Science + Technology – Articles, Analysis, Comment

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The Milky Way: a pattern of stars, or a pattern of gaps? Luke Busellato/Wikimedia Commons

Why do different cultures see such similar meanings in the constellations?

Around the world and throughout history, we find remarkably similar constellations defined by disparate cultures, as well as strikingly similar narratives describing the relationships between them.
Since the last ice age, the ice sheet retreated over a thousand kilometres in the Ross Sea region, more than any other region on the continent. Rich Jones

New research shows that Antarctica’s largest floating ice shelf is highly sensitive to warming of the ocean

New research shows that ocean and air temperatures both contributed to the melting of Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf in the past, but melting from below by a warming ocean became more important over time.
Even when we are asleep, we can still feel if we are comfortable and our ‘sixth sense’ is working to let us know where we are in our beds. www.shuttershock.com

Curious Kids: why don’t people fall out of bed when they are sleeping?

Our body knows how it is moving and where it is because of a sense called proprioception, a 'sixth sense' that helps your body know where it is in the world. And it works even while you're asleep.
The air up high is just really bad at ‘holding’ onto the radiation coming from the Sun, and the warmth passes straight through it on its journey toward the ground. Kevin Spencer/flicr

Curious Kids: why is air colder the higher up you go?

It helps if you imagine the ground here on Earth as a big heater. It keeps us warm, and if you move away from the heater you feel cold.
Specialist machine learning and narrow AI could help us to start removing the “four Ds” - dirty, dull, difficult, dangerous - from our daily work. from www.shutterstock.com

AI is here to stay. Now we need to ensure everyone benefits

Artificial intelligence is predicted to contribute some US$15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. A new report looks at issues specific to New Zealand.
A range of laws allow Australian agencies such as local governments to peer over security agencies’ shoulder at your personal data. Justin Lane/EPA

Think your metadata is only visible to national security agencies? Think again

Under controversial national security laws, parts of your mobile phone data is accessible by federal police and counterterrorism agencies. But in reality dozens of other organisations can access it too.
Another reason you don’t want to get too close to a black hole is because of something we call ‘spaghettification’. If this happened to Earth it would be… unpleasant. Shutterstock

Curious Kids: can Earth be affected by a black hole in the future?

If you got too close to a black hole, it would suck you in and you'd never be able to escape, even if you were travelling at the speed of light. This point of no return is called the event horizon.
Experts expect AI to contribute approximately $US16 trillion to the global economy by 2030. from www.shutterstock.com

How Australia can make AI work for our economy, and for our people

The idea that robots will take our jobs is not radically new – but artificial intelligence is now completely reorganising the global economy. Australia must act now to keep up with the world.