Think: Digital Futures

Think: Digital Futures tells stories from the digital age.

Each episode explores how today’s technology is transforming tomorrow — from our biology, habits, relationships, spaces to our place in the universe.

Virtual assistants have become core to smartphones and speakers, but why are they all women? In this episode, feminist AI researcher Josie Young explains that a series of research projects in the 90s set a problematic baseline for gendering technology. While Josie illustrates how narrow minded design can be damaging, data scientist Theresa Anderson (University of Technology Sydney) makes the case for an ethical AI framework.

When it comes to the workplace, nowhere are the barriers of gender-based discrimination felt more keenly than in the STEMM fields. This episode we explore where the lines are drawn when it comes to "getting ahead" in male-dominated workplaces, and what we can all do to challenge this hierarchy.

Producer Cheyne Anderson chats to Meredith Nash (University of Tasmania) about why the dominant "lean in" philosophy just doesn't cut it. Karen O'Connell (University of Technology Sydney) explains the invisible dimensions of workplace discrimination. And finally we join geologist and science communicator Kathleen Patrick on a trip to Antartica that may just hold the answer.

As the world's pre-eminent gay networking service and the first gay geosocial app to launch on iTunes, Grindr offers its users a filter heavy experience where they can refine the selection of men around them to connect with those they find the most attractive. However, for as long as the app has been running, Grindr has been awash with criticism that one particular filter fosters a culture of racism - an ethnicity filter.

This episode, you'll hear from Sinakhone Keodara who not only denounces the app for offering this filter, but is suing Grindr for perpetuating a racist culture. Web developer Trever Faden unpacks why Grindr is so filter heavy, while cyber racism expert Andrew Jakubowicz explains the internet has become a breeding ground for racist behaviour.

Producer: Jake Morcom.

Across all mental illnesses, anorexia nervosa has the highest rate of mortality.

But pro-eating disorder websites on social media platforms like Instagram and Tumblr host communities of individuals who promote disordered eating as a choice, not as an illness, and use the internet to share tips and discuss their food restrictions.

We spoke with author Dr June Alexander, Dr Ysabel Gerrard, Lecturer in Digital Media and Society at The University of Sheffield, and Rachel Cohen, psychologist at the Black Dog Institute and PHD candidate at the University of Technology Sydney.

Digital technology is increasingly used in domestic and family violence. Research from the University of Queensland shows that almost any technology, including social media and GPS-trackers, can be used for abusive purposes.

The rise of digital technologies in our everyday life have raised a whole new set of questions concerning preventing domestic violence and enforcing apprehended violence orders.

We spoke with Professor Heather Douglas from the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland and Dr Jane Wangmann from the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology Sydney.