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Will I or won't I? Scientists still haven't figured out free will, but they're having fun trying

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Social media algorithms, artificial intelligence, and our own genetics are among the factors influencing us beyond our awareness.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Facebook is tilting the political playing field more than ever, and it's no accident

As the US presidential election polling day draws close, it’s worth recapping what we know about how Facebook has been used to influence election results.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Cool discovery: new studies confirm Moon has icy poles

NASA

Water is more abundant on the Moon than we might have suspected, according to two papers published today in Nature Astronomy that confirm th


Originally published in The Conversation.

Reimagining the laser: new ideas from quantum theory could herald a revolution

Original artwork by Ludmila Odintsova, Author provided

Lasers were created 60 years ago this year, when three different laser devices were unveiled by independent laboratories in the United States.


Originally published in The Conversation.

How do we know statistics can be trusted? We talked to the humans behind the numbers to find out

In April, as the coronavirus pandemic was gathering force around the world, reporters asked Brendan Murphy, then Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, about international case numbers. In his answer, he made an interesting comment:

The only numbers I have total faith in are the Australian numbers.


Originally published in The Conversation.

The US is taking on Google in a huge antitrust case. It could change the face of online search

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google for unlawful monopolisation. The department says Google’s conduct harms competition and consumers, and reduces the ability of new innovative companies to develop and compete.

It’s the most important monopolisation case in the US since 1998, when the DoJ brought proceedings against Microsoft.


Originally published in The Conversation.

Calls for an ABC-run social network to replace Facebook and Google are misguided. With what money?

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If Facebook prevented Australian news from being shared on its platform, could the ABC start its own social media service to compensate?


Originally published in The Conversation.

We vibrated earthworms to learn about safely connecting human brains to computers

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This year, my colleague Andrey Pototsky and I were awarded the Ig Nobel Prize in Physics for our The Conversation.

Hey Google ... what movie should I watch today? How AI can affect our decisions

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Social media algorithms, artificial intelligence and our own genetics are among the factors influencing us beyond our awareness. This raises an ancient question: do we have control over our own lives?


Originally published in The Conversation.

Apple's iPhone 12 comes without a charger: a smart waste-reduction move, or clever cash grab?

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Apple has released its new smartphone, the iPhone 12, without an accompanying charger or earbuds.


Originally published in The Conversation.