Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Quandary

Quandary column

Masters or Slaves of AI?

By Michael Cook

If neural lacing enables our brains to be networked, we could easily be hacked or become the tools of Google or government.

In the 19th century and for a good part of the 20th century, many people feared that humanity was destined to become lapdogs of bloated industrialists. The world would be divided between the haves and the have-nots, the capitalists and the proletariat.

The fear persists, but nowadays capitalists like Mark Zuckerberg wear hoodies and tennis shoes like the rest of us. Apart from North Korea, there is universal agreement that “to get rich is glorious”.

Global Catastrophic Risk

By Michael Cook

A report calculates that we’re more likely to die in an extinction event than in a car crash.

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Adventures on the Dark Side

By Michael Cook

Cases of sexual attraction are bound to grow as “genetic orphans” seek out their missing parents.

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A Bizarre Dilemma from Sweden

By Michael Cook

“Resignation syndrome” in refugee children and adolescents in Sweden is one of the most bizarre medical stories of the past decade.

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Royal Paternity Tested in the Modern Age

A royal paternity test in Belgium has far-reaching implications for fertility clinics.

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Will IVF Keep Us Young?

By Michael Cook

Talk of IVF as a solution for declining birth rates is a sign that governments are clutching at straws.

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This Little Piggy Went to Market

By Michael Cook

Gene editing promises to enable the safe use of pig organs to transplant into humans. Who could object to that?

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Life in the Fridge

By Michael Cook

Cryonics technologies have captured the imagination of some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley, but what about the rest of us?

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Pinker Takes on Bioethics

By Michael Cook

Steven Pinker has attacked bioethics as “moralistic grandstanding” that restricts research. Is he right?

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I Recognise Your Face

By Michael Cook

Legislation for opt-in face recognition is essential despite the protests of companies like Google and Facebook.

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