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Future Tense

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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

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

Smart cities, digital skins

Imagine a city where everything from the cars to the street lights to the traffic bridges are connected. Where censors and beacons pepper the urban environment. Imagine a city where all of those internet-connected objects are networked, giving the metropolis a second layer of infrastructure...
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.
Article

Citizens' juries giving power to the people

In the flurry of post-election book launches, there’s been much analysis of what’s gone wrong with Australian politics. The newDemocracy Foundation argues that it’s not better politicians we need, but a better democracy. Melanie Christiansen investigates their proposal for citizen’s juries. • Campaigning in the...