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Digital Policy Salon: Robot Ethics and "The Importance of Being on Twitter"

Welcome to the 19th issue of the Digital Policy Salon weekly briefing. This week we're highlighting d
Digital Policy Salon
Digital Policy Salon: Robot Ethics and "The Importance of Being on Twitter"
By ICTC-CTIC • Issue #19 • View online
Welcome to the 19th issue of the Digital Policy Salon weekly briefing.
This week we’re highlighting developments in artificial intelligence and economics. Our policy update showcases new investments in the Canadian cleantech sector, while our first interview piece discusses one company’s experience of European FDI in the Canadian tech market. Jumping to current issues in technology in Canada and around the world, our second interview is with a McGill University robotics engineer and ethicist who speaks to the most pressing questions facing developers and robots alike.
For timely takes on natural language processing and the impact of COVID-19 on macroeconomic theory, check out our research and policy colleagues’ work in “what we’re reading.” We close as always with a featured infographic and tweet: the former provides a telling global comparison of mobile data costs, while our featured tweet throws in the funnier side of NLP.
Thanks for joining us in this week’s Digital Policy Salon, we hope you enjoy this issue and look forward to bringing you more technology and policy updates next week.
- Faun & Khiran

COVID-19 and Tech Policy Updates 🇨🇦
Cleantech sees $23 million worth of investments in Ontario and Québec in 24 hours
FedDev Ontario and CED announced almost $18 million in public funding, alongside $5.2 million in private sector investments for clean technology projects in Ontario and Québec last Thursday. The funding will support 30 new cleantech projects across Québec, by Québec entrepreneurs, and establish the Trent Enterprise Centre, a new accelerator for cleantech companies.
New Zealand establishes new Algorithm Charter for government agencies
Twenty-three government agencies signed off on the newly established Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand on Tuesday. The Charter will govern the use of algorithms by government, while establishing a commitment by government agencies to strike the right balance between privacy and transparency, prevent unintended bias, and reflect the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
CAN Health Network celebrates one-year anniversary as integrated markets are considered for other sectors
The CAN Health Network, an integrated market established to connect Canadian health-tech companies with Canadian healthcare providers celebrated its one-year anniversary—and 10 commercialization projects underway—last week. In an associated interview with BetaKit, Minister of Small Businesses, Export Promotion, and International Trade Mary Ng discussed using the model elsewhere, in industries such as Cleantech or Agtech.
Beta testing begins for Canada’s government sponsored tracing app
Beta testing began in Ontario for Canada’s government-sanctioned contact tracing app last week. Ongoing feedback from beta users will help identify bugs and other issues and will inform future iterations of the app for its eventual public release.
CRA facing pressure to update its work-space-in-the-home expenses program
The federal government is facing increased pressure to make changes to its work-space-in-the-home expenses program to more easily accommodate workers and companies impacted by the pandemic. The program requires eligible workers to work from home more than 50% of the time, or use their home workspace exclusively for work purposes, but also requires employers to file T2200 forms for each individual employee. Despite dropping slightly in recent months, just over 3.3 million Canadians worked from home in April, suggesting significant bureaucratic weight next spring. - Mairead Matthews | email
Interviews in the Field
Canada as an Attractive Destination for European Tech: A conversation with Nicole Streuli-Fürst, Executive Vice President Operations and Research at RepRisk
Nicole Streuli-Fürst, co-founder and the Executive Vice President of Operations and Research at RepRisk
Nicole Streuli-Fürst, co-founder and the Executive Vice President of Operations and Research at RepRisk
Robots & Robot Ethics: A Conversation with Dr. AJung Moon
Dr. AJung Moon, Experimental Roboticist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at McGill University
Dr. AJung Moon, Experimental Roboticist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at McGill University
What We're Reading
OpenAI’s new language generator GPT-3 is shockingly good—and completely mindless
Starting over again: The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing a rethink in macroeconomics
Research Visualized
One GB of data will allow you to listen to about 250 tracks on Spotify, or spend 20 hours browsing the internet. How much it costs to do so, however, depends greatly on the country you live in.
Mobile data prices are influenced by a number of factors: mobile and fixed broadband infrastructure, government regulation, geography, perceived value of data, and the structure of the market (that’s to say who the consumers are, and what they earn). Whatever the cause, data prices vary substantially country-to-country: the world’s most expensive data, at $27.41 in Malawi, is more than 300 times as expensive as the cheapest data, which is 9 cents per GB, in India. As many Canadians would guess, Canada’s place on this spectrum is decidedly towards the pricey end. At $12.55 per GB, data in Canada is 57% more expensive than in the United States. - Khiran O'Neill | email
Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cost-of-mobile-data-worldwide/
Source: https://www.visualcapitalist.com/cost-of-mobile-data-worldwide/
Our Research
Transformative Technologies for Smart Canadian Cities
Twitter Highlights
A sample of the GPT-3 language generator’s writing. AI-generated text has come a long way in the last five years.
Mario Klingemann
Another attempt at a longer piece. An imaginary Jerome K. Jerome writes about Twitter. All I seeded was the title, the author's name and the first "It", the rest is done by #gpt3

Here is the full-length version as a PDF:
https://t.co/d2gpmlZ1T5 https://t.co/1N0lNoC1eZ
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