OzTech: Australia climbs in digital quality of life; RMIT launches AI research centre; Telstra wants to be ‘the place you want to work’

OzTech Roundup is Computerworld Australia’s weekly look at the world of IT.

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Australia climbs in digital quality-of-life list

Australia ranks 17th in the 2021 Digital Quality of Life research. This year’s ranking from VPN provider Surfshark indexed 110 countries based on five pillars of digital life: internet affordability, internet quality, e-infrastructure, e-security, and e-government.

Australia climbed two places compared to 2020’s ranking and has surpassed New Zealand. Australia’s security has improved by 25%, according to the survey, but affordability decreased by 49%.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, mobile speed in Australia has improved by 90% and broadband speed by 85%. Even so, New Zealand’s broadband internet speeds remain two times faster than Australia’s.

RMIT launches AI research centre

RMIT University has launched the Centre for Industrial AI Research and Innovation (CIAIRI) to connect artificial intelligence researchers with industry partners to help them meet business needs.

CIAIRI will help turn their research into outcomes for organisations. The centre will focus on autonomous decision systems, robotics and human collaboration, machine learning, augmented reality and games, computer vision, data science and business models, natural language processing, and ethics of AI technologies.

Telstra wants to be ‘the place you want to work’ despite job cuts

When 30 June 2022 comes, Telstra will have cut 8,000 jobs as part of its 2022 strategy. But, as part of its new T25 strategy, the largest telecommunications company in Australia wants to be “the place you want to work”.

That is right, despite cutting jobs. So how Telstra will do this? “By excelling in new ways of working, by accelerating digital leadership, and by doing business responsibly,” said CEO Andrew Penn in a statement.

Telstra said that the first point can be achieved by “promoting flexibility and sustainable hybrid work” and “continuing investing in new skills and a workplace fit for the future, where technology, tools, and work practices support our people to be engaged and productive regardless of where they choose to work”— in other words, what most organisations have already done in response to COVID-19.

To accelerate digital leadership, which should in turn attract and retain talent, Telstra aims to have 100% of key business processes enhanced by artificial intelligence.

Finally, to do business responsibly, Telstra promised to make sure its practices towards customers are fair and inclusive, to reduce its absolute emissions by 50% by 2030, and to support digital inclusion.

We’ll see what transpires.

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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