How technology can change the world, and protect it…

By Tamara Baker

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My name is Tamara Baker. I am a 14-year-old student with a passion for all kinds of technology.

I am working on an app that can assist blind or visually impaired people to identify vehicles to help them safely cross the road. My app will input snapshots from live video and  feed them into a program that will compare those snapshots to what the program thinks a car looks like based on a database of thousands of images it has been trained on.

A user would interact with my app by downloading it from an app store, opening it and using voice assist to operate it. All the user would need to do is hold the phone up and, when a car is present in the camera view, an audio alert will sound and the phone will vibrate.

I am hoping to set up a trial by locating a camera and notification system in Melbourne. This trial can help the wider community by integrating technology to assist Melbourne in being a more accessible place.

I became interested in this issue after I became aware of how dangerous it can be for blind and visually impaired people to cross roads. It is important for blind and visually impaired people to have the freedom to navigate the city with the same level of safety everyone else.

Another area of interest I have is cybersecurity. Cybersecurity can be grouped into two different types:

1.Protective cybersecurity, as in people choosing a VPN or password manager as an individual or company; and

2.Offensive cybersecurity, which consists of many teams from government organisations such as the ASD (Australian Signals Directorate) that work to identify and mitigate cyber vulnerabilities and threats. They do this by using specialists such as ‘intrusion analysts’ who analyse network protocols and malware communications, and ‘penetration testers’ who determine the effect an adversary could have on a government network by discovering vulnerabilities in the network and exploiting them.

I am particularly interested in cybersecurity as I see it as critical to keeping my community safe online and I enjoy the challenges that come in this area. As it is a very fast changing area it can leave many sectors of the community vulnerable – for example elderly people with retirement savings or small businesses with cyber security vulnerabilities.

Cybersecurity is a growing area of risk as not a lot of people are being educated sufficiently (both in formal education spaces and out). In addition, many countries are targeting Australia as those countries don’t have the same job opportunities but do have a labour force that is digitally connected.

Melbourne is particularly well placed to become a hub for technology specialising in cybersecurity. This is because there is demand for people with technology skills, great educational hubs and a number of companies who have invested, and will continue to invest, in technology innovation in Melbourne.

 

Tamara Baker is a MKW19 festival ambassador. Meet Tamara at Sunset talks with Madeleine Dore on Wednesday 22 May, 5.30pm to 6.30pm or at Generative patterns, a creative coding workshop for young people, on Saturday 25 May, 11am to 4pm.

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