Written by Matt Lathlean, Forefront Events




Artificial Intelligence has the capability of fixing the world’s biggest problems, from reducing energy consumption to fighting disease, the potential is ground breaking. AI can be used to do human things but much more efficiently and cost effectively.

Here are some industries you may have not have thought about where AI is assisting:


Gilbert & Tobin’s Chief Innovation Officer, Caryn Sandler has seen new types of AI emerge in recent years in an attempt to solve pain points for lawyers within legal processes – “Pattern analysis AI tools search large document sets for clauses in the due diligence process, and highlight potential areas of legal risk, which would take an inordinate amount of time for a human lawyer to complete manually.”

Caryn believes that the prerequisite for further AI development in the legal sector is more data, “AI on its own can take us so far, but the combination of data, logic, knowledge and other tools and approaches will result in the next stage of transformation.”

At the University of Technology Sydney, the Faculty of Law has already reworked their curriculum’s for law students based on the impact of emerging technologies such as AI. Dr. Philippa Ryan is a senior lecturer within the faculty and believes it is a necessary step for students who wish to remain competitive once they graduate.

Artificial Intelligence will undoubtedly transform legal service delivery, giving lawyers more time to focus on high-value legal work.


Artificial intelligence is gaining significant momentum in healthcare through the use of big data, automation, robotics and wellness wearables.  It has been used to accurately detect diseases from an early stage, specifically with mammograms, which the American Cancer Society indicated often yield false results without the assistance of AI – “The use of AI is enabling review and translation of mammograms 30 times faster with 99% accuracy, reducing the need for unnecessary biopsies.”

AI powered pattern recognition tools are helping practitioners identify patients who might be at risk to certain conditions or diseases at an early stage by identifying deteriorating lifestyle patterns, environmental or genomic factors.

It is clear that the healthcare industry has already begun benefiting greatly from the assistance of AI.


Traditionally, manufacturing has always been powered by human interaction, but with the dawn of what many are calling Industry 4.0 (fourth industrial revolution) comes the availability of new technology such as AI to assist the manufacturing process.

AI can assist manufacturers predict supply and demand by providing better sensory capabilities than what has traditionally been used, ultimately creating more precise, efficient and safer processes.

Machine vision is one of these applications, providing cameras far more sensitive than the human eye to process and analyse images more effectively.



Australia has proud reputation as a provider of safe, high quality food. Given a growing interest by consumers around the world into the foods they eat and drink, protecting this standing and maintaining continued trust is of great importance.

At the same time, significant issues exist with counterfeit, substituted or tainted products in international markets, with notable scandals involving, for example, baby formula in China, horsemeat in the UK and beef in Brazil.

Blockchain technology represents an opportunity for improved supply chain efficiency, transparency, authenticity, compliance and traceability, and has the potential to transform the way in which organisations transact and collaborate. Importantly, it has the potential to play a major role in providing immutable provenance of products.

Unico is designing and running a Proof of Concept (PoC), in collaboration with recognised meat industry and supply chain stakeholders, and will establish a Blockchain-enabled future model for export into markets such as Asia.

This has direct implications and relevance to primary industry, food & wine, manufacturing and pharmaceuticals.

By Simon Taylor, Unico

HSBC recently completed the world’s first commercially viable trade finance transaction using blockchain.

The transaction was completed in partnership with Dutch bank ING and Cargill for a shipment of soybeans that was transported from Argentina to Malaysia.

Up until that point, banks, buyers and suppliers had been experimenting with blockchain, testing proofs of concepts and conducting internal pilots. However, HSBC’s transaction was an end-to-end trade between a buyer and a seller and their respective banking partners, completed on a single and shared digital application rather than multiple systems. What’s more, the blockchain platform used is already being supported by 12 banks, who are working with their partners to continue the development to bring the platform to market more broadly.

The use of blockchain technology in banking is expected to reduce fraud and drive efficiencies especially in Letters of Credit (LC) as it will shorten the lengthy process. LC’s are the most commonly used method for financing between importers and exporters, helping ensure more than $2 trillion worth of transactions but can take anywhere between 5-10 days to exchange documentation. HSBC’s transaction for Cargill, meanwhile, took two days to complete.

“The reason why letters of credit have persisted is because of two real challenges — the absence of digital infrastructure and the challenge of coordinating multiple parties,” said Vivek Ramachandran, global head of innovation & growth at HSBC.

“This platform helps us overcome the first and I think the technology and everyone focussed on it give us the impetus to go after the second now with hopefully much better results than we have seen in the past.”

Vivek Ramachandran will be speaking exclusively at the Blockchain for Business Summit next month in Sydney, Australia.


Digital disruption is everywhere, transforming the way consumers and businesses interact and operate. However, not all organisations are receptive to change and often resist disruption in all forms, which in many cases leads to their downfall and ultimately their irrelevance.

Traditionally a fast food company, Dominos Pizza now views itself as a tech company that just happens to sell pizzas after undergoing major transformations in recent years. It chose to embrace disruption and has used it as a competitive differentiator, implementing over 40 new digital products.

Australia Post once depended on the sale of stamps as one of its main revenue streams. Rather than succumbing to the pressures from tech savvy competitors, it has evolved and leveraged disruption to introduce a number of new products and services.

Clive Dickens is the Chief Digital Officer at Seven West Media, some of his work focuses on creating digital success within the changing media landscape. Disruption impacts every industry, but perhaps media is the space where change takes on shape faster than anywhere else.

“The only real way to beat out potential disruption is to become the disruptor yourself” said Dickens, who feels complacency is not an option in a world that is changing so rapidly.

Although creating a digital future relies heavily on the technology implemented it is also ‘vital to make it human’ he said, highlighting the importance of the human infrastructure that provides the ongoing support for transformations.

Clive Dickens will be presenting at the Digital Transformation Summit in Sydney on October 11.

Written by Matt Lathlean

Beyond disrupting the world of finance, the most mind-bending, earth-rocking uses of blockchain technology has nothing to do with money specifically.

The following four areas are examples of potential areas that blockchain could transform business in the coming years.

The future of democracy? Over at Horizon State, we’re using this same shared record book technology for voting. The same benefits we see with digital coins apply to these votes: their authenticity and legitimacy is validated by many people’s computers, and the record book of votes can never be tampered with. It exists to be recounted with the same result, forever.

The future of music? What if when you opened up an app kind of like Spotify, that instead of Spotify charging you a subscription, and paying royalties to artists, you paid the artist directly? As an example, once you’re 35 seconds into the length of a song, a cent or two was paid directly from your wallet to the artist’s. The record of what you’ve listened to and what you’ve paid is verified by many other computers, and the record is set in stone. Ujo Music and VOISE are working on ideas like this right now.

The future of file storage? Rather than store your files on Dropbox or OneDrive cloud servers, what if your files could be split up into tiny chunks and stored on thousands or millions of people’s computers around the world? The record of what parts of files you own and where they are cannot be changed – only you have the key to view the pieces as a whole, and no organisation owns your data. This is the sort of thing that Storj and Sia.Tech are working on as I write this.

The future of energy? Imagine a country filled with Tesla Powerwall equipped houses. Instead of being “off grid”, they’re very much on it – but they’re not paying an energy provider for their kWh. In fact, in this future there’s no need for traditional energy providers at all anymore. Instead, houses automatically generate, store, and trade electricity between themselves based on which neighbours need extra, and which have lots of excess in their batteries. Thanks to blockchain, this is no longer science fiction – it’s being worked on everywhere from Australia to New York City.

A large majority of blockchain projects announced are not yet released, while the ones that have been kind of feel as a premature and experimental as many of the world’s first websites did. I do foresee that blockchain based technologies will underpin a good chunk of the Internet that you use in the next 10-15 years, but like today’s Internet, you shouldn’t and wouldn’t have to understand how a blockchain enabled internet works – it just will.

By Jamie Skella, Horizon State