Every time you use the  automatic checkout machine at the supermarket, you are essentially getting a flavour of how the future is going to look in a whole variety of industries. Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A few weeks ago, a tragic accident occurred at a Volkswagen factory in Baunatal, Germany. A 21-year-old contractor was installing a robot when its arm(...)

Building a smart society is an internal process, but it is subject to the vagaries of events worldwide. Photograph: Getty Images

Any effort to reframe our society is necessarily an internal process of self-improvement. But as a small, peripheral island nation in a rapidly global(...)

Edward Snowden at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport yesterday. Snowden is seeking temporary asylum in Russia and plans to go to Latin America eventually Photograph: Human Rights Watch/Handout/Reuters

Yesterday’s news that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is to seek temporary political asylum in Russia after three weeks in the transit zone of Moscow(...)