Potato plastic, robot cleaners and edible bugs
Does change mainly come from inventions? The shortlist for the James Dyson Award has been announced, celebrating clever inventions from around the world. Many have a strong environmental focus.
Fortnite craze is ‘damaging’, says minister
Can video games be a force for good? In response to parental concerns about the Fortnite craze, culture secretary Matt Hancock has warned against the dangers of “too much screen time”.
The curious ethics of cruelty to robots
Should cruelty to robots be a crime? That is the premise of Westworld, whose second season premiered last week. It calls into question everything we think about morality...
Siri-ous business: Apple learns new dad jokes
Are corny jokes the best form of wit? Apple’s AI assistant, Siri, has been updated with new groan-worthy jokes. Some say they are “hilarious”, others “stupid” — a debate with a long history…
‘I must check everything, I must be updated’
How serious is social media addiction? With reports of teens dangerously hooked on sites like Instagram and Snapchat, researchers are racing to discover how addictive social media really is.
The world’s most advanced surveillance state
Will our governments soon know everything about us? In China, facial recognition is driving the government’s social credit system to rate the trustworthiness of its 1.4 billion citizens.
‘Disinformation, manipulation and propaganda’
Is Facebook evil? Today the world’s largest social media company stands accused of undermining democracy, spreading fake news, inciting hatred, and violating the privacy of millions.
Uber self-driving car kills US pedestrian
Would you use a self-driving car? The first fatality involving a pedestrian and an autonomous car has put Uber in the firing line. Some call the crash a “wake-up call” for the whole industry.
‘Broken’ Facebook under fire over data breach
Should you quit Facebook? Over the weekend, the media reported a whistleblower’s account of serious misuse of user data. The social network is now under more pressure than ever…
‘Blackout threat’ sparks fears of cyber attack
Is the Russia debate becoming hysterical? As tensions with the UK escalate, water, power and finance companies have been warned of cyber attacks from the newly re-elected President Putin…
Flying cars lift off in fight for the future
Would you rather zoom through a vacuum at the speed of sound or soar through the air in your own car? The world’s most powerful entrepreneurs are battling to invent the future of transport.
Fake news spreads ‘faster, deeper’ than truth
Is human nature to blame? A new study tracked the spread of falsehoods on Twitter and found that they are 70% more likely to be retweeted than truth. Why? Because lies are more surprising…
Amazon promises to fix Alexa’s ‘creepy’ laugh
Would you want Alexa in your home? The AI assistant can answer questions, play music and switch off your lights. But recently it has begun “randomly” laughing at users for no reason…
UK mourns death of ‘classic British inventor’
Is the age of the maverick inventor over? Trevor Baylis: circus performer, stuntman and inventor of the wind-up radio has died. Some say eccentric engineers like him are facing extinction.
Video referee poised for World Cup debut
Would video referees improve football? The sport’s lawmakers have given the go-ahead for them to be used across the game from next season — and even at this summer’s World Cup.
Anti-gun activists take aim at Amazon
Is Amazon evil? A huge backlash has hit the business for supporting the National Rifle Association. But some say Amazon represents far deeper dangers which put our very democracy at risk.