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Imagine a world where artificial intelligence is in control and humans are brink of extinction. What went wrong? What could we have done? Shutterstock

No problem too big #1: Artificial intelligence and killer robots

No problem too big #1: Artificial intelligence and killer robots. The Conversation, CC BY-SA62 MB (download)
In this special Speaking With podcast episode, a panel of artists and researchers speculates on the end of the world due to artificial intelligence and killer robots, as though it has already happened.
The first US presidential debate is scheduled for Tuesday morning Australian time. Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA

Race to the White House – foreign policy disputes, first presidential debate, and Trump Jnr’s tweet

Race to the White House – Episode Two. The Conversation, CC BY-ND27.6 MB (download)
The second episode of Race to the White House examines the foreign policy differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, and previews the first presidential debate.
It’s possible to create sound in a part of a room that only you can hear, but others elsewhere cannot. Shutterstock/Syda Productions

Just for you: how to create sounds that only you can hear in a venue

Your own choice of music in a restaurant, your preferred language in a cinema, and a personal tour in a museum. All are possible if you can control the sound in almost any place.
Australia’s Volkswagen subsidiary has come in for criticism for its handling of the crisis. Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Volkswagen fallout shows how not to manage a crisis

Volkswagen's command and control approach has not helped its global response to the emissions scandal, with Australian customers left waiting for more than two weeks.
Religious institutions have consistently struggled to respond to child sexual abuse cases appropriately. L'Osservatore Romano/EPA

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions

Speaking with: Tim Jones on child sexual abuse within religious institutions. The Conversation21.6 MB (download)
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse reconvened this week. Announced in 2012, the commission was established due to growing concerns over consistently inadequate responses…
Australia’s ability to influence China will largely depend on how it engages with China’s complex and growing diplomatic machinery. Shutterstock

Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy

Speaking with: Kerry Brown on China, Australia and diplomacy.
The emergence of China as a 21st-century superpower has already had profound impacts on Australia. As China reshapes the balance of power, not only in the Asia-Pacific region but globally, its influence…
Australia needs look at inclusionary housing policies to boost the number of affordable housing options. AAP/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Nicole Gurran on affordable housing

Australia’s residential house prices rank among the highest in the world, and an increasing number of aspiring home owners are finding themselves locked out of the property market. While low interest rates…
Detroit, a thriving manufacturing city 50 years ago, is now bankrupt. ifmuth/Flickr

Speaking with: George Galster on revitalising Detroit

Speaking with: George Galster. CC BY-ND18.9 MB (download)
Detroit is in turmoil, officially bankrupt and home to some of America’s poorest citizens. But 50 years ago it was thriving, boasting a booming manufacturing sector and a steadily growing educated middle-class…
US President Barack Obama speaks during the Climate Summit 2014 at the United Nations headquarters in New York, New York, USA, 23 September 2014. JUSTIN LANE/EPA

PODCAST: Speaking with Nick Watts from the UN Climate Summit in New York

Speaking with Nick Watts, Director of the The Global Climate & Health Alliance, from the UN Climate Summit in New York. Listen in as he explains the links between climate and health, what we have to…
The LGBTI community has unique needs that are often overlooked during the response and recovery stages of a natural disaster event. euphoriadev via Flickr

Speaking with: Scott McKinnon on LGBTI issues during natural disasters

Speaking with: Scott McKinnon.
When natural disasters strike, the impact varies significantly across different social groups, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities are poorly accounted for in disaster…
‘I wouldn’t call it a miracle, I’d call it an accident’ – Gessen on Putin’s formative experience with the KGB. Christchurch City Libraries

Speaking with: journalist Masha Gessen on Putin’s Russia

Russian-American writer and LGBT activist, Masha Gessen has covered every major development in Russian politics and culture of the past two decades. She is the author of Words Will Break Cement: The Passion…
Social and digital media perform a function that is humanising by connecting people and allowing freedom of expression. Icons from Shutterstock

Speaking with: Robert Picard on democratising the media

Speaking with: Robert Picard. CC BY-ND21 MB (download)
Is social media really delivering on its promise of democratising communication? Or have we just replaced one model that privileges those with power for another? Dr Andrea Carson speaks with Professor…
‘Shoehorning your imagination into the condition of another human being is the A game in songwriting.’ Mark Seymour, AAP/ MG Promotions

Speaking with: singer-songwriter Mark Seymour

Speaking with: Mark Seymour. CC BY-ND22.7 MB (download)
At the Melbourne Writers’ Festival this week, a panel of poets, writers and performers will read and reflect on the poetry of the first world war. Among them is Mark Seymour, the former frontman of Hunters…
‘Cooking is what makes us human’. Flickr

Speaking with: food critic Ruth Reichl

Speaking with: Ruth Reichl. CC BY-ND31.4 MB (download)
Ruth Reichl, the former restaurant critic of The New York Times and author of best-selling gourmet memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples, is known for describing, in vivid detail, how food…
Australia’s housing market is among the most expensive in the world. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Speaking with: Michael Darcy on housing affordability

In the past six months the federal government has cut the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS) and announced an inquiry into foreign investment in residential real estate. In both cases the government…
Andrew Lock personifies the meaning of ‘grit’. Melbourne Writers' Festival

Speaking with: mountaineer Andrew Lock

Speaking with: Andrew Lock. CC BY-ND27.4 MB (download)
Andrew Lock is the most accomplished high-altitude mountaineer in Australian history. He is the only Australian, the first person in the Commonwealth, and just the 18th man in the world to climb all 14…

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