Future Tense - ABC - RN

Future Tense - ABC - RN

www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/futuretense
A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.
Europe’s time machine; solar geo-engineering; and how to build a better bridge
Sep 22 • 28 min
A massive data project is underway in Europe. It aims to create a kind of “Google map of the past” – making the minutia of history as accessible as today’s social media. Also, the results of a study into geo-engineering and agriculture; and a new constru
Food, ageing and the future
Sep 15 • 28 min
Across the western world populations are ageing. And that means what we eat needs to change in order to give us the best possible future.
We need to talk about Facebook
Sep 8 • 28 min
Three perspectives on the power of Facebook and content platforms. Was Facebook’s current form inevitable? Can it be “constitutionalised”? And, understanding content moderation.
AI, populism and the threat to Human Rights
Sep 1 • 28 min
Artificial intelligence is increasingly being used for decision making, and there are now fears about how that might impact on human rights.
Tall timber tales
Aug 25 • 28 min
Cross-laminated timber is becoming a construction staple and the towers of tomorrow may soon be predominantly built of wood. It’s cheaper and faster.
Space Force, space assets
Aug 18 • 28 min
Many countries now see great economic potential in space activity. Competition is increasing. Are we moving away from the notion that space is for all humankind? And is conflict in space inevitable?
The role of humans in the technological age
Aug 11 • 48 min
Forget the humans versus machine dichotomy. Our relationship with technology is far more complicated than that. To understand AI, first we need to appreciate the role humans play in shaping it.
Augmented eternity and the potential of prediction
Aug 4 • 28 min
With big data and algorithms you could extend your ‘virtual self’ beyond the grave. And could meeting your future self help change your current behaviour?
Health data risks; the extended mind; and the Synthetic Age
Jul 28 • 28 min
US research says e-health data is particularly vulnerable to attack. The theory of the Extended Mind – should our tools be classified as a part of cognition. And forget the Anthropocene, we’re entering the Synthetic Age.
Who would want to be a diplomat?
Jul 21 • 28 min
The future of diplomacy: Backroom manoeuvrings are giving way to public forums. And carefully laid plans can come unstuck with a single tweet.
A not so diplomatic future
Jul 14 • 28 min
Diplomacy is often viewed as a way of smoothing the friction points between states, but international relations are becoming increasingly assertive and highly personal.
Banning plastic may not be good for the future
Jul 7 • 28 min
Even those who campaign against the overuse of plastic, argue for a more nuanced understanding of its role in our lives. Future Tense looks at these nuances.
The implications of going cashless
Jun 30 • 28 min
The advantages of going cashless are many and well known. But in the race to a completely cashless future, what do we put at risk and who benefits most?
Alternative forms of body disposal
Jun 23 • 28 min
Interesting alternatives to current burial practices include freeze-drying and shattering a corpse; and dissolving bodies in purpose-built alkaline washing-machines.
The virtue of sharing
Jun 16 • 28 min
Let’s look at the virtue of sharing: How could sharing shape our future, and what do we stand to lose if we refuse to share?
The Tyranny of Metrics; and the Dark Web
Jun 9 • 28 min
Could a fixation with metrics distract and divert us from the real work at hand? And how bad is the Dark Web - really?
Good enough, the EU’s data protection regulation and what CryptoKitties can tell us about the future of art
Jun 2 • 28 min
“Good enough” solutions are damaging our ability to solve the major global problems of the world. And blockchain is revolutionising digital art.
Putting the theory of big data into practice – on a massive scale!
May 26 • 28 min
In Canada, Google is set to re-develop and manage a large area of downtown Toronto. In China, the Communist Party government has been running trials on a personal rating scheme for all Chinese citizens.
Forging influence – the Chinese Government’s attack on democracy
May 19 • 28 min
Clive Hamilton says that the Communist Party leadership in Beijing has begun to subtly, and not so subtly, influence the political and social affairs of democratic nations.
Activism that’s less aggressive and far more persuasive and persistent
May 12 • 28 min
Many believe that the future of activism relies on quiet persistence, targeted political involvement and an attitude that refuses to “look away”.
With nature against climate change
May 5 • 28 min
Nature Based Solutions is an environmental approach that seeks to counter the negative effects of climate change by working with nature.
The value of rituals in a digital world
Apr 28 • 28 min
Are rituals still needed in a world mediated through digital devices?
What happened to the “future of aviation”?
Apr 21 • 28 min
We look at the political manoeuvrings of the major manufacturers, emerging competition from new players, and efforts to make the industry climate friendly.
Have we lost our sense of reality?
Apr 14 • 28 min
Are the systems we’ve developed to enhance our lives now impairing our ability to distinguish between reality and falsity?
New insights about what happened at Pompeii
Apr 7 • 28 min
How do you correctly interpret a site that was initially unearthed so long ago? Modern archaeology provides new tools to chip away at the secret.
Warm data, innovative electric transport and “fossil free steel”
Mar 31 • 28 min
Green innovation comes in many forms. And promising project don’t have to be big, they only have to make a start.
Facebook’s about-face and what it means for the future of news
Mar 24 • 28 min
News organisations are struggling to engage with online readers and even “digital first” darlings, like Vice and Buzzfeed, are now losing profit and shedding staff.
Catching up with the Jetsons: cities in 2050
Mar 17 • 58 min
What will future cities look like? How will they function and—importantly—how do we keep them focussed on human need?
NATO’s nadir and how best to move forward
Mar 10 • 28 min
What needs to change in order to restore the alliance as an effective military force?
Disrupting the disruptors
Mar 3 • 28 min
Has our contemporary embrace of disruption become a problem rather than a solution?
Can the UN Sustainable Development Goals work?
Feb 24 • 28 min
And how will Australian aid shape the future of the Pacific?
A new player and the effectiveness of overseas aid
Feb 17 • 28 min
Future Tense looks at the rise of China as a mega-donor and efforts to improve global aid transparency and effectiveness.
At work with digital media
Feb 10 • 57 min
In the race to take advantage of new technological possibilities in the workplace, is a focus on rights and responsibilities being neglected?
The GIF as an increasingly important visual communication tool
Feb 3 • 28 min
The GIF, this little looped video, is often misunderstood as a component of modern communication.
Three Great Potentials – China’s growing international role
Jan 27 • 28 min
We take a look at three sectors in which China is beginning to dominate: trade, artificial intelligence and energy.
How to problem solve - the ultimate problem
Jan 20 • 28 min
Neuroscientist Robert Burton reckons our brains simply aren’t up to tackling the problems of the complexity of modern life. Could collective intelligence help?
What future democracy?
Jan 13 • 28 min
Is democracy as we know it doomed? And could there be alternative forms of political representation?
Chatting with heretics
Jan 6 • 28 min
Moving forward isn’t just about denouncing fake news and ignorance, it’s also about rethinking some of the assumptions we have around the ways in which we communicate and debate.
Is happiness vastly overrated?
Dec 30, 2017 • 28 min
The ‘cult’ of happiness could be damaging to business performance and the sanity of employees. And research suggests that maintaining a level of pessimism in the workplace is actually beneficial to maintaining a corporate edge.
Animals and technology
Dec 23, 2017 • 28 min
Digital technology is opening up new relationships between humans and animals – instead of alienating us from nature as in the past.
AI, algorithmic decision making, ethics and the under-representation of women in tech
Dec 16, 2017 • 28 min
Ethical principles for algorithmic decision making; more women in the tech industry; inclusion in AI and design - these of all issues of increasing significance in the future.
How to tell the good mental health apps from the bad
Dec 9, 2017 • 28 min
There are more than 10,000 mental health apps on the market, but only a fraction have been scientifically evaluated.
Depression, anxiety and social media
Dec 2, 2017 • 28 min
What is the relationship between depression and digital technology?
The future of war and reassessing the digital strategy of ISIS
Nov 25, 2017 • 28 min
Are old expectations and strategies prolonging our military conflicts? And is ISIS winning the cyber war?
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain
Nov 18, 2017 • 28 min
Cryptocurrencies enable us to transfer money with no fees and no bank, instantly. This is just the beginning of what digital currencies and blockchain technology can do.
The need for cyber insurance; identifying and tracking drones; and building tiny houses for refugees
Nov 11, 2017 • 28 min
Are cyber insurance policies too complicated? Could identification technology prevent drones from flying into areas they shouldn’t? And could private gardens help solve the refugee housing crisis in Europe?
Designing technology to increase inclusion for the disabled
Nov 4, 2017 • 28 min
Inclusive design isn’t just about meeting the needs of the disabled, it’s about opening-up the possibility of creating better products and services for everyone.
Have universities lost their way in the rush to appear corporate?
Oct 28, 2017 • 28 min
Public universities increasingly look and sound like corporations. But is it time to refocus on teaching priorities?
Activism that’s less aggressive and far more persuasive and persistent
Oct 21, 2017 • 28 min
Many believe that the future of activism relies on quiet persistence, targeted political involvement and an attitude that refuses to “look away”.
Muslim start-ups, time crystals and a second chance for online comments
Oct 14, 2017 • 28 min
Islam-focussed start-ups often find it difficult to attract venture capital. We’ll explore the reasons why and the potential for development.
Perspectives on Privacy
Oct 7, 2017 • 28 min
It’s a “wicked” problem: how to safeguard individual privacy in a world that now runs on the trade of personal data.
Conformity as a product, not just a process
Sep 30, 2017 • 28 min
The franchise model is on the rise and it’s moving beyond fast food and coffee outlets. We ask why? Is there more to it than a simple secret love of conformity?
The smart home as a safer space
Sep 23, 2017 • 28 min
As technology has become more sophisticated, its use by the perpetrators of domestic violence has only increased. But the Smart Home also has the potential to make the home a safer place.
Fishing for better food solutions
Sep 16, 2017 • 28 min
Future Tense highlights several innovative projects designed to help build fish farming systems that are green, clean and more efficient.
Robot cops, Solar paint and Solar roads
Sep 9, 2017 • 28 min
We are increasingly being policed by robots. What are the implications? And what’s the latest in solar technology?
The future of surfing
Sep 2, 2017 • 28 min
Surfers now attract multi-million dollar sponsors and surfing is to become an Olympic discipline. But how will this change the sport?
Human rights and the archiving opportunities and challenges of the digital world
Aug 26, 2017 • 28 min
The sheer scope and volume of data now available has seen human rights archivists forced to rethink the way they do things.
Robots, AI and ethics
Aug 19, 2017 • 28 min
Why robotics needs to be as much about ethics, accountability and psychology as technology.
Throwing rocks at the Google bus
Aug 12, 2017 • 29 min
Does the digital world fall short of what it initially promised?
A future of reform, not retribution
Aug 5, 2017 • 28 min
Prisons of the future focus on rehabilitation - not retribution. And what if new technology could keep offenders in their own homes and prevent them from committing new crimes?
Cruising into the future - and the true cost of living digital
Jul 29, 2017 • 28 min
The cruise line industry is booming. The bigger the boats, the larger the profits. But what, if any, are the engineering and environmental limits?
How to make spaghetti bolognese
Jul 22, 2017 • 28 min
Social researcher and author Rebecca Huntley uses the recipe for this very popular and accessible dish to highlight the varied threats to our future food supply from global climate change.
Animals and technology
Jul 15, 2017 • 28 min
Digital technology is opening up new relationships between humans and animals – instead of alienating us from nature as in the past.
One Health, many threats
Jul 8, 2017 • 28 min
The “One Health” movement is about understanding the connection between the human condition and the health of the environment.
The problem with “humanity”, a museum of failure and cracking a medieval code
Jul 1, 2017 • 28 min
Failure, disaster and challenges - it’s all part of human nature and the future.
Dynamic pricing - and should AI be granted “legal personhood”?
Jun 24, 2017 • 28 min
Algorithms use your data to determine the maximum you as an individual are prepared to pay products and services. And - should Artificial Intelligence be granted legal rights?
How to problem solve - the ultimate problem
Jun 17, 2017 • 28 min
Neuroscientist Robert Burton reckons our brains simply aren’t up to tackling the problems of the complexity of modern life. Could collective intelligence help?
What future democracy?
Jun 10, 2017 • 28 min
Is democracy as we know it doomed? And could there be alternative forms of political representation?
Unions, freelance workers and Codetermination
Jun 3, 2017 • 28 min
What can unions do to transform themselves to meet the new realities of the 21st century?
Unions and the future of employee representation
May 27, 2017 • 28 min
Australia is now one of the least unionised countries in the OECD. What’s behind the union movement’s decline and what factors impede its future?
Pop-up culture
May 20, 2017 • 28 min
Do temporary outlets suit our social media times and are they the perfect mid-point between the online experience and traditional bricks and mortar?
Chatting with heretics
May 13, 2017 • 28 min
Moving forward isn’t just about denouncing fake news and ignorance, it’s also about rethinking some of the assumptions we have around the ways in which we communicate and debate.
Hyperloops and circular runways
May 6, 2017 • 28 min
High speed trains travelling in a vacuum tube and planes that take off from a donut-shaped runway – rethinking the way we travel.
Building Wellness
Apr 29, 2017 • 28 min
Building Wellness - it’s a new trend aiming to ensure that the buildings we work and live in actively improve human health and well-being.
The 24-hour city
Apr 22, 2017 • 30 min
Could a 24-hour economy improve your quality of life? Edwina Stott takes a look at our perceptions of the night, and how round-the-clock neighbourhoods could look and function.
Your personal brand
Apr 15, 2017 • 28 min
Could you be sued for your tattoo? Is a career in sport now about branding over athleticism? The art of personal branding is becoming increasingly complicated.
Talking with machines
Apr 8, 2017 • 28 min
Voice operated devices and software are popping up everywhere. Is the nature of computer-human interaction changing?
The end of ownership, iFixit and real-time encryption
Apr 1, 2017 • 28 min
If your car won’t work without the software that controls the engine, does it really make sense to talk of owning the vehicle? And what if you could repair your smartphone, but you’re not allowed to?
A new age of discovery, cardboard gliders and the Living Transport Lab
Mar 25, 2017 • 28 min
We’re discovering new species at an accelerating rate. The disposable cardboard glider or the living transport system? Not quite, they’re something completely different.
What do we mean by innovation?
Mar 18, 2017 • 28 min
Innovation, has become an important part of the political and business lexicon. But is our definition of innovation simply too technology focussed and too business-centric?
Augmented eternity and the potential of prediction
Mar 11, 2017 • 28 min
Would you like to extend your ‘virtual self’ beyond the grave? And could meeting your future self help change your current behaviour?
Witnessing, death and memory
Mar 4, 2017 • 29 min
Social media is old enough now that it’s had to incorporate the reality of death: personal profiles are turned into memorial sites; recordings serve as a last avenue for goodbyes and images increasingly make us a witness to death itself.
From before the cradle to after the grave – the power of the image
Feb 25, 2017 • 28 min
From ultrasound screen shots to online memorial sites, the image reflects our future potential, our current existence and our memory.
Time, play and a word from Lord Russell
Feb 18, 2017 • 28 min
Find out why play is not just unstructured activity and why we are so obsessed with time. And get some old advice for living in the modern world.
Is happiness vastly overrated?
Feb 11, 2017 • 28 min
The ‘cult’ of happiness could be damaging to business performance and the sanity of employees. And research suggests that maintaining a level of pessimism in the workplace is actually beneficial to maintaining a corporate edge.
Poetry in motion
Feb 4, 2017 • 28 min
In which ways is poetry being used in the modern world? And can the very human quality of poetry survive the development of non-human poets?
Agnotology: understanding our ignorance
Jan 28, 2017 • 28 min
We’re all complicit in spreading ignorance. And unless we understand the forces that actively generate ignorance we have little hope of overcoming it.
Re-imagining algae
Jan 21, 2017 • 28 min
Algae could be the food and fuel source of the future. And you can even make surfboards out of the stuff!
Plants and preservation
Jan 14, 2017 • 28 min
Seed banks around the world aim to preserve the genetic basis of plant life in order to help humans adapt to future global climate change. We talk with several people involved in such endeavours, and we also meet American David Milarch who gives us a less
Underestimated plants
Jan 7, 2017 • 28 min
A new field of research called Plant Neurobiology states that plants are intelligent - in their own way.
Art and the Connected Future
Dec 31, 2016 • 28 min
What role do traditional galleries and new online social platforms play in progressing digital art and serving the interests and needs of artists in the connected age?
Attention / distraction
Dec 24, 2016 • 28 min
How do we embrace the benefits of a world run on the power of attention/distraction without sending ourselves crazy or constantly diminishing our ability to get jobs done?
Automating the everyday
Dec 17, 2016 • 28 min
Automation isn’t just related to the factory floor or the supermarket checkout, it’s an essential part of all aspects of our digital lives.
Mini-brains revisited; the power of infographics; and future-focussed decision making
Dec 10, 2016 • 28 min
Is there a possible link between the schizophrenic brain and diet? What’s the future of data visualisation? And how can you optimise your decision-making?
How to make spaghetti bolognaise
Dec 3, 2016 • 28 min
Social researcher and author Rebecca Huntley uses the recipe for this very popular and accessible dish to highlight the varied threats to our future food supply from global climate change.
Narcissists, archaeologists and shouting into the void
Nov 26, 2016 • 28 min
Why we need to rethink our attitudes toward narcissists. Why anyone would want to confess to software. Why can’t unroll ancient scrolls in order to read them.
Pop-up culture
Nov 19, 2016 • 28 min
Temporary outlets suit our social media times – the perfect mid-point between the online experience and traditional bricks and mortar.
Wooden skyscrapers and bacterial concrete
Nov 12, 2016 • 27 min
Transparent wood and cement generated by bacteria - New materials promise to change the way we build houses in the future.
Issues of digital security
Nov 5, 2016 • 28 min
For all the sophistication we humans have shown in developing new technological systems, we’ve got a surprisingly poor record when it comes to making them secure.
Drug resistance and a coming pandemic
Oct 29, 2016 • 29 min
It’s estimated around 700,000 people die each year because of drug-resistant infections & the death-toll is expected to rise to around 10 million per year by 2050 unless more is done. So how prepared are we for future pandemics?
Your personal brand
Oct 22, 2016 • 29 min
Could you be sued for your tattoo? Is a career in sport now about branding over athleticism? The art of personal branding is becoming increasingly complicated.
A Universal Basic Income
Oct 15, 2016 • 29 min
Funded from the public purse, the universal basic income is a no-strings attached minimum payment. So, would it actually work as a way of reforming social welfare?
Employment in the era of exploitation
Oct 8, 2016 • 29 min
Overtime, internships and freelance projects - the idea of work takes on a whole new dimension when there’s no promise of payment.
How to really get under someone’s skin
Oct 1, 2016 • 29 min
We’ll find out whether the psychological barriers to human micro-chipping will inevitably limit the technology’s take-up. And does the rise of biometrics open up a consent debate?
The inside running
Sep 24, 2016 • 28 min
Edible batteries, ingestible sensors, tiny intravenous drug delivery craft and a wound-clogging injectable sponge - new research takes a decidedly invasive approach to problem solving.
The fabric of future life
Sep 17, 2016 • 29 min
When fabric becomes futuristic: a ‘gravity loading’ space suit, electronic temporary tattoos, sweat eating sportswear and kombucha leather.
New directions for brain research
Sep 10, 2016 • 28 min
Is it possible to modify the brain through exercise, implants or even electricity?
BWF: A conversation exploring personal, community and social histories.
Sep 10, 2016 • 53 min
Is it possible for two different experiences of the same event to be considered the truth? Has art and the media contributed to a drift in historical truth?
Putting our minds to the brain
Sep 3, 2016 • 28 min
Despite decades of intense research, we still know very little about how the human brain actually functions.
The contingent workforce and the growth of digital taylorism
Aug 27, 2016 • 29 min
The size of the so-called “contingent” workforce is on an upward trajectory. We explore what’s driving the trend and what it means for employees. And is a digital form of “taylorism” also on the rise?
What do we mean by innovation?
Aug 20, 2016 • 28 min
Innovation, has become an important part of the political and business lexicon. But is our definition of innovation simply too technology focussed and too business-centric?
Designing for Serendipity
Aug 13, 2016 • 28 min
As oxymoronic as this may sound, would the world be a better place if we all spent more time and energy designing our systems and workplaces to facilitate the possibility of serendipitous findings?
Does handwriting have a future?
Aug 6, 2016 • 28 min
According to some, writing by hand no longer has a place in an age where people type and thumb their way using smart phones and computers. But others believe cursive writing still has an important role to play in cognitive development, particularly when i
The post journalistic world
Jul 30, 2016 • 28 min
Digital news platforms are now losing their control over distribution to the goliaths of the online world – Facebook and Google. So what are the implications for the future of serious, civic journalism?
CRISPR – part two
Jul 23, 2016 • 28 min
Future Tense looks at the regulatory framework that exists to guide CRISPR’s usage - and ponders ethical considerations.
The CRISPR breakthrough
Jul 16, 2016 • 28 min
Future Tense explores how CRISPR, a new genome-editing technology, is now being used to help fight human disease and to produce more resilient and nutritious crops.
Three perspectives on the future of storytelling
Jul 9, 2016 • 28 min
There are so many more platforms available to writers these days and so many more ways in which to tell a story.
Big data and its influence on sport
Jul 2, 2016 • 28 min
Big data and its influence on sport – the good and the bad. And also why our ‘collective memory’ doesn’t always make a good base for predicting the future.
Are our perceptions of honesty changing?
Jun 25, 2016 • 28 min
The fine line between truth and falsity is now multi-layered; and there’s also more deceit and outright lies about – or so it seems.
Blockchain, the Age of Fang and being careless with language
Jun 18, 2016 • 28 min
Discovering the flaws that limit the adoption of blockchain technology; acting against the digital threat to Australia’s culture; and regaining personal agency through the way you speak.
Next Gen Tech – Beyond the Screen
Jun 11, 2016 • 43 min
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality open up new possibilities for a tailored and personalised experience, enhancing interaction, understanding and engagement.
Cruising into the future - and the true cost of living digital
Jun 4, 2016 • 28 min
The cruise line industry is booming. The bigger the boats, the larger the profits. But what, if any, are the engineering and environmental limits?
Attention/distraction
May 28, 2016 • 28 min
How do we embrace the benefits of a world run on the power of attention/distraction without sending ourselves crazy or constantly diminishing our ability to get jobs done?
The human side of computing
May 21, 2016 • 29 min
On how people can improve their decision-making skills by thinking a little bit more like computers; how young children can learn computer programming with wooden toy blocks; and how visually-impaired people can make better use of digital technology.
The quest for Quantum
May 14, 2016 • 29 min
Researchers around the globe believe the development of a functioning Quantum computer is now within reach. So what exactly would a quantum computer do and who would use it?
Digital vs Human
May 7, 2016 • 28 min
Three thinkers join us to share their thoughts on modern life and our relationship with technology – a futurist, a neuroscientist and an historian…
Great big boats in the sky
Apr 30, 2016 • 28 min
Engineers at Imperial College London have come up with the design and engineering specifications for a giant futuristic flying boat – one that could carry up to 2,000 passengers.
Re-imagining algae
Apr 23, 2016 • 28 min
Algae could be the food and fuel source of the future. And you can even make surfboards out of the stuff!
The changing face of development aid
Apr 16, 2016 • 29 min
A new OECD definition of development aid now includes more forms of military assistance and measures to house and process refugees within a member state’s own borders. So what’s the future of aid?
Art and the Connected Future
Apr 9, 2016 • 28 min
What role do traditional galleries and new online social platforms play in progressing digital art and serving the interests and needs of artists in the connected age?
Catching up with the Jetsons: cities in 2050
Apr 2, 2016 • 28 min
What will future cities look like? How will they function and – importantly – how do we keep them focussed on human need?
The road to the future
Mar 26, 2016 • 28 min
We make many things out of glass: window-panes, bottles, fish-tanks and even roads – yes, roads!
Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus
Mar 19, 2016 • 28 min
Does the digital world fall short of what it initially promised?
Biofabricating organs
Mar 12, 2016 • 28 min
So-called ‘organoids’, miniature body parts, help to meet the ever increasing demand for transplant organs and supplement human donations. Future Tense presents new organ transplant technology research.
Underestimated plants
Mar 5, 2016 • 29 min
A new field of research called Plant Neurobiology states that plants are intelligent - in their own way.
Lessons from the digital classroom
Feb 27, 2016 • 28 min
Neil Selwyn is a digital technology researcher who argues for a more nuanced discussion around the role of technology in the classroom.
Rate, rank, review and measure
Feb 20, 2016 • 29 min
Our obsession with rating everything from products to meals and performance has a huge economic impact. But what are the limits? In China, they’ve begun implementing a ‘social credit system’.
A very pointy future
Feb 13, 2016 • 29 min
City living is increasingly a vertical experience. The more our major urban centres expand, the more they also seem to stretch into the sky.
Living a digital life and some of the questions it raises
Feb 6, 2016 • 29 min
In this episode we get an update on usage trends for digital devices; speak about online privacy and the law; and find out about the online art project that went from celebration to critique.
Plants and preservation
Jan 30, 2016 • 29 min
On the Norwegian island of Spitzbergen they’ve built a vast concrete bunker - a huge seed vault buried deep into the permafrost and designed to help protect the genetic diversity of our plants and crops.
The language of Emoji
Jan 23, 2016 • 29 min
They infuriate some and delight others, but whether you like them or not, Emoji are certainly getting harder to ignore.
Flight of fancy
Jan 16, 2016 • 29 min
The technological progress of flight has been pretty amazing.
Crowds and motion
Jan 9, 2016 • 29 min
We might not give it much thought, but how we move is naturally predetermined. Left to our own devices we don’t usually walk in straight lines or make 90 degree turns, so why do so many architects and urban planners still favour grids and sharp angles?
Into the light
Jan 2, 2016 • 29 min
Author Paul Bogard worries that we’re losing our sense of darkness, that our taste for banishing the night is turning Earth into the planet that never sleeps. In Europe and North America the amount of light in the night sky continues to increase by around
Listening and responding
Dec 26, 2015 • 29 min
Our social media platforms encourage us to opinionate, to share, to show and to engage - but rarely do they encourage us to listen.
We’re all data now: What Big Data could mean for law & policy
Dec 19, 2015 • 29 min
Data science has been described in the Harvard Business Review as the “sexiest job of the 21st Century”. Analysis of large, diverse and evolving data sets is increasingly used to draw conclusions about individuals, communities and the societies in which t
Language, accents and we are what we eat
Dec 12, 2015 • 29 min
In this edition of Future Tense we speak with three researchers exploring some of the less obvious aspects of change over time - concerning people, identity and attitude.
Fan culture and co-creation
Dec 5, 2015 • 29 min
Fans have long had a role in influencing and in some cases helping to shape the works of popular culture they adore. But when they get restless in the modern age, they now have the resources to take a piece of fiction and make it their own. Some content p
Bug bounties and pentesting: the Wild West of online security
Nov 28, 2015 • 29 min
Online information security is estimated to be worth more than $75 billion annually. So why is the digital world still so fragile despite all that we’ve learnt about online fraud and malicious attacks?
Robotic agriculture and swarming with bees
Nov 21, 2015 • 29 min
Future Tense examines new trends in agricultural robotics - away from a mentality that heavy equipment means bigger yields.
Making machines more like us
Nov 14, 2015 • 29 min
There are many areas, such as dexterity and instinctive creativity, in which robots and programs still lag behind human capacity. Making them more like us is a threatening proposition for some, but it’s crucial if machines are to fulfil their promise.
Scramjets and the promise of hypersonic flight
Nov 7, 2015 • 29 min
People like entrepreneur Richard Branson love to talk up the potential of super fast flight: London to Sydney in just two hours. But there’s a lot of work still to be done on engine design if such ambitions are ever to be realised. Hypersonics is an incre
Future Tense - 2015-11-01
Oct 31, 2015 • 29 min
This week on Future Tense we meet the time-travelling software developer using immersive technology to recreate Australia prior to 1788; we hear about an innovative program to get young girls interested in science and tech by bringing out their inner supe
Virtual Reality, real world trauma
Oct 24, 2015 • 29 min
Virtual Reality is not a new technology, it’s been around in various forms for decades, but enthusiasts believe it’s now on the cusp of a golden age.
Designing for Serendipity
Oct 17, 2015 • 29 min
As oxymoronic as this may sound, would the world be a better place if we all spent more time and energy designing our systems and workplaces to facilitate the possibility of serendipitous findings?
From ‘peak car’ to the age of plastic
Oct 10, 2015 • 29 min
Curtin University’s Peter Newman has some good news on the environmental front – car usage across the world has peaked and is now on the decline. But, says Newman, unless we start changing the way we design our cities we may end up squandering time and re
Identity and citizenship
Oct 3, 2015 • 29 min
Identity and citizenship have always been malleable social and political constructs. In the 21st century it seems they’re changing again - and in interesting ways.
Meet the Preppers
Sep 26, 2015 • 29 min
Preparing for the Apocalypse might sound extreme, but should we all be better prepared for impending disaster?
The generation game
Sep 19, 2015 • 29 min
These days many of us dice and slice the population according to age cohort. If you were born between a certain set of dates you’re a Baby Boomer, or a member of Generations X or Y. They’re constructs, naturally enough, but are they useful and if so, for
The danger of a future nuclear winter
Sep 12, 2015 • 29 min
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute there are currently around 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world, with approximately 1800 of them kept in a state of ‘high operational alert’. How serious is the risk of a future nuclear conf
Does handwriting have a future?
Sep 5, 2015 • 29 min
According to some, writing by hand no longer has a place in an age where people type and thumb their way using smart phones and computers. But others believe cursive writing still has an important role to play in cognitive development, particularly when i
Future Tense - 2015-08-30
Aug 29, 2015 • 29 min
Two quite different topics on Future Tense today. First, examples of new technologies helping police fight crime. And then the ‘Silicon Valley oligarchs’: How companies like UBER represent a threat to competitive capitalism and the rights of workers.
Predictive Policing: putting data on the beat
Aug 22, 2015 • 29 min
The idea is simple enough: to harness the power of big data for the betterment of law enforcement.
Forests and the future – Part Two
Aug 15, 2015 • 29 min
In part two of our look at forests and the future we talk with Jenny Springer, Director of Global Programs at the Washington-based Rights and Resources Initiative. Her organisation is focussed on ensuring the rights of indigenous forest dwellers to retain
If the forests turn REDD
Aug 8, 2015 • 29 min
It’s called REDD – Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation. And with a name like that it could only ever have been a creation of the United Nations.
Challenging assumptions
Aug 1, 2015 • 29 min
Sometimes in order to progress, we need to shake things up a bit, re-work our arguments or turn orthodoxies on their head.
Archaeology: current threats, future possibilities
Jul 25, 2015 • 29 min
There’s good news and bad news in the world of archaeology.
Online Comments – the view from the trenches
Jul 18, 2015 • 29 min
In part two of our look at online comments and cyber civility (or the lack there of) we hear from two leading media industry practitioners:
Online Comments - a “wicked” problem
Jul 11, 2015 • 29 min
It’s a “wicked” problem, says social technologist Suw Charman-Anderson. That is, the lack of civility online when people leave comments.
The road to the future
Jul 4, 2015 • 29 min
We make many things out of glass: window-panes, bottles, fish-tanks and even roads – yes, roads!
Listening and responding
Jun 27, 2015 • 29 min
Our social media platforms encourage us to opinionate, to share, to show and to engage - but rarely do they encourage us to listen.
Watching the disruptors and Project Eden
Jun 20, 2015 • 29 min
New research from the University of Sydney Business School looks at why established industries are so ineffective at dealing with digital disruptors like Uber, Airbnb and iTunes.
Future taboo
Jun 13, 2015 • 29 min
At any given point in time certain acts or beliefs are considered so outside the bounds of acceptable custom or behaviour that society moves to prohibit them.
Future Tense at Remix 2015
Jun 6, 2015 • 29 min
This week Future Tense takes you to the 2015 Remix Summit in Sydney for a panel discussion entitled…
When the *%#^ hits the fan!
May 30, 2015 • 29 min
We humans are a particularly wasteful lot.
Dingoes, desalinators and a damn good roof!
May 23, 2015 • 29 min
What do dingoes, ‘green roofs’ and a small steam-driven desalinator have in common?
Prediction part two: We’ll all be ruined!
May 16, 2015 • 29 min
That so many pollsters, politicians and political pundits got the results of the recent UK election so incredibly wrong tells us much about the ongoing perils of prediction.
The prediction predicament
May 9, 2015 • 29 min
This isn’t just the information age, it’s the age of prediction.
Soft power with Chinese characteristics
May 2, 2015 • 29 min
China is already a significant economic and political force, but it also wants to be a cultural leader.
The language of Emoji
Apr 25, 2015 • 29 min
They infuriate some and delight others, but whether you like them or not, Emoji are certainly getting harder to ignore.
Mercenary world – Part Two
Apr 18, 2015 • 29 min
A Federal District Court in Washington has just convicted four former US mercenaries for the 2007 killing of innocent civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.
The market for mercenaries
Apr 11, 2015 • 29 min
Mercenaries, private military contractors, commercial combatants – what you call them depends on your ethical viewpoint (and whether or not you’ve just hired some to supplement your own military forces).
The future is rubbish
Apr 4, 2015 • 29 min
Increasingly the things we throw away have value. In a consumerist world, with diminishing resources, rubbish is being recycled like never before. The recycling industry is now worth $US500 billion a year and it employs more people worldwide than any othe
Flight of fancy
Mar 28, 2015 • 29 min
The technological progress of flight has been pretty amazing.
Crowds and motion
Mar 21, 2015 • 29 min
We might not give it much thought, but how we move is naturally predetermined. Left to our own devices we don’t usually walk in straight lines or make 90 degree turns, so why do so many architects and urban planners still favour grids and sharp angles?
A gamble on the future
Mar 14, 2015 • 29 min
These are boom times for the gambling industry – and not just online, as one might expect.
Into the light
Mar 7, 2015 • 29 min
Author Paul Bogard worries that we’re losing our sense of darkness, that our taste for banishing the night is turning Earth into the planet that never sleeps. In Europe and North America the amount of light in the night sky continues to increase by around
Kill switches, solar soldiers and the campaign to stop killer robots
Feb 28, 2015 • 29 min
How is it that one can disable a lost iPhone, but not a piece of military hardware that’s inadvertently fallen into the hands of an insurgent? That’s a question Harvard’s Jonathan Zittrain has been pondering and his solution is to call for future weapons
A piece of the Sun
Feb 21, 2015 • 29 min
Construction has begun on a giant $US 20 billion nuclear reactor in southern France. When it’s completed in 2020 it will represent the latest experimental stage in a decades-long quest to mimic the energy generation of the Sun.
The future hero
Feb 14, 2015 • 29 min
Can heroism be taught? What about combat medals for drone operators, or socially engineered moral crusaders? In this episode we explore how our notions of heroism are changing and who, or what, could be the “hero” of the future.
Salad days for satire
Feb 7, 2015 • 29 min
It’s hardly a golden age for politics, but business is certainly booming for the satirist.
The power of the city
Jan 31, 2015 • 29 min
The nation-state is a relatively recent invention – historically speaking. But there are those who believe it’s better days are already far behind it.
Playing in the digital age
Jan 24, 2015 • 28 min
Does a sense of playfulness underpin the modern world? From information sharing to social activism to business training, the dynamics of play are increasingly important in our rapidly evolving world.
Memory, photography and social media
Jan 17, 2015 • 29 min
Our relationship with photography has changed in the social media age. We take, alter, crop and share photos like never before. And we use them as badges – symbols of who we are and how we feel. Of course, the photograph has always been more than just a c
The ideas festival of the Future
Jan 10, 2015 • 29 min
The idea of having an ideas festival is a popular idea indeed. But the idea that they’re universally ideal as a way of fostering creative new ideas is an idea that’s hotly contested. Andrew Zolli, the curator of PopTech, has an idea that the popularity of
Being provocative in the modern world
Jan 3, 2015 • 29 min
Being provocative in the modern world.
Technology: the magic word!
Dec 27, 2014 • 28 min
Arthur C. Clarke once declared: ‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’. But does the analogy work the other way around? Techno-illusionists like Marco Tempest argue magicians need to embrace new technologies in order to sta
Advertising Part Two: The Millennials
Dec 20, 2014 • 28 min
Jeffrey Cole, the Director of the Center for the Future at USC, Annenberg, calls them the most sophisticated media generation we’ve ever seen. They’re the ‘millennials’ and they’re every advertiser’s dream consumer.
Advertising: New tools, new expectations, new reality
Dec 13, 2014 • 28 min
Advertising in the digital age is watching everything you do…
News in the age of digital disruption
Dec 6, 2014 • 29 min
What will become of news in the digital age?