CDE News – February 2020 issue

How are your New Year’s resolutions? The Australian government has had quite a few recently, in the digital and technology space. They range from “we want to stop climate change, but not if it means any sacrifices, so we will invest in technology instead of having zero-emission targets” (spoiler alert: plans and targets are two different things) to “we want to be seen as a leading digital economy, so let’s announce a partnership with an actual leader” (spoiler alert: the announcement seems to be the only activity that has happened around this partnership). Not a surprise that digital transformation initiatives achieve their goals only 1% of the time! We still have so much to learn, but the Dunning-Kruger effect often stands in the way. When writing the previous sentence I did not think of any Australian politicians!

In other news, we are overjoyed to have launched the Centre for the Digital Economy, or CDE 2.0, building on the achievements of the Chair in Digital Economy. In this newsletter, we will gradually introduce you to our team, our research, impact case studies, and opportunities to engage with us. See the full newsletter for a juicy and deep analysis of Blockchain in the Geonergy Domain (by A/Prof. Rob Perrons), a profile of one of the researchers in the Centre (Dr Ozgur Dedehayir), and heads-up on another exciting Business Leaders’ Forum.

Did you know that you can use duct tape to make a Tesla accelerate by 50Mph in just a few seconds, and put lives at risk? Read how to do it here (but please, please, don’t try it). This is called adversarial hacking: changing the world in such ways that make algorithms or robots behave in unplanned ways. It is similar to computer viruses, but now our own world is the hackers’ arena. Welcome to 2020. And think twice about turning that auto-pilot on. Or build a startup that detects such adversarial hacks in the wild (I’ll invest in it, any time). Exciting times!

Stay curious,

Prof. Marek Kowalkiewicz
Centre for the Digital Economy

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