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ITP Pānui | Te Pou Hangarau Ngaio

12 April 2024

AI and job hunting advice, emissions and more on the linux backdoor

Kia ora koutou ITP members and supporters. I hope you are all safe and dry with this weather bomb. I found myself stuck in Auckland airport for an extended stay yesterday after spending the day in Hi Tech award finalist judging which is such a special opportunity, meeting founders and business leaders who are passionate about their product or service, about growing great New Zealand companies and about solving real world problems. There was certainly a darker undertone from many of the finalists as they reflect on the current economic climate but all were optimistic things will turn around very very soon. 

This is the last pānui using our old CMS (fingers crossed) so next week you should expect to see a fresher looking email with all the same great content packaged up so it’s a little easier on the eye. CMS’s have evolved significantly in recent years especially from the content creators perspective, mobile friendly editing and display, intuitive UI’s, drag and drop editing (the thing I am most looking forward to) - and now they are integrating with AI tools, enhancing your content as you write it and automating workflows. It will just be a matter of time before I don’t even need to write this part. 

This is also arriving late in the day after what has been a crazy busy week, since I am heading off on holiday next Friday and away a month this / next week are doubly booked with hui. It also means my first Ministerial meetings are all early June once I have returned. Wondering what I could possibly be doing all week? Meeting with Universities, Polytechnics, Private Training Enterprises and Bootcamp folk on a range of education topics particularly focused on ensuring their courses are aligned with industry needs; many meetings relating to the Standards setting environment especially in light of the recent announcement from government on building products changes (as Chair of the Standards Approvals Board); madly recording Podcasts so they will be released while I am on leave so lots of great conversations; working with a collective on affordable connectivity research; working with another collective on pathways into the workforce for school, vocational and tertiary education leavers; supporting another group who are developing how to get started in IT career resources; meeting with recruiters to discuss how we can collectively support those who have been displaced from their roles; onboarding our new team members Raewyn who is working with me on IT Professionals constitution and bylaws and compliance with the incorporated societies act. Plus so much more.

Choosing an AI Tool? What to consider

Earlier in the week we posted a blog written by a New Zealand teacher, who wrote this up as advice for other teachers on the Digital Technologies Teacher Association (DTTA) message board - Beware the Black Box: What to Consider Before Using AI Tools. Not just for teachers this advice is fit for purpose for anyone considering signing up for, plugging data into and using any AI tools. Thank you Andrew Churches for giving us permission to share your plain English insights. 
The Privacy Commission have since emailed me thanking us for sharing their resources and adding a link to their direct AI advice as well.

Before I move off AI - did you see the Canadian government announcement? Trudeau announces $2.4 billion for AI-related investments - wow now that’s taking action. "We want to help companies adopt AI in a way that will have positive impacts for everyone," Trudeau said, adding that $200 million will go toward boosting the adoption of AI in sectors like agriculture, health care and clean technology. Very cool.

Help if you are job hunting

If you missed it, or are not an ITP member, Chloe Sabbadin and I held a fantastic Lunch and Learn last week on Navigating the Job market. You can watch / listen to Chloe’s advice here. She talks about the job market as it’s changing again after the Covid spike in demand, about how to prepare yourself for an interview and how to present soft skills in your CV. If you find yourself job hunting again, or are a recent entrant to the job market then this is the session for you. Loved talking to Chloe, she is a digital tech specialist recruiter, based in Ōtautahi Christchurch and tells her own story of redundancy resulting in starting XO Recruitment.

An article that caught my eye this week full of advice on reinventing your career after a redundancy event can be found on LinkedIN, written by Jonathan Rogers who is a Wellington based career coach. He talks about facing redundancy, embracing it as an opportunity, reimaging your future career, and how to both identify and present your soft skills - which are in demand from employers.

Blogs this week

Brendan’s cartoon is on the continued decline of New Zealand’s media - Eclipsed - playing on the total solar eclipse media story of the last week too. 
More reading on the New Zealand media situation - Melissa Lee defends work during time as Broadcasting Minister amid Newshub, TVNZ woes. More reading on the total solar eclipse - Where and When it was most visible.

Can tech really help slash emissions? - is Peter’s editorial this week provides an overview of an NZTech commissioned report on our industries contribution to New Zealand climate targets.

FMA demanding stronger cyber reporting and tech resilience - Peter provides a great summary of what the FMA have announced as their expectations of listed companies via introducing a new “standard condition” for market licence holders, relating to business continuity and technology systems. Eg: Relevant financial institutions will also need to make sure their critical technology systems are “operationally resilient” and if they suffer a cyber incident that materially affects their supply of service, “must notify the FMA as soon as possible, or no later than 72 hours after it has determined the event is a material incident”. Excellent news.

Beware the black box: What to consider before using AI tools - one of our guest posts this week written by a digital technologies teacher (described above).

An anonymous coder nearly hacked a big chunk of the internet. How worried should we be? - more on the linux backdoor we wrote about last week in this guest blog post. “Code maintainers around the world are now thinking about their vulnerabilities at a strategic and tactical level. It is not only their code itself they will be worrying about, but also their code distribution mechanisms and software assembly processes.”

Tech News in Brief

Occasionally I am inspired by new tech worth looking at and there are a few awesome emerging things to keep an eye on. AI-Powered ‘sonar’ on smart glasses tracking gaze and facial expressions; New quantum material promises massive efficiencies in solar cells; and Eco friendly 3D printing materials / technology is coming.


Sorry no Tech Talk this week I have simply run out of time. Enjoy the school holidays for those who are parents. Take care. Noho ora mai, Vic




Listen Now!

This week on Techblog

by Peter Griffin
We’ve been slower than other advanced economies to emply digital
technologies that can not only boost productivity, but cut emissions in the
Continue Reading

by Peter Griffin
The new condition will come into effect on July 1 and require a licence
holder to have a business continuity plan in place suitable for the size
and scope of the business.
Continue Reading

by Peter Griffin
Code maintainers around the world are now thinking about their
vulnerabilities at a strategic and tactical level. It is not only their
code itself they will be worrying about, but also their code distribution
mechanisms and software assembly processes.
Continue Reading

by Vic MacLennan
With the Growth of Artificial intelligence (AI) and the relative ease of
the deployment of these tools, we are faced with a series of challenges
about what to use and what to share. This post was part of a discussion on
the DTTA (digital technologies teachers association) message board, written
by Andrew Churches and shared here with his permission.
Continue Reading

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