energy
Climate Tech

Global investors are fighting for a slice of Australia’s $7bn green bond. Here’s why that’s a good news

- June 17, 2024 3 MIN READ

You might think government debt is bad, but it actually plays a crucial role in modern finance. Back when he was treasurer, Peter Costello famously declared that April 21 2006 would be known as Australia’s “Debt Free Day”. On this day, he proclaimed, the Commonwealth would eliminate its net debt and “pay off the mortgage”.… Read more »

Life hacks

If you’re a To-Do list fan, here’s how understanding the psychology of goals can help keep you ticking them off

- June 14, 2024 3 MIN READ

It feels like we are living in busy times. According to the OECD Better Life Index, 12.5% of Australians report working at least 50 hours a week, higher than the OECD average. Many Australians are also working more than one job to buffer against cost-of-living pressures. Psychology has long been interested in our goals –… Read more »

Elon Musk
People

Book review: Kara Swisher’s swingeing memoir is an expose of Silicon Valley’s ‘frequently wrong, but never in doubt’ tech titans ‘lying to themselves’

- June 12, 2024 7 MIN READ

Burn Book is that rare thing: a book about tech that can be enjoyed by readers who are not that into tech. It is a witty and engaging account of the rise (and often fall) of internet companies and the often dysfunctional talents behind them, told by an exceptionally well-connected outsider. Kara Swisher is somehow… Read more »

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency has a massive carbon emissions problem – and green alternatives have their own risks

- June 7, 2024 3 MIN READ

As the urgency of climate change ramps up, focus is increasing on digital currencies to address their environmental impact. According to industry forecasts, the global cryptocurrency market is expected to surge to US$4.94 billion by 2030. But the process of mining digital currencies such as Bitcoin requires immense computational power – causing a significant drain… Read more »

Politics

Here’s the good news in the federal government scrapping the Women in STEM Ambassador program

- June 5, 2024 3 MIN READ

Last week, Science and Industry Minister Ed Husic announced with little fanfare that the position of Australia’s Women in STEM Ambassador would be discontinued, effective three days later. The role was created in October 2018 “to encourage girls and women to study and work in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields”. Astrophysicist Lisa Harvey-Smith… Read more »

Parent, baby
Leadership

New research reveals how major life moments impact an entrepreneur’s success – and some of it is counterintuitive

- May 24, 2024 3 MIN READ

Entrepreneurs are the lifeblood of any innovative economy. New business creation has been shown to have a significant and positive impact on economic growth, innovation and job creation. But it isn’t easy, and most new businesses fail. When someone starts a business, they usually aren’t doing it alone – their whole family forms part of… Read more »

shrimp Jesus
Social Media

Dead internet theory: what is it, why it matters and what it says about how we see the world online

- May 23, 2024 4 MIN READ

If you search “shrimp Jesus” on Facebook, you might encounter dozens of images of artificial intelligence (AI) generated crustaceans meshed in various forms with a stereotypical image of Jesus Christ. Some of these hyper-realistic images have garnered more than 20,000 likes and comments. So what exactly is going on here? The “dead internet theory” has… Read more »

Mira Murati
AI/Machine Learning

Her gets real: GPT-4o takes faking human emotion to the next level

- May 20, 2024 4 MIN READ

Last week OpenAI launched GPT-4o (“o” for “omni”), a new version of the artificial intelligence (AI) system powering the popular ChatGPT chatbot. GPT-4o is promoted as a step towards more natural engagement with AI. According to the demonstration video, it can have voice conversations with users in near real-time, exhibiting human-like personality and behaviour. This… Read more »

Smart industry robot arms for digital factory manufacturing, Industry 4.0
Politics

More innovation and diversity is needed in tech if the government really wants a ‘future made in Australia’

- May 17, 2024 3 MIN READ

This year’s federal budget is making up for decades of lost time – both in our clean energy transition and in betting on new technological breakthroughs. The Future Made in Australia Act holds tantalising potential for building Australian science, research and development. The aim is to turn Australia into an innovation and clean technology superpower.… Read more »

artificial intelligence advertising
AI/Machine Learning

The real reason retailers are replacing staff with AI bots is not because they’re cheaper, but for customer data

- May 7, 2024 4 MIN READ

You might have seen viral videos of Wendy’s drive-thru customers in the United States ordering their fast food from the firm’s generative AI bot Wendy’s FreshAI. Most show a very human-like transaction punctuated with cries of amazement at how fast, accurate and polite the system is. While the system and others like it are in… Read more »