tied so explicitly to innovation spells trouble.”

This quote is from 4th April 2018 article in The Mandarin by Verona Burgess, reporting on a 22nd March 2018 ACT Institute of Public Administration Australia event. The article continues “When the secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, was welcoming her colleague, Industry, Innovation and Science secretary Heather Smith to the stage in Canberra on March 22, she mentioned the recent Australia 2030 Prosperity Through Innovation plan. Adamson, who was hosting the event as the president of the influential ACT division of the Institute of Public Administration, said that many of the audience would have read the plan.”

“What?” muttered some of them. “Never heard of it”.

 See below, The blueprint for the total overhaul of government you’ve never heard of


Current Issue

Articles in the current Issue cover:

AI can help in crime prevention, but we still need a human in charge

Given the overall experience of predictive policing, it appears there is a strong case for its continued use. In Australia, for example, 15 terror attacks were reportedly thwarted in the past three years through police work supported by computer algorithms.

Turning deep-learning AI loose on software development

“Bayou is based on a method called neural sketch learning, which trains an artificial neural network to recognize high-level patterns in hundreds of thousands of Java programs.”

Good and Bad News for Teachers

55 percent of STEM classroom interactions consisted mostly of conventional lecturing — a style that prior research has identified as among the least effective at teaching and engaging students.” 

The blueprint for the total overhaul of government you’ve never heard of

“Eventually, the reader gets to case studies and the recommendations. There may only be 30, but many have tentacles that reach so far across portfolio, federal, state and private sector lines that it would seem impossible for any Commonwealth government to implement the entire plan in practical terms. It would at least be “very courageous, Prime Minister.”



Our March article, Who is to Blame for Cambridge Analytica?, talked about the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica  revelations, suggesting we should  point the finger of blame  blame at higher levels. This has been borne out by the social media exposure of Google invasion of privacy via our mobile phones, even when those phones have no connection to a network!  The following video is an eye-opener. Google invasion of privacy via our mobile phones, even when those phones have no connection to a network!



Yes, we are planning ACOSM18 as a QESP/ACS event. The plan is for an evening event, 5.30 for 6.00, keynote, 2 speakers and  Forum till 7.30, drinks & fingerfood till  8.00. Further details to be provided in the May 2018 Newsletter.



Quote of the Day

More than any time in history mankind faces a crossroads.  One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness, the other to total extinction.  Let us pray that we have the wisdom to choose correctly.  – Woody Allen

Quote from Yesteryear

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but “That’s funny…”     – Isaac Asimov

Ted Smillie

QESP Chair