Innovation

Blockchain: the ledger that will record everything of value to humankind

The internet is entering a second era that’s based on blockchain. The last few decades brought us the internet of information. We are now witnessing the rise of the internet of value. Where the first era was sparked by a convergence of computing and communications…

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Cybersecurity is becoming a worrying economic challenge

Cyber risk, long recognised as a cause for concern in the national security domain, is now also understood as a threat from the macroeconomic point of view, as an increasing share of value added is produced through ICT-enabled means. In 2012, information industries alone accounted…

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These drones can plant 100,000 trees a day

It’s simple maths. We are chopping down about 15 billion trees a year and planting about 9 billion. So there’s a net loss of 6 billion trees a year. Hand planting trees is slow and expensive. To keep pace with the tractors and bulldozers clearing…

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Machines could soon be able to understand and summarize text for you

We humans are swamped with text. It’s not just news and other timely information: Regular people are drowning in legal documents. The problem is so bad we mostly ignore it. Every time a person uses a store’s loyalty rewards card or connects to an online…

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A ‘robot pilot’ has landed a Boeing 737 in a simulator

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.” What if those words so familiar to air travelers weren’t spoken by a human pilot, but by a robot? The US military is developing technology that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics to create machines capable of…

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China’s ‘Uber for bikes’ model is going global

After a recent funding round, Beijing-based Ofo netted $450 million and joined the unicorn club of private companies valued at over $1 billion. Among its backers are ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing and Jack Ma’s Ant Financial (part of Alibaba). Ofo operates in 80 cities around…

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Artificial leaves could power tomorrow’s cars – and China may be best placed to lead the way

It’s been described as one of the “holy grails” of 21st century chemistry. Bill Gates called its potential “magical”. And it’s one of the World Economic Forum’s Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2017. It’s the technology that harnesses solar power to produce energy; but not…

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These are the top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

A diverse range of breakthrough technologies, including “artificial leaves” that turn CO2 into fuel, and a technique that harvests water from air, could soon be playing a role in tackling the world’s most pressing challenges, according to a list published today by the World Economic…

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5 ways virtual reality could improve your health

Virtual reality is much more than just a new form of entertainment, it is increasingly being used in a wide range of medical applications, from treatments to training. Here are a few of them. 1. Pain management There is good scientific evidence that virtual reality…

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Why you should consider betting on emerging markets’ tech companies

More than half of the world’s internet users are now in Asia. The majority of the global middle class is in emerging markets (EM), and nearly 90% of the next billion entrants will come from Asia, according to the Brookings Institute. Instead of paying with…

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