Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Tech News: 5 Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. It is a lovely Thursday, and team Gizmodo is feeling a little sleepy after Apple’s big event yesterday. Regardless, there’s still a lot of other tech news to catch up on today. Let’s get cracking.

1. Home Affairs downplays ChatGPT usage

As reported by itNews, the Australian Department of Home Affairs has said that staff experimenting with ChatGPT over the course of seven or so months was down to a “general curiosity” nature. The AI tool, which puts together text based on user-inputted prompts, supposedly wasn’t utilised in any decisions or to write any code. The Department internally blocked access to the tool in May, after which the IT team surveyed employees on how it was used.

2. Tech leaders want to bring balance to AI

Staying on AI, and as reported by The Verge, tech leaders met in a private U.S. Senate meeting to discuss creating ‘balanced’ AI regulation. AI has posed many regulatory hurdles, from content theft to plagiarism to the spreading of misinformation, and while leaders in the space like Mark Zuckerberg were promoting laws focused on “safety and access”, the private nature of the meeting raised eyebrows among stakeholders and lawmakers. “We need more public hearings so we have more transparency into how the regulations are being crafted,” dean of the Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University Ramayya Krishnan told The Verge. “I hope other forums are open to the public.”

3. Twitter (X) failed to take action on 86% of hate speech posts, researchers say

A research group Twitter (X?) previously sued for allegedly publishing “false” information about the company, released a new report slamming the social network for its refusal to remove hate speech. The new report, released by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, claims the platform failed to take action against 86 per cent of posts CCDH found containing hate speech. Many of the posts, still on the platform at the time of the report’s writing, denied the Holocaust, glorified Nazis, and spoke endearingly of white supremacy.

4. France says the iPhone 12 is radioactive

Oh, why not – why not a little more Apple news? Sales of the iPhone 12 have been halted in France due to concerns about the levels of radiation emitted by the device, surpassing the country’s legal limits. The government’s Agency of National Frequencies said it will send agents to Apple stores to ensure the devices aren’t being sold, and threatened to recall all iPhone 12s in circulation if the company doesn’t address the problem. Apple said its phones comply with international radiation guidelines. EU standards set allowable radiation levels lower than standards in Asia and North America out of an abundance of caution, in the typical consumer-friendly European regulatory mode.

5. Crows are absolute nerds

As reported by Ars Technica, research indicates that crows use statistical logic when making decisions, such as when mimicking speed or when performing tricks. “In our lab, it has been shown that crows have sophisticated numerical competence, demonstrate abstract thinking, and show careful consideration during decision-making,” Humboldt fellow at the University of Tübingen Doctor Melissa Johnston said. The research has implications for the evolution of intelligence, and it goes to show just how cool crows are. I love crows.

BONUS ITEM: Asha and I were joking about this the day before the Apple event, but seeing it still feels unreal.

Have a lovely day.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.