Category: Alex Somers

"Naturally, I'm now becoming just a little more concerned for my professional future. Where was all this AI stuff headed?"
In the fourth century BC, the Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, first ascribed the title "ethics" to the rational study of how humans should best live their lives. He considered that discourse to be related to, but in essential tension with, the pursuit of politics, in that the former concerned the welfare of the individual, while the latter concentrated on the interests of the state. 
On 25 February 2021, the Federal Senate passed the Treasury Laws Amendment (News Media and Digital Platforms Media Bargaining Code) Bill 2021, (“the Code”), a controversial new law requiring certain digital platforms to pay a negotiated fee to eligible Australian news media businesses for the use of their digital content. Whilst many have praised the Code for standing up to omnipotent tech companies in the noble pursuit of fair market practices, others, including the tech companies themselves, have accused Australia of trying to break the internet.
The latest Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, serves up a thought-provoking critique of the unethical and largely unregulated tactics employed by social media platforms, namely surveillance capitalism and data mining, in order to exploit users for commercial benefit. The doco’s director, Jeff Orlowski, seeks to draw a causal link between the rise of these tactics in the 2010’s and broader social, political and economic concerns such as mental health issues, the spread of misinformation/conspiracy theories, and election tampering.
It's sometimes said that one man's loss is another man's profit, and that's evidently true, even in these strange and troubled times. Just ask all those previously-struggling toilet paper and face mask makers. One curious example has even arisen in the criminal courts.
Last week, a Queensland mother became the first person to be charged under the State’s new, expanded definition of murder laws, after allegedly leaving her two infant children to die in the blistering heat of her car, after falling asleep one Saturday afternoon.
Last week, Australian man Jock Palfreeman was released from a Bulgarian prison after being incarcerated for 8 years and 11 months for the murder of a local law student in 2007. Palfreeman has consistently protested his innocence, his legal team unsuccessfully arguing at his trial that the fatal incident occurred after he ran to the assistance of a local man being attacked by more than 12 men, and that he subsequently acted in self-defence when the group turned on him. However, since being released on parole, he has remained in custody at a Busmantsi Detention Centre, awaiting authorisation to return to Australia. Now Bulgarian Prosecutors are reportedly seeking to have his parole revoked, meaning his ordeal may not be over.
A common submission by Queensland defence lawyers representing drug-driving offenders goes something like this: “My client had not in fact smoked cannabis for several days prior to driving, but hangover traces of the drug must have remained in his system, unbeknownst to him."
A brand new Netflix documentary doing the rounds right now has sparked a maelstrom of controversy around the ethical and legal culpability of “social media influencers” in advertising and promoting business brands for profit. The disaster-doco “FYRE: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” tells the sorry story of the exploits of Billy McFarland, the mastermind behind the failed 2017 “luxury music festival” FYRE.