243 episodes

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

Future Tense ABC listen

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 297 Ratings

A critical look at new technologies, new approaches and new ways of thinking, from politics to media to environmental sustainability.

    Sucking CO2 from the air — a "Mammoth task"

    Sucking CO2 from the air — a "Mammoth task"

    They've just unveiled the world's largest air purifier in Iceland. Christened "Mammoth" the machine can filter up to 36,000 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere every year. It's the biggest carbon capture device ever built – but is it mammoth enough? And do the economics stack up?

    Other scientists are using microbes to speed the process of mineralisation, the turning of CO2 into rock.

    And all the while the search for alternative energy sources continues with an Icelandic company even getting ready to drill down into an underground magma chamber to try and tap its thermal potential.

    Dr Rudy Kahsar – Manager, Carbon Dioxide Removal Team, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI)

    Dr Gokce Ustunisik – Associate Professor of Petrology, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

    Bjorn por Gudmundsson – Chief Executive Officer, Krafla Magma Testbed

    Dr Jess Adkins – Professor of Geochemistry and Global Environmental Science, California Institute of Technology

    • 29 min
    The truth about AI – garbage in, garbage out

    The truth about AI – garbage in, garbage out

    Exploring new ideas, new AI isn't magic, but many of us are accustomed to thinking and talking about it as if it was. It can't solve every problem and its application can sometimes make matters worse. To make the most of Artificial Intelligence we should follow the dictum often used by data scientists – garbage in, garbage out. In other words, AI is only as good as the person who deploys it. In this episode we explore several cautionary examples.

    Guests

    Dr Guillaume Desjardins – Associate Professor, Industrial Relations, Université du Québec en Outaouais

    Dr Magdalena Soffia – Lead author, Workplace AI study, Institute for Work, UK

    Virginie Simoneau-Gillbert – Researcher, Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, University of Oxford

    Dr Wellett Potter – Lecturer in Law, University of New England

    Further information

    Briefing Paper: What impact does exposure to workplace technologies have on workers' quality of life? - IFOW 

    The Dangers of AI farming (animals)approaches, new technologies — the edge of change.

    • 29 min
    The best response to disasters: centralised strength or community mitigation?

    The best response to disasters: centralised strength or community mitigation?

    Australia's disaster response procedures are under review. The new reality requires us to deal with multiple natural disasters simultaneously — to tackle polycrises. While some suggest a more centralised approach, others are calling for something very different — a greater focus on strengthening local community resilience and prioritising mitigation over clean-up. The climate clock is ticking, so which direction promises the greatest return?

    Guests

    Dr Paul Barnes – Senior Research Fellow and emergency and risk management expert, Griffith University

    Rebecca McNaught – Research Fellow, University Centre for Rural Health, Lismore, NSW

    Mark Duckworth – Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Resilient and Inclusive Societies, Deakin University

    Professor Mehmet Ulubasoglu – Director of the Centre for Energy, the Environment and Natural Disasters, Deakin University

    Listen to Future Tense — Designing buildings for disasters

    • 29 min
    The greatest demographic shift in a century is being ignored: single living

    The greatest demographic shift in a century is being ignored: single living

    Across the globe single household occupancy is skyrocketing. In some Western cities "singletons" make up almost fifty per cent. But it's a trend that's largely slipped under the radar. Policy makers are yet to catch up with the new social reality. The growing cohort has significant economic potential, but they continue to face stereotyping and discrimination.

    • 29 min
    It's time to take the Influencer economy seriously

    It's time to take the Influencer economy seriously

    Globally, around 300 million people consider themselves "influencers" or professional content creators. In the United States alone the number is approximately 13 million – that's roughly the same size of the US manufacturing sector. It's a precarious profession and the reasons for choosing to become an influencer are many and varied. So, what does their rise tell us about the modern workforce? Also, building islands to create offshore energy hubs; and a warning about the dangers of normalising the abnormal.

    • 29 min
    When good intentions fuel further environmental problems

    When good intentions fuel further environmental problems

    Many of us take actions to improve the environment and make for a better planet. But in a consumerist world where status is all, it can be hard to avoid making choices that negate your original intentions and send you back to square one. It happens in everyday life when picking a car or building a new house. And it happens on a large scale. For example where mass tree-planting occurs in habitats that were never meant to be forested. Shouldn't we know better?

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
297 Ratings

297 Ratings

Crispygf ,

Outstanding

This is one of the great Australian podcasts (radio shows) as so often it finds fascinating areas to explore

CurbedEnthusiasm ,

Yet another ABC show loose with facts

Yet another ABC show loose with facts. I’ve listened for a while now and several episodes have factual errors and misinformation. Some guests have agendas and are woke. Nothing new here. It’s the ABC so it’s expected. Just a warning to anyone who values truth. Some of this podcast is utter nonsense. Make sure you balance it with information from other sources.

Damien JVC ,

fascinating, profound and acutely relevant

Antony Funnell (and the staff working with him to produce the show, assuming there remains adequate budget for a team of staff given the ruthless and persistent budget erosion to the ABC by Australian governments) have directed this series of podcasts into an ever deeper and more expansive ocean of ideas. The series is not necessarily easy and that is why it is so satisfying. Antony operates at a level that requires listeners pay attention and actively listen with their minds engaged. The rewards for going on the journey are many; the breadth and depth of ideas and the possibilities and insights within the conversations are profound, relevant and applicable. I draw on the knowledge garnered from this excellent podcast in my professional work, my interior life and in my conversations with others. Thank you Antony for the obvious commitment you have to producing such a high caliber of journalism. The ideas eloquently explored and intelligently examined in these podcasts are invaluable for individuals and society. Brilliant work!

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