The conversation

Westfeild, retail, World Trade Center Oculus

The sale of Westfield to the French property firm Unibail-Rodamco draws to a close (with a A$32 billion reward) one of Australia’s greatest business success stories. But it also shows where Australian retail could be headed next. Westfield has been at the heart of Australian retail innovation and development since

ASX

Bitcoin may be the most famous example of a blockchain in use, but it is actually a rather unimaginative way to use it. The blockchain is finally starting to fulfil its promise as a game-changing technology, a kind of infrastructure for record-keeping. To facilitate movement of value (such as money)

A common idea about the blockchain — the technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — is that it can “create trust”, or allow two parties to make a transaction “without relying on trust”. If true, this would mean we could create a world without a trusted “man in the

Baseball, sport

Replacing human decision-making with algorithms seems to make sense. People tend to rely on unreliable cognitive shortcuts, get fatigued or distracted, and can be swayed by subjective opinion and inter-personal alliances. On the other hand, algorithms are bearers of encoded logic which consistently execute pre-determined decision criteria. Therefore they are

Machine learning algorithms work blindly towards the mathematical objective set by their designers. It is vital that this task include the need to behave ethically. Such systems are exploding in popularity. Companies use them to decide what news you see and who you meet online dating. Governments are starting to

amazon-one

With Amazon expected to open its doors in Australia this year, questions are being asked about how this US giant with a reputation for tax avoidance in the UK and Europe will navigate the Australian taxation system. Global firms such as Starbucks, Google and Amazon have come under fire for

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has finally issued guidance to explain how “initial coin offerings” (ICOs) will be regulated. Sign up to Which-50’s Irregular Insights newsletter ICOs are a form of crowdfunding, with companies raising funds by selling tokens or cryptocurrencies to investors with promises of a social

Ethereum, cryptocurrency, ICO, fintech

A rapidly growing number of companies are taking advantage of cryptocurrencies to raise massive amounts of funding through what are called Initial Coin Offerings or ICOs. It is not just technology companies that are taking advantage of this new form of money raising. Companies that have gone through ICOs or

People are open to receiving financial advice from robots, our studies show, but there might be a way to go to in convincing people to trust them over a human. We surveyed 138 people about their attitudes to, and preferences for, superannuation advice from a human or a computer. Unsurprisingly,

Deliveroo

The honeymoon is over for the gig economy. The loose collection of online platform companies – from Airtasker to Uber and Deliveroo – has long trumpeted its difference from the business norm, but is starting to lose its shine. Now these companies must own up to the limits of their