©Bloomberg

In this report

Technological advances in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, robotics, automobiles and neuroscience — to name a few — have left policymakers, business leaders and consumers scrambling to understand their full social, economic and ethical implications

Brave new era needs new ethics

©Meeson

Advances in technology pose difficult moral questions for humanity — and it is not clear who is responsible for providing answers

In depth

The logo of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is seen on window pane at the Congress Center prior to the forum's annual meeting in Davos on January 18, 2016. More than 40 heads of states and governments will attend the WEF in Davos, which this year is focused on "mastering the fourth Industrial Revolution," organisers said. / AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images) ©AFP
Forum’s 46th annual meeting has at the heart of its agenda a theme entitled ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’

Seven ways technology has changed us

The internet and mobile phones have failed to generate an upturn in the growth of productivity

Bionic advances to defeat death

Ambitious scientists are trying to extend human life expectancy indefinitely

Intelligent robots raise concerns over jobs

Some roles may disappear, but over the long term technology does not get rid of work

automated driving is being tested on public roads
©Bosch

Driverless decisions over life and death

Automakers are approaching the race to automated vehicles with caution

Silicon Valley uneasy after Snowden leaks

Western intelligence agencies worry that encryption will make the internet ‘go dark’

Why it is hard to teach robots to choose well

Will we ever be comfortable with machines making moral choices for us?

Blockchain raises fundamental questions

Banking and law will be fundamentally changed if shared ledger technology takes off

Donor DNA helps cure hereditary conditions

Mitochondrial DNA therapy is set to be offered in the UK in 2016

How social media is changing politics

Money and manpower are increasingly being used to influence online debates

Naive entrepreneurs at risk of losing out to venture capitalists

Tech start-up financing is often structured to protect the investors, not founders

EU removes carrot but keeps stick in data laws

EU and US are at odds over who controls the internet

Camera drones and cow fitness trackers help drive farm yields

Smallholders could benefit from precision technologies — if they can get access to them

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