Infosys (NYSE: INFY), a global leader in nextgeneration digital services and consulting, today announced expansion of its support for GovHack 2020 which is set to kick off on August 14th. A two-day hack event held simultaneously across Australia and New Zealand, GovHack gives competitors 46 hours to create concepts, mashups, and models with open government data. In doing so participants will examine the challenges facing government and communities in new and innovative ways. GovHack is the largest open data hackathon in the Southern Hemisphere.
This year the competition has been fully virtually enabled with the competition schedule, datasets, problem challenges, and team profile pages publicly hosted on hackerspace.govhack.org. In addition, opening and closing ceremonies will be livestreamed; Slack will be used for team communication and mentor support; and many Zoom rooms will be used by all participants and mentors to enable face-toface collaboration.
GovHack has also worked more closely with private sector partners to improve engagement through the following virtual learning, AI and analytics tools:
- As lead corporate sponsor Infosys is creating a dedicated version of its learning platform Wingspan so participants can learn while they work. Within Infosys, some 220,000 employees use this platform to access over 4,000 courses with content provided by in-house experts and over 40 partners.
- Infosys will also make the Advanced Machine Learning module of its AI platform Infosys Nia™ available, giving participants the tools and frameworks to manage and apply rules to the flow of data from creation to storage, as well as the ability to accommodate data in different forms from different locations.
- A Robotic Process Automation tool will be made available by Infosys partner UiPath, allowing participants to configure computer software to integrate and even emulate human actions.
- Innovations Accelerated will provide professional training and oversight for Digital Facilitators prior to and during the competition, with the facilitators working to ensure teams make the most of mentors. The mentors, provided by partners such as Infosys, will provide virtual guidance to participants.
This year the challenges are focused on ways to learn from the pandemic. Infosys Australia has set the challenge of reimagining the aged-care experience, seeking easily accessible solutions that can keep the elderly safe amidst pandemics. Infosys New Zealand is seeking solutions using emerging technology that can help improve responses to future regional, country or world emergencies. Infosys and Monash University have also set a joint challenge focused on how data could be used across Australia and New Zealand to adopt more proactive approach to safety in the community.
"This is Infosys' third year supporting GovHack as part of our commitment to nurturing digital talent in Australia and New Zealand. Each year we are super impressed by the calibre of solutions put forward and I'm looking forward to seeing what the teams produce this year, working in a virtual environment. I am really keen to see how they harness platforms such as Infosys Nia to apply machine learning to these challenges. We're also excited to announce that our next gen learning platform Wingspan will help this year's teams continue their learning journey beyond the hackathon weekend" - Andrew Groth, SVP Infosys, Region Head, Australia & New Zealand.
Dr. Campbell Wilson, co-director of the joint Monash University/Australian Federal Police AiLECS research lab said: "Keeping our communities safe has been a primary focus for 2020, and we'll no doubt continue to see an increase in serious societal issues as the pandemic persists. As such we're setting participants the challenge of looking at how governments can apply resources to potentially address some of these issues before they escalate and require reactive intervention."
Andrew Phillips, Managing Director and Vice President, UiPath ANZ "We are delighted to support our partner Infosys in building digital talent in Australia through the GovHack initiative. The program truly aligns with our goal of democratising automation by providing free and open training through our UiPath Academy. We encourage all participants in GovHack to experience Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and utilise it to find a solution to their problem statement. Skills in automation and artificial intelligence will play an important role in the future workplace, therefore initiatives such as GovHack are a great opportunity to support learning and implementation of these skills."
Jason Weigel, Chair at GovHack Australia said: "Every year GovHack brings competitors from around Australia and New Zealand together to respond to a number of challenges that are facing our communities. By addressing these challenges, we aim to make our communities better places for all. In 2020, the competition has moved primarily online in response to the global pandemic but will now see a greater connection between participants and mentors as we digitally connect people from Sydney, Christchurch, Alice Springs, Fremantle, and many more places across Australia and New Zealand."
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