Squiz Today / 01 November 2023

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 1 November

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Squiz Today Podcast

Today’s listen time: 9.30 minutes

15 / 22
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4 / 22

Squiz Sayings

“We were more than just castmates. We are a family”

The cast of Friendsreleased a short statement on the death of their pal Matthew Perry yesterday – Courteney Cox, Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc and David Schwimmer say it’s an “unfathomable loss” and they need more time before they say much more.

Laying down the law on AI

The Squiz

As artificial intelligence (AI) throws a bot-like cat amongst the human pigeons, US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order to regulate the technology. He – like the tech bosses – says it’s needed because “in the wrong hands, AI can make it easier for hackers to exploit vulnerabilities in the software that makes our society run”. It’s a big deal because up until now, developers in America – where major players OpenAI, Google, and so many more are based – have had no restrictions put on their hugely consequential work. 

What do the US regulations mean?

Great question. There’s a good breakdown here, but the big thing it’ll do is delay the release of new AI software until it’s approved by the US Government. Developers will have to share the results from the safety testing they do with a particular focus on the risks to national security, public health and safety, and the economy. Before that’s put in place, government agencies need to set standards for that testing. The other thing the order does is earmark funding for technologies to preserve AI users’ privacy, which is another major concern. US cybersecurity expert Jake Williams says, “the Biden executive order makes it clear: privacy, equity, and civil rights in AI will be regulated.” Note: the US isn’t the only country trying to crack the AI regulation nut… The European Union and the UK Government are considering their own regulations, with UK PM Rishi Sunak hosting a big AI safety summit this week.

What’s happening here?

That’s another good question because Aussies are said to be some of the most distrustful of AI in the developed world… The Albanese government’s been running a consultation process on local AI regulations, which has received 510 submissions. One to note is from the Australian Human Rights Commission saying we need rules ASAP to counter risks to privacy, online misinformation and powerful automated systems. Science Minister Ed Husic (the bloke leading the government’s AI response) seems to agree – he’s said that although AI “contains great benefits for both individuals and organisations, it’s important we get the balance right” with its governance. While that’s being worked through, Husic is in the UK for the AI safety summit that’s on today and tomorrow.

Technology World News

Squiz the Rest

Israel’s not for turning

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected international calls for a pause in the war with Hamas, saying it would be “to surrender to terrorism”. Israeli forces are pushing deeper into the Gaza Strip despite the United Nations and humanitarian groups pleading for more time to get aid to the territory. Netanyahu says Israel is not deviating from its mission to dismantle Hamas and its infrastructure while also securing the release of over 200 hostages. On that subject, 19yo Israeli soldier Ori Megidish was rescued during one of the military’s missions in Gaza – officials also confirmed the death of Shani Louk, a German-Israeli citizen also believed to have been kidnapped by Hamas. A video was also released yesterday by Hamas showing 3 women being held hostage – one of whom criticises Netanyahu and demands the release of Hamas prisoners. And the emerging news this morning are reports of a blast at a refugee camp within Gaza, killing dozens…

World News

Fires flare in Queensland and NSW

Queensland is currently in the thick of it, with around 80 bushfires burning, prompting fire bans across 80% of the state. The Tara fires in the Darling Downs region have seen the deployment of 120 personnel, with the state’s waterbombing aircraft moved to Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba in anticipation of further flare-ups. Conditions are expected to worsen due to high winds and temperatures in the upper 30Cs. And in northern NSW, emergency alerts have been issued for 4 bushfires near Tabulam, Tenterfield, and Woodside. The fires, driven by westerly winds, are burning out of control, posing risks to people and properties. A cool change is forecasted from Friday… Yesterday, PM Anthony Albanese said the federal government would do its bit to support bushfire-affected residents

Australian News

‘Astonishing’ failures despite ‘obvious’ risks

The company that managed New Zealand’s White Island volcano, Whakaari Management Limited, has been found guilty of not doing enough to keep visitors safe during the 2019 eruption that claimed 22 lives, including 17 Aussies. The Auckland District Court also ruled that the company, owned by the Buttle brothers, didn’t properly liaise with GNS Science, the country’s volcano monitor. The trial, brought by WorkSafe NZ, was the country’s largest of its kind, involving 13 parties. Aside from this case, 6 parties pleaded guilty before the trial, and 6 had charges dismissed. One of the key takeouts has been the limitations of the country’s no-fault compensation system, which automatically pays for some expenses of accident victims but doesn’t allow victims or their families to pursue further compensation… Sentencing is set for February next year, and the company could face a fine of up to NZ$1.5 million.

Australian News World News

A whole lotta soccer… 

It’s Ballon d’Or time (aka world soccer’s top honour), and for the blokes, Argentina legend Lionel Messi won it for the eighth time. And Matildas captain Sam Kerr has come oh-so-close to winning the Féminin award, finishing second to Spain’s Aitana Bonmatí. It’s the second time she’s been pipped at the post by a Spanish player, with Alexia Putellas taking the gong in 2021 and 2022. Kerr’s Matildas teammate Hayley Raso came in at 17th. It’s an incredible effort from Bonmatí given the turmoil at the top of Spanish soccer – its federation president Luis Rubiales was red-carded yesterday by FIFA, copping a 3-year ban following the unwanted kissing incident involving star player Jenni Hermoso. And while we’re on an updating roll, SBS has netted exclusive rights to air all 104 matches of the FIFA World Cup 2026, taking its partnership with FIFA to a whopping 40 years. And the Matildas are gearing up to face Chinese Taipei in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament tonight. And breathe… 


Cooking up a gender-gap storm

We’ve got a feeling you might not be surprised by this… A new global survey from Gallup and food tech company Cookpad has revealed that women are doing the lion’s share of the cooking, whipping up an average of 9 meals per week compared to men’s 4. The pandemic years saw men donning the apron more often, narrowing the gender gap in the home cooking stakes, but last year saw things head back to where they were. The disparity is starkest in countries in Africa and the Middle East, where women cook about 8 more meals per week than men. European countries, however, show the smallest gender differences. And in a twist that might have you saying “mamma mia!”, Italy is the only country where men cook more than women. There’s no specific data on Oz, but a couple of years ago the Bureau of Stats found that 64% of Aussie women spend 5 or more hours on food a week, compared to 37% of men. Anyone up for takeout tonight?


Apropos of nothing

A chain of Aussie cinemas has been banned from offering an intermission in Martin Scorcese’s 3hr 26min Killers of the Flower Moon. Palace Cinemas asked if it could insert a comfort break for patrons, but that’s not in keeping with the director’s vision… 

A judge in Colorado has been scathing of a company that tried to settle a debt with a rival by dumping 3 tonnes of coins at their lawyer’s office. The welding company’s been ordered to pay more than the $23,000 it owed because the judge said it acted “maliciously and in bad faith”. 

And a big shout-out to Earl from northeast Tassie, who’s been crowned the top working dog in all the land. Kelpie Earl is blind in one eye – but a GPS tracker showed he still ran faster and further than all his canine rivals. Give that good boy a bone…

Australian News

Squiz the Day

12.30pm (AEDT) – Chanel Contos, Founder of Teach Us Consent & Chair of The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership’s Youth Advisory Committee, addresses the National Press Club – Canberra

10.00pm (AEDT) – Women’s Soccer Olympic Qualifier – Australia v Taiwan – Perth

ABS Data Release – Education and Work, May

AI Safety Summit begins – Bletchley Park, UK

Impact X Climate Change Summit begins – Sydney (until 3 November)

Let your lip-hair run free… It’s the start of Movember

National Days for Algeria, and Antigua and Barbuda

All Saints’ Day

World Vegan Day

World Ballet Day

Birthdays for Apple CEO Tim Cook (1960), Anthony Kiedis (1962), Tina Arena (1967), and Toni Collette (1972)

Anniversary of:
• the premiere of William Shakespeare’s play Othello (1604) and blockbuster film Titanic (1997)
• John Adams becoming the first US President to live in the White House (1800)
• the deployment of the first aerial bomb during the Italo-Turkish War (1911)
• the first use of the Motion Picture Association film rating system G, M, R, X (1968)

Squiz the Day

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