What We’re Reading This Week Across the Web (Through Dec 27)

Even though we’re in the middle of the holidays, a number of great articles have been written in an effort to sum up the tech progress of 2014. Although we’re awash in “Top 8” articles, the following articles are worth reading when you need a break from all the food and festivities. Enjoy!

ROBOTS: The Robots Are Coming, the Robots Are Here
Brian Anderson | Motherboard
“The one thing that likely won’t change for the foreseeable future? Income disparity. And the robotics revolution could very well make the jobs outlook even more grim, with the rich and their robots set to make half the world’s jo​b disappear. (Bellh​ops and journa​lists can rest easy, for now.) So, yes: Rob​ots are coming for your job, but only if you’re poor.”

THE FUTURE: In 2015, we’ll need different words to talk about the future
Scott Smith | Quartz
“We’re wading into a future where we will require more precise definitions to discuss increasingly complicated, complex and more finely nuanced objects, situations and roles people have in the world. However it unfolds, it’s a good bet that it will involve things for which we don’t yet have good names.”

BRAIN: Our brains are being ‘continuously reshaped’ by smartphone use
Katie Collins | Ars Technica
“What this means is that the repetitive movements made by our thumbs as they glide over touch screens is reshaping the sensory processing from our hands, and this can be adjusted on demand when we are using our phones. The researchers believe this is evidence that ‘the contemporary brain is continuously shaped by the use of personal digital technology.'”

PSYCHOLOGY: Why boredom is bad… and good for you
David Robson | BBC
“Boredom often goes with a naturally impulsive mindset among people who are constantly looking for new experiences. For these people, the steady path of life just isn’t enough of a rollercoaster to hold their attention. “The world is chronically under-stimulating,” says Eastwood.”

TRANSPORTATION: The Biggest Transportation Breakthroughs of 2014
Eric Jaffe | City Lab
“But as much as the human and hive minds are drawn toward negative news, there were some truly uplifting mobility breakthroughs this year far more deserving of a digital curtain call. Though you probably haven’t heard the last of them: much of what happened in transportation in 2014 will change the way we’ll travel around cities for many years to come.”

TECH TRENDS: Predicting the Great Achievements of the 21st Century
Robert Lucky | IEEE Spectrum
“Think of what we knew in 1915 of the achievements that would come to be listed in 2000. It’s actually quite a bit. We can group these achievements into three categories: those that had already happened or were well under way, those that were anticipated (or at least would have been unsurprising), and finally, those that could not possibly have been predicted by anyone in 1915.”

Image Credit: Shutterstock

David J. Hill
David J. Hill
David started writing for Singularity Hub in 2011 and served as editor-in-chief of the site from 2014 to 2017 and SU vice president of faculty, content, and curriculum from 2017 to 2019. His interests cover digital education, publishing, and media, but he'll always be a chemist at heart.
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