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The AI chat app being trialled in NSW schools which makes students work for the answers

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Platform designed by education department is modelled on ChatGPT but ‘works the way teachers would work’.
When year 8 student Mikaela Rumi Badger asks ChatGPT how to solve a question for a fractions exam, it gives her the answer. But when the Ponds high school student asks New South Wales’ purpose-built AI app NSWEduChat for help, it asks her additional questions. “To better assist you, can you let me know what you need help with?” it asks, coaxing her with clues when she attempts calculations.
“Not quite,” it tells her. “To convert an improper fraction, you need to multiply the whole number by the denominator and then add the numerator. Can you do that?”
The app, which describes itself as a “virtual tutor”, is being hailed as the possible future of artificial intelligence in NSW schools. On Monday, 16 public schools across the state gained access to the app for the next two terms in a trial that will determine its viability to go sector-wide.
NSWEduChat, designed by the state’s Department of Education, is modelled on ChatGPT but built specifically for the state’s curriculum. Students have access to one interface, while teachers have their own version of the tool which they can use to direct classroom content.
Unlike ChatGPT, the app has been designed to only respond to questions that relate to schooling and education, via content-filtering and topic restriction. It does not reveal full answers or write essays, instead aiming to encourage critical thinking via guided questions that prompt the student to respond – much like a teacher.
For Mikaela, asking questions in classroom settings can be intimidating. She says the app also helps reduce the “stigma” of AI chatbots, which were initially banned in public school settings after ChatGPT launched in 2022. Since then, assessments have been altered at the school to reduce the risk of plagiarism.
“If you say write me a whole essay, EduChat will say I can’t do that – but I’ll help you write an essay,” Mikaela says.
“For kids that need the extra push it’s going to be great. Sometimes parents don’t know how to help you and it can be frustrating when you have homework and you need support.”
Year 12 school captain Leeya Alves has had early access to the technology for the past two weeks and hopes it will prevent her peers from turning to ChatGPT.
“When we’re out of the classroom, as much as there’s blockers, we still have access to ChatGPT and resources that aren’t pushing us to be the students we could be,” she says.
“In our year, a lot of us are taking that short corner. But in an exam, you’ll just be hoping for the best and that the pen can write for you.
“We see kids heavily dependent on ChatGPT who sit there and struggle.”
Leeya has been using NSWEduChat for her HSC dance subject to gain inspiration for her performance concepts. If you don’t get the answer you hoped for, there are input tabs to “rephrase”, “make it simpler”, “expand” or “summarise”.
Source: theguardian.com
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Temporary Wall Systems Las Vegas to announce grand opening at the NAHB International Builders’ Show

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Temporary Wall Systems (TWS), the first and leading full-service, temporary containment wall provider in the United States, will announce the grand opening of its new Las Vegas, Nevada, location at the National Association of Home Builders’ (NAHB) International Builders’ Show (IBS) at the Las Vegas Convention Center Feb. 27-29.
“I’m on a mission to transform the local construction landscape,” owner Jennifer Dice said. “Temporary Wall Systems has the perfect solution to elevate the standard of renovation projects in the Las Vegas area. They’re safer, more convenient and more visually appealing than temporary walls made of permanent material. To top it off, they can be reused, so that material doesn’t end up in our landfills.”
Dice will be at the IBS show at Booth No. C8315 and will showcase her Temporary Wall Systems Las Vegas containment wall solutions.
Dice and her husband, Skylar, moved to the area two years ago, and her professional experience includes casino marketing and operations and economic development. She brings the skills she learned at these positions to her Temporary Wall Systems venture.
“Starting a new business will provide me with an ever-evolving learning experience to foster personal and professional growth,” she said. “I’m committed to making a positive impact in my local community by providing a superior containment wall solution. Las Vegas is always growing and expanding, and these walls are perfect for an area that sees a lot of construction and renovation.”
Dice said she chose HomeFront Brands, Temporary Wall Systems’ parent company, as her franchising partner because of its alignment with her goals.
“The TWS team shares my vision, values and goals,” she said. “Working with their team has been both exciting and rewarding.”
Temporary Wall Systems Las Vegas serves the Boulder City, Enterprise, Henderson, Las Vegas, Paradise, Spring Valley, Summerlin, Whitney and Winchester areas.
TWS is part of HomeFront Brands, a family of emerging, franchised residential and commercial property service brands that offers integrated technology, data support, lead generation, business intelligence systems and training to its partners.
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ITRI Partners with Mexico’s Sonora to Foster Science Park Development

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ITRI has signed a consulting service agreement with the state of Sonora in Mexico for science park planning and counseling, deepening Mexico–Taiwan cooperation in the fields of technology and industry. The effort includes regional coopetition analysis, strategy consulting, business development, capability enabling, and implementation support, aiming to create a competitive and sustainable science park in Sonora. This venture also extends its benefits to Taiwanese manufacturers eyeing expansion opportunities in Mexico.
ITRI’s Senior Vice President Stephen Su emphasized the strategic significance of Mexico in the global supply chain, particularly in the burgeoning electric vehicle industry. He highlighted Mexico’s advantageous geographical location, coupled with competitive production costs and labor expenses, comprehensive automotive manufacturing clusters, rich mineral resources, as well as the privilege of zero tariffs under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). This collaboration emerges against the backdrop of Mexico as Taiwan’s largest export market and trading partner in Latin America. Through this partnership, bilateral exchanges in sectors such as semiconductors, electric vehicles, artificial intelligence, and automation industries will be deepened, supporting Taiwanese companies seeking to expand their operations in the thriving Mexican market.
Governor of Sonora Francisco Alfonso Durazo Montaño expressed his pleasure in partnering with ITRI, recognizing ITRI’s role as a key driver in Taiwan’s semiconductor and ICT industries. Sonora, aligning its vision with “Plan Sonora,” the state’s sustainability development strategy, has noted the surge in international companies relocating their supply chains to Mexico. In response, the state has launched the development of the Sonora Science and Technology Park to meet the growing demands of emerging industries such as ICT and electric vehicles. The Governor articulated his hopes that the collaboration with ITRI will enable both entities to leverage their strengths and jointly explore international markets.
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ASTRI sets up FinTech and ESG Alliance

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The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has inaugurated a “FinTech and ESG Alliance” on 22 February to foster a dynamic platform for exchange and knowledge-sharing. This alliance aims to enhance engagement with regulators, policymakers, incubators and accelerators, FinTech start-ups and enterprises, as well as other stakeholders to promote technological collaboration and commercialisation, bolstering Hong Kong’s role as a world-leading green FinTech hub.
ASTRI was honoured to have the Hon Jeffrey Lam, Member, Executive Council and Legislative Council, HKSAR Government, as our Guest-of-Honour, together with over 400 experts and leaders from the academia, FinTech and the green sectors witness this special occasion.  Distinguished representatives from the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, Invest Hong Kong and several financial institutions were invited to address the seminar. The discussion covered various topics such as the digital transformation of banking and insurance industries, digital asset, sustainable finance and related policy, heralding a new era of digital innovation in financial industry.
In the Policy Address 2023, the HKSAR Chief Executive highlighted the government’s commitment to driving green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong. In addition, Financial Secretary said earlier that building Hong Kong as an international green tech and green finance hub is one of the main goals in the coming year, as sustainability is a global agenda. “Alongside promoting the development of technological solutions and providing early-stage funding support for pre-commercialised green FinTech, we’re dedicated to expanding the green FinTech ecosystem and developing Hong Kong into a green FinTech hub,” said the Hon Jeffrey Lam, who also commended ASTRI for its significant contribution in this initiative.
“Our expertise in the financial sector spans a broad spectrum, providing diversified financial products and services in banking, investment, insurance and others, which exemplifies our role as Asia’s green FinTech hub,” he added.
Technology transforms financial services
The financial sector has long been a vital pillar of Hong Kong economy, contributing to over 20% of the city’s GDP. As Hong Kong continues to evolve into an international innovation and technology hub, there is an explosive expansion in the FinTech community.
Ir Sunny Lee, Chairman, ASTRI stressed that national policy supports Hong Kong’s journey to become a global innovation and technology (I&T) hub, with FinTech playing a crucial role in smart city development. “The Alliance serves as an effective communication platform for the industry to explore the utilisation of emerging technologies such as AI and blockchain to revolutionise financial services, enhance operational efficiency, and expedite the I&T adoption to benefit businesses and the public, cementing Hong Kong’s leading role as a financial hub,” he said.
Promote FinTech adoption for ESG
To foster the development of a knowledge-based economy and enhance accessibility to financial services for both the public and businesses, the HKSAR Government actively supports the growth of financial technology. This includes promoting more FinTech services and products to undergo proof-of-concept trials, alongside the enhancement of innovative FinTech infrastructure.
Mr Joseph Chan, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, HKSAR Government said:”To better integrate Fintech with green finance and actively expand the green Fintech ecosystem, we will launch a dedicated proof-of-concept subsidy scheme for green Fintech in the first half of this year. This pioneering scheme is designed to stimulate the development of innovative technological solutions in the green sector and to offer early-stage funding support for pre-commercial green Fintech initiatives.”
Aligned with the HKSAR Government’s initiatives, ASTRI has commercialised several self-developed technologies in FinTech & ESG fields. Key projects include: (1) collaborating with Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and Hong Kong Monetary Authority to establish a proof-of-concept CBDC system focusing on safety, flexibility and privacy; (2) creating a privacy-preserving Federated Learning model to enable banks to utilise alternative data for developing new credit models and aiding SMEs in obtaining financing; (3) establishing a sandbox environment to offer private, controlled and quorum-based runtimes for assessing the performance and security of smart contracts.
With the escalation of global climate change, there is a growing demand for environmental, social and governance (ESG) information disclosure from listed companies worldwide. ASTRI’s “Artificial Intelligence ESG Report Analysis” technology leverages artificial intelligence (AI) and deep learning technologies to assist financial institutions in enhancing the efficiency of processing ESG report data. This innovative solution aids in meeting regulatory compliance requirements and information disclosure standard, while minimising compliance cost.
Encourage I&T collaboration
The “FinTech and ESG Alliance” marks ASTRI’s third alliance formation.  Dr Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI said: “Building on our previous achievements, our goal is to engage with all stakeholders to develop a holistic ecosystem that paves the way for an innovative era of financial services and sustainability. ASTRI remains committed in advancing knowledge transfer and technological innovation, fostering collaboration among Alliance members and the global industry through a range of networking and matchmaking initiatives.”
ASTRI is dedicated to promoting collaboration among government, industry, universities and research sectors. This commitment aims to enhance cooperation across the I&T industry’s upstream, midstream, and downstream segments, while also nurturing Hong Kong’s financial talent pool. Over the past two years, ASTRI has entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) with six local universities (HKU, CUHK, HKUST, City U, PolyU and BU) and formed two industry alliances: the “Microelectronics Technology Consortium” (November 2022) and “Smart Mobility Technology (C-V2X) Alliance” (April 2023).
The newly established “FinTech and ESG Alliance” is backed by banks, financial institutions and businesses. It aims to foster the convergence of emerging FinTech solutions and drive the digital transformation of conventional financial and insurance services to enhance operational efficiency. The Alliance is set to host a series of events for its members including talks, seminars, technology showcases, overseas missions, to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and tap into fresh opportunities in the Mainland China and overseas, injecting new impetus into Hong Kong’s economy.
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