New neutrality:  The general public and the business world have never been as aware of privacy issues as they are now. Photograph: Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

In terms of media coverage, 2017 was a fine year for alternately fretting or fawning over AI (artificial intelligence) and robots. Hardly a week seeme(...)

British  theoretical physicist and author Stephen Hawking:  he said artificial intelligence could be “be the best or worst thing to ever happen to humanity” during his keynote speech at the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Photograph: Patricia De Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images

For anyone hoping the organisers of the Web Summit might fail dismally in Lisbon and end up back in Dublin with their tails between their legs, think (...)

Recent advances in AI are expected to lower the cost of using data and make predictions. Photograph: AP Photo/Andy Wong

With the recent explosion in artificial intelligence, there has been the understandable concern about its potential impact on human work. But economic(...)

Ad Infinitum: these cuffs parasitically attach electrodes on to humans and stimulate their muscles as to force them to crank. Photograph: Pedro Lopes

What kinds of jobs will machines replace? Can artificial intelligence create art? Do we want robots to help us grieve? And would you let one tickle yo(...)

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang. Firm is widely credited with having developed the best chips for training the artificial neural networks built by companies including Google and Amazon. Photograph: Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg

Soaring expectations for artificial intelligence may have threatened to tip over into tech industry hype this year, but they have thrown up at least o(...)

The Martin Jetpack is envisioned for emergency response situations and requires considerable technical knowledge to fly, but the manufacture promises a move to personal jetpacks if those used for rescue prove successful.

I confess to a soft spot for dystopian science fiction. Some of my favourite imagined futures include the world paralysed by a giant, perpetual traffi(...)

Prof Freeman Dyson: ‘Science is what we did for fun in our own spare time rather than being taught’

Computer-based artificial intelligence has promised much but delivered relatively little given all the research that has gone into it. The reason for (...)