Future Tense

Audio

Trams, bots and solar roads

It’s a cross between a bus and light rail, a new form of transport that promises greater flexibility and a reduction in costs – it’s called the trackless tram. Online bots are getting better at sounding human, because humans online are sounding more like bots...
Audio

Designing for serendipity

Search engines aren’t all that big on serendipity, the algorithms that drive them are programmed to match like for like. Fostering a chance discovery is the last thing they’re designed to do. But does that literal and linear approach stifle creativity? And —as oxymoronic as...
Commentary

The threat Uber poses to competition and productive capitalism

Uber and other large technology firms have received their share of both good and bad press for 'disrupting' traditional business models. But what if the game is much larger and these companies are a threat to capitalism itself? Public discussion about the dramatic rise of...
Audio

The rise of the Silicon Valley oligarchs

Public discussion about the dramatic rise of UBER is often themed as a titanic struggle between old-fashioned expensive taxi companies and a new digital upstart. UBER usually comes out on top because it's new, cool and part of the ‘sharing economy’. But legal academic Frank...
Audio

American declinism

Summary Americans have a long history of predicting the demise of their nation, only to be proven wrong. However, with a gridlocked government and the rise of China, some observers believe the United States may actually be entering a period of long-term decline.