Artificial intelligence in Australia needs to get ethical, so we have a plan

Artificial intelligence needs to be developed with an ethical framework. Shutterstock/Alexander Supertramp The question of whether technology is good or bad depends on how it’s developed and used. Nowhere is that more topical than in technolgies using artificial intelligence. When developed and used appropriately, artificial intelligence...

Why do we mix up faces? Game of Thrones might help us find the answer

Maisie Williams plays Arya Stark in Game of Thrones and is one of the actors whose face is part of a new test of face recognition skills. AAP, CC BY-SA In the Game of Thrones universe, confusing a photograph of actor Jack Gleeson, who played the popular HBO TV...

Australia’s 2018 environmental scorecard: a dreadful year that demands action

Bushfires ravaged parts of central Queensland amid heatwaves in November 2018. QFES Media/AAP Environmental news is rarely good. But even by those low standards, 2018 was especially bad. That is the main conclusion from Australia’s Environment in 2018, the latest in an annual series...

Zuckerberg’s ‘new rules’ for the internet must move from words to actions

Mark Zuckerberg has been asked before to fix how Facebook is used by others for no good, now he wants others to help find solutions. EPA/Steplanie Lecocq After years of rejecting calls for increased regulatory oversight of Facebook, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has now called for more...

Leonardo da Vinci revisited: was he an environmentalist ahead of his time?

Leonardo da Vinci, Landscape drawing for Santa Maria della Neve on 5th August 1473. Wikimedia commons Leonardo’s notebooks are filled with illustrations of nature, both plants and animals, their interactions with humans and in local ecosystems. Did his deep engagement with the natural world...

Shorten’s climate policy would hit more big polluters harder and set electric car target

A Shorten government would consult with industry and experts on baselines for individual entities and the timing of reduction. James Ross/AAP A Shorten government would add about 100 high polluters to those subject to an emissions cap, and drastically slash the present cap’s level, under...

The government’s electricity shortlist rightly features pumped hydro (and wrongly includes coal)

Energy Minister Angus Taylor has six pumped hydro projects on his list, and most are better taxpayer investments than the already announced Snowy 2.0 project. AAP Image/Lukas Coch The federal government last week released a shortlist of 12 project proposals for “delivering reliable and...

Are more Aussie trees dying of drought? Scientists need your help spotting dead trees

As climate change threatens Australian trees, it’s important to identify which are at risk. Nicolás Boullosa/flickr Most citizen science initiatives ask people to record living things, like frogs, wombats, or feral animals. But dead things can also be hugely informative for science. We have just launched...

Raw meat pet food may not be good for your dog, or your own health

Be careful what you feed your dog. Shutterstock/fetrinka You might think raw meat pet food is good for your dog. But a new study, published yesterday in Vet Record, has found it can have high levels of bacteria that may pose health risks for your...

Six images reveal how we ‘see’ data and capture invisible science

Light bounces from an image to your eye, and is interpreted by your brain. oldskool photography / Unsplash As an experimental video-maker working at scales smaller than molecules, I surround myself in a variety of scientific visualisations. In reading popular media on scientific discoveries, I...