Issues Magazine

Articles about Information & Communications

Prosumption, Property and Public Policy in the Digital Realm

By Rebecca Watkins and Mike Molesworth

Emerging digital technologies are transforming consumer cultures, but many consumers overlook the restrictions on the use and ownership of content they have created.

Machines That Can Replicate and Evolve

By Neil Yager

Smart software and hardware may be able to solve some of the future’s most challenging problems, but not without risks.

Evolution by natural selection is a powerful process. It drives the creation and adaptation of life on our planet, and most likely countless other planets throughout the universe. Recently, researchers have been investigating ways to harness the power of evolution and to use it to find innovative solutions to challenging problems in science and engineering.

Three conditions are necessary for evolution to occur in a population:

  • There are not enough resources for everyone, so members of the population must compete to survive.

What Happened to Privacy? Really?

By Stephen Wilson

Powerful forces – some of them megatrends in their own right – are pulling privacy in different directions.

The cover of Newsweek on 27 July 1970 featured a cartoon couple cowered by computer and communications technology, with the urgent all-caps headline “IS PRIVACY DEAD?” Four decades on, Newsweek is dead but we’re still asking the same question.

Artificial intelligence – can we keep it in the box?

By Huw Price (1) and Jaan Tallinn (2)

We should stop treating intelligent machines as the stuff of science fiction.

We know how to deal with suspicious packages – as carefully as possible! These days, we let robots take the risk. But what if the robots are the risk? Some commentators argue we should be treating AI (artificial intelligence) as a suspicious package, because it might eventually blow up in our faces. Should we be worried?

This article was originally published at The Conversation.

Lethal autonomous robots: who's really in control?

By Ken Fraser

Anxiety about lethal autonomous robots has some substance.

The state of play as currently constituted, however, already provides enough cause for concern. The Terminator scenario Monash associate professor Robert Sparrow evokes in his recent article – in which the machines decide humanity is no longer useful – is a long way from reality.