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.

The first episode of 2018 tackles the biggest question of our time: does anyone actually care whether or not we’re living in a computer simulation?

As our understanding of the universe expands, the question of whether we’re living in a computer simulation has shifted from the domain of philosophers into a problem for astrophysics. Because at their astonishingly fast rate of discovery, astrophysicists will be the first ones to know.

We chat to astrophysicists Martin Bell (University of Technology Sydney) and Geraint Lewis (Sydney University) about just how close we are to simulating the world.

You can find more information about the Millennium Simulation here.

astrophysicists computer simulation Millennium Simulation


A recent report revealed the NSW Police Force are using an algorithm based on the idea of "predictive policing". It's aim is to trawl through police records spotting potential re-offending criminals before they've committed a crime.  It's called the Suspect Target Management Plan and it's designed to reduce violence in the community. So why is it targeting Aboriginal children? Producer/Presenter: Cheyne Anderson Speakers: Lotte, Social Worker Jo Travaglia, Professor of Health Services and Management in the Faculty of Health at the University of Technology Sydney Sophie Parker, Redfern Legal Centre Vicki Sentas, Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of New South Wales, co-author of Policing Young People in NSW  Megan Williams, Graduate School of Health at the University of Technology Sydney Special Thanks to Karrah Ceissman For the full statement from the NSW Police Force head to 2ser.com/think-digital-futures

Australia's internet speeds are notoriously poor. This is backed up by a recent report ranking us 51st in the world when it comes to connection speeds. But what does a ranking like this actually mean and can the much-maligned National Broadband Network lift us back up? Producer/Presenter: Cheyne Anderson Speakers: Robin Braun, Professor of Telecommunications Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney Alice & Jason

When it comes to what we don't know about the human brain...well, there's a lot we don't know. So when it comes to melding our brains with computers, there's a lot of sticky questions we need to answer. Brain Machine Interfaces (BCI's) have the potential to change the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. So should they be used for commercial, recreational or medical purposes? Producers/Presenters: Cheyne Anderson, Ellen Leabeater, Miles Herbert Speakers: CT Lin, Professor in the School of Software at the University of Technology Sydney Tim Chen, Lecturer in the School of Software at the University of Technology Sydney Julie Layfelt Eran Klein, Neurologist and Philosopher at BCI Centre Fred Gilbert, ARC Decra Fellow at the University of Tasmania

Knowledge is power. So when we tick 'yes' on the terms and conditions and volunteer information about the minuscule details of our online lives, what are we actually giving corporations the power to do? The invisible processes of big data collection are starting to seep out into our offline lives. It's changing everything from healthcare to criminal justice. This episode features a conversation with two researchers calling for a sociology of data. We need to take a closer look at the social consequences of big data collection, and question why it's often shrouded in secrecy. Producer/Presenter: Cheyne Anderson Speakers: Jo Travaglia, University of Technology Sydney Hamish Robertson, University of New South Wales