Intelligence

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Consciousness might emerge from a particular kind of information processing. Shutterstock

What makes us conscious?

Consciousness is one of the most mysterious phenomena we know of. But evidence is emerging that it might just be a very special kind of information processing.
An orang-utan playing with the interactive digital projector at the Melbourne Zoo. Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces at the University of Melbourne

Orang-utans play video games too, and it can enrich their lives in the zoo

An experiment providing interactive games for orang-utans is showing the potential for digital technology to enrich the lives of zoo animals.
Can a machine really think, be in awe and wonder? Shutterstock/Photobymhu

What does it mean to think and could a machine ever do it?

As machines get ever more complex as we strive to make them complete more complex tasks, it's time to ask again: will they ever be able to think? But what is thinking anyway?
The Tribute in Light is seen on the 14th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. 9/11 was the beginning of major changes in the intelligence community. Reuters/Andrew Kelly

The growing link between intelligence communities and academia

The tactics used by America's current and potential future enemies are constantly changing. Higher education can help by producing graduates able to work in intelligence communities.
Now that we know there’s a gene for intelligence, are we going to start breeding little Einsteins? from www.shutterstock.com.au

The ethics of ‘gifted’ genes: the road to Gattaca?

Recent research out of the UK has identified a genetic “general academic achievement factor”. Does this pave the way for genetically testing babies for intelligence?
Believing “math isn’t for everyone” may steer kids away from tackling the challenge. susanrm8

Beliefs about innate talent may dissuade students from STEM

Kids who think being good at mathematics is just a matter of God-given talent are less likely to pursue math-related fields. But research says this kind of belief is misguided.
Foreign ministers Julie Bishop and Mohammad Zarif demonstrated a growing rapport between Australia and Iran in reaching agreement on some but not all fronts during her visit to Tehran. EPA

Ms Bishop goes to Tehran: a story of good news and bad news

Australia made progress on restoring trade and sharing intelligence on Islamic State in Iraq. Iran was less open to accepting the return of asylum seekers, which may prove a blessing in disguise.
Intelligence on the curriculum. Lightbulb via denk creative/Shutterstock

Can we teach intelligence?

As our definitions of what intelligence is change, it might become possible to teach it.
In a new book, author Frank Moorhouse calls for a new compact between intelligence agency ASIO and Australian society. AAP/Dan Peled

Book review: Australia Under Surveillance

Frank Moorhouse is known primarily – but not exclusively – for his award-winning fiction such as the Edith Triology. In more recent times, he has turned his considerable talents to the role of the Australian…
Non-cognitive skills like perseverance and hard work might be more accurate predictors of success than literacy and numeracy quizzes. Shutterstock

School should be about more than just measuring intelligence

Who do you think would do better at school or in the workplace: someone who is smart, but lazy, or someone who is not naturally brilliant but will keep working at a problem until they get it right? Intuitively…
It is hard to police ‘soft targets’ for violent, lone wolf actors without becoming an overpoliced state. AAP/Dean Lewins

Q&A: what we can learn from the Sydney siege, and what next

Sydney is slowly returning to normal after police brought an end to a 16-hour siege in a Martin Place cafe in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The perpetrator, Man Haron Monis, and two hostages, Katrina…
ASIO and Australia’s other intelligence agencies need strong oversight to avoid the type of behaviour that went unchecked in the US after 9/11. AAP/Alan Porritt

Only in America? Australia needs safeguards against torture too

Earlier this week, the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released its report on the CIA’s post-9/11 program of detaining and interrogating suspected terrorists during the Bush administration…
Secrets out? EPA/Dennis Brack

Senate CIA torture report release: expert reaction

The US Senate has released the executive summary of a long-withheld report on harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA in the post-9/11 era. Previously undisclosed techniques have been revealed and…

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