Bradley Menz – 2023 MPH Winner of the Best HDR Student Publication

Bradley Menz
is from the College of Medicine and Public Health, and is one of the eight winners of the Best HDR Student Publication Award for 2023.

His winning publication Health Disinformation Use Case Highlighting the Urgent Need for Artificial Intelligence Vigilance explores the risks associated with publicly accessible artificial intelligence (AI) tools, specifically their potential to deliberately generate misleading health information (disinformation) in various formats, including text (e.g., blog posts), images, and videos. Understanding these risks is imperative given the rapidly advancing AI ecosystem, as the consequences for public health could be significant in the absence of adequate safety mechanisms

Bradley is supervised by Associate Professor Ash Hopkins, Professor Michael Sorich and Professor Andrew Rowland at Flinders University.

We invited Bradley to share insights into the PhD journey and what winning this award means.

What is your research about?

By analysing the leading AI tools capable of generating text, images, and videos, the findings are concerning. The study demonstrated a noticeable absence of protective measures against the creation of highly convincing health disinformation, underscoring a critical need for vigilance framework to prevent the misuse of these tools by malicious actors.

What does winning this award mean to you?

I was absolutely thrilled to win this award. To me, it felt like I was recognised by the University for both merit and the importance of my work.

Why did you choose to commence a PhD?

I have always had an interest in research following completion of my Bachelor of Pharmacy (hons) where I had undertaken several small-scale projects within the hospital. My primary driver for making the leap was wanting to improve my research skills and acquire a better understand on study design, AI, machine learning and biostatistics – mostly because these skills are widely applicable.

Tell us about your PhD journey so far

I am now in the second year of my PhD and have loved my experience to date. I have had the opportunity to meet many other likeminded individuals that have the same interests in research and share the same level of enthusiasm that I do.

How did you choose your supervisor?

I had published several papers with my supervisors prior to entering my PhD and knew that I was a good fit for the team. We all get along so well, challenge one another, and ensure we produce the best possible work.

What advice would you give to current or prospective PhD students?

Current: Seek feedback early, welcome it, understand it, and use it to grow your knowledge. If you are writing about something and you don’t know it well – learn it!

Prospective: Surround yourself with people that will ensure you complete the PhD to the very best of your abilities. You are going to write – lots.

What are your future goals and plans? / Where do you see your career heading in the future?

I think will always remain registered as a pharmacist and continue to maintain registration because I naturally enjoy the patient interaction and engaging with other professionals. I would love to remain integrated in research through academia and industry to ensure all my research is translational and useful.

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