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Ethical AI and government: how guiding machine learning projects with principles will help prevent tech solutions turning into unintended problems

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Artificial intelligence is already being used in unethical ways, both by the world's governments and technology giants. Now is the time to nail down the principles governing AI and machine learning projects. This multipart series begins with a Department of Defence workshop where warfighters, lawyers and philosophers pitched 84 principles for assuring that AIs operating on our behalf remain ethical.

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Writing a form sounds simple, but isn't. Public servants must balance readability and logic with the needs of complex policy and legislation

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Filling out forms is still one of the main ways people interact with government. Each government jurisdiction will have its own priorities when designing a form, so Mandarin Premium has taken a look at three different approaches from Australia and elsewhere to showcase what else public servants can do to improve their forms.

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The great Treasury juggle: providing the minister with fearless advice (even if it causes discomfort), while keeping the government's political strategists happy

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Paul Tilley tracks how Treasury’s role has evolved over its history, from the government’s bookkeeper at Federation to the economic policy agency of today. His new book explains the changes in the relationship between the public service and the government of the day, and how and why we reached the situation we are in today, with the public service becoming more information providers and implementers of government decisions than policy influencers.

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What’s wrong with best practice? How the quest for certainty affects the agility and innovation needed for organisations to thrive

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We see all around us the evidence that science works. For many years there has been an effort to apply scientific thinking to management. In organisations, managers attempt to define and spread ‘best practice,’ which seems to offer certainty about the correct procedures to follow. Daniel Thornton considers why using terms such as ‘best practice’ is bad practice, and suggests an alternative approach that could help to navigate the complexities of organisational life.

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The APS needs to radically and quickly overhaul what 'service delivery' means to them. That should start with genuinely listening to their front-line people

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Much of the APS needs to lose the attitude that policy is the apex of public administration and service delivery is done by lesser mortals, says Verona Burgess. With change and uncertainty all around the federal bureaucracy, to fulfil the Prime Minister's expectations it will need to quickly learn from state counterparts.

There’s no room for positive spin in the Australian homelessness issue. What’s needed is evidenced-based initiative and action

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As problems associated with Australia's homelessness crisis exist across the housing spectrum, so too must the solutions. Moving forward, there is an opportunity for the Morrison government to put create a positive spin on the housing and homelessness situation in Australia. And that is through implementing evidence-based solutions across the housing spectrum.