The Conversation's Contributions

How Would Engineers Build the Golden Gate Bridge Today?

By The Conversation – Ever since the Golden Gate Bridge opened to traffic on May 27, 1937, it’s been an iconic symbol on the American landscape. By 1870, people had realized the necessity of building a bridge spanning the Golden Gate Strait to connect the city of...

Why a Trump Impeachment Is Highly Unlikely

Impeachment is a predominantly legislative process currently followed in several dozen countries, including Brazil, South Korea and the Philippines. “Impeach” has roots in the Latin word for being caught. It allows members of the...

Alphabet’s New Plan to Track 10,000 People Could Take Wearables to the Next Level

Verily – the life sciences research arm of Google parent company Alphabet – wants to track the health of 10,000 people. On April 19, the group announced that it was starting to recruit for Project Baseline, in partnership with Duke and Stanford.

Can Blockchain Technology Help Poor People Around the World?

Big Wall Street companies are using a complicated technology called blockchain to further increase the already lightning-fast speed of international finance. But it’s not just the upper crust of high finance who can benefit from this new technology.

Fracking Comes to the Arctic in a New Alaska Oil Boom

Arctic lands and waters hold irresistible allure for global oil companies. Despite opposition from environmental groups and President Obama’s 2016 ban on drilling in federal Arctic waters, exploration in Alaska has revealed massive...

Beyond the Gloomy Headlines, This Global Index Suggests Manufacturing Is in Good Shape

Economic data released this week has provided some good news for the global economy. The Purchasing Manager Indexes (PMI) from around the world show manufacturing is at above long-term averages or at multi-year highs.

How Animal Training Helps Us Understand the Current State of AI

Every day countless headlines emerge from myriad sources across the globe, both warning of dire consequences and promising utopian futures – all thanks to artificial intelligence. AI “is transforming the workplace,” writes the Wall Street...

Did Artificial Intelligence Deny You Credit?

People who apply for a loan from a bank or credit card company, and are turned down, are owed an explanation of why that happened. It’s a good idea – because it can help teach people how to repair their damaged credit – and it’s a...

A Survival Guide for the Coming AI Revolution

If the popular media are to be believed, artificial intelligence (AI) is coming to steal your job and threaten life as we know it. If we do not prepare now, we may face a future where AI runs free and dominates humans in society.

Cybersecurity of the Power Grid: A Growing Challenge

Called the “largest interconnected machine,” the US electricity grid is a complex digital and physical system crucial to life and commerce in this country. Today, it is made up of more than 7,000 power plants, 55,000 substations, 160,000 miles of...

Who Will Pay for Trump’s ‘Big, Beautiful’ Wall?

President Donald Trump’s scheme to build a “big, beautiful, impenetrable” wall on the southwestern border – and force Mexico to pay for it – is wildly unrealistic and won’t be effective in keeping undocumented migrants out.

Why Driverless Cars Are Racing Full-Speed Ahead

Three of the most significant developments in the industry happened earlier this month. The 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit saw automakers new and old (and their suppliers) show off...

Why Wall Street’s Dow 20,000 Is Totally Meaningless

The Dow Jones Industrial Average just broke 20,000 for the first time. Traders and investors cheered this historic high of the world’s most famous stock market index, which is composed of 30 of the biggest and best-performing...

Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos and School Choice

Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of education, Michigan billionaire Betsy DeVos, was questioned on a range of education issues during her confirmation hearing this week. Central to the debate is her major role in supporting...

Do We Trust Autonomous Technologies With Our Lives?

In 2016, self-driving cars went mainstream. Uber’s autonomous vehicles became ubiquitous in neighborhoods where I live in Pittsburgh, and briefly in San Francisco. The U.S. Department of Transportation issued new regulatory...

Does Being Wealthy Make You More Charitable?

Each year, the average American family donates approximately 3.4 percent of its discretionary income to charity. Most of these charitable contributions are made from October to December, known as the “giving season” in the nonprofit sector.

Cybersecurity's Next Phase: Cyber-Deterrence

Cyberattackers pose many threats to a wide range of targets. Russia, for example, was accused of hacking Democratic Party computers throughout the year, interfering with the US presidential election. Then there was the unknown attacker who...

Why Is China So Upset About Trump’s Taiwan Call – And Could It Lead to War?

The fact that Donald Trump is the first US president to have a call with his Taiwanese counterpart in nearly four decades, seriously upsetting China in the process, might come as a shock when you think that Taiwan is the world’s 22nd...

Circadian Rhythms and the Microbiome

We’ve known that bacteria live in our intestines as far back as the 1680s when Leeuwenhoek first looked through his microscope. Yogurt companies use that information in the sales pitch for their product, claiming it can help...

How Twitter Bots Affected the US Presidential Campaign

Key to democracy is public engagement – when people discuss the issues of the day with each other openly, honestly and without outside influence. But what happens when large numbers of participants in that conversation are biased...

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