This year has been one of solid technological advancement tinged with the same old problems the technology sector has faced for years. While we’ve seen great leaps taken in areas like self-driving cars, virtual reality, and space travel, the issue of gender inequality continues to throw a shadow on the industry’s achievements. Here are the topics we’ve covered from 2017 and our favorite stories.
The race to reach the Moon, Mars, and beyond now spans across both the private and public sector, and it’s all the more exciting for it. In April, we examined the benefits we’ll enjoy here on Earth from a mission to reach Mars. We also took a long, hard look at China’s space program in November and found out exactly why it’s a dark horse in the quest for Mars. In October we shifted our focus to the Moon, and the cosmic prospectors trying to mine its minerals. And in November we came back down to Earth and identified the best places on our planet to replicate the conditions of Mars.
Gender inequality grabbed the headlines all too often this year for the technology sector. In July we wrote about how female entrepreneurs are still not being funded equally, and spoke to women-first dating app Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe in October. In the same month, we picked out some of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs in Brooklyn, New York. And in November we hung out in the women’s collectives transforming London’s entrepreneurship scene.
Digital media is always at the forefront of conversation, whether it’s the state of journalism in the internet age, a president with an unhealthy social media habit, or fears of our data being stolen. In June, we reported on the social media ‘ghouls’ who go chasing likes and interactions on social media after a tragedy has occurred. And in August we investigated the targeted ads made to try and influence our opinions. In October we examined the impact big data has had on daily life in America and the role of prejudiced AI in changing the country.
Tech and the city
Technology’s impact on cities is perfectly highlighted by the fight between Uber and cab drivers across the world. In the end, London said no to the ride hailing service, and sparked this article on London’s tech culture and its place in the city. We also asked in September how driverless cars will change New York City, evaluated Elon Musk’s idea to build tunnels under Los Angeles, looked at the cities that already have driverless taxis on their roads, and speculated on the emergence of flying taxis in the future.
Virtual reality is going to be a hot topic for many years to come, so we better get used to it. This year we talked to one half of a Welsh couple getting married in virtual reality, explored how VR is helping the elderly to see the world, sized up China’s virtual reality industry, and explored VR’s role in bringing arcades back to New York city.