There have been a lot of great stories on technology this year that track hot topics like artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, self-driving cars, cybercrime, and the like. Each of these topics among others are covered in great depth in the stories that follow, which are my take on the top technology stories of 2015.
What Is Code? by Paul Ford in Bloomberg BusinessWeek, June 11, 2015
On June 11, 2015, Bloomberg BusinessWeek dedicated an entire issue to the topic of coding and its importance. This 38,000 word masterpiece was the most bought issue up to that point, and the online version has interactive elements so that the reader can actually code while reading the piece. Author Paul Ford is both a writer and a coder, but he has a special gift for making a seemingly esoteric topic accessible.
To hear the author and Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel talk about the article, watch this great interview by Charlie Rose.
The AI Revolution: The Road to Superintelligence and The AI Revolution: Our Immortality or Extinction by Tim Urban in Wait but Why, January 22, 2015 and January 27, 2015, respectively
Artificial Intelligence is among the most written about topics today. Perhaps no one has written as cogently about the topic in the past year than Tim Urban on the long-form article site that he started called Wait but Why. Urban employs lucid storytelling and humor to provide the most comprehensive account of what Artificial Intelligence is and why it is so important.
- Part 1 takes readers on a journey from Artificial Narrow Intelligence through Artificial General Intelligence.
- Part 2 explores the mind numbing implications of Artificial Super Intelligence, an level the majority of experts believe we will achieve this century.
I Find Your Lack of Faith in Autonomous Cars Disturbing by Mitch Turck in Medium, February 1, 2015
Mitch Turck writes about autonomous vehicles and the future of mobility. He publishes a monthly “State of Autonomy” recap of news, predictions, and media coverage around autonomous vehicles, and also publishes original pieces focusing on different aspects of future mobility to his blog. In this article posted on Medium, Turck notes that the development of autonomous fleets will bring about a massive socio-economic revolution not seen since the industrial revolution. With a comprehensive exploration of the arguments for and against autonomous vehicles, this 10,000 word ‘opus’ is perfect primer for those looking to understand the basics of the future of mobility.
A Virtual Reality Revolution Coming to a Headset Near You by Lorne Manly in the New York Times Magazine, November 19, 2015
New York Times Enterprise Reporter Lorne Manly writes about the virtual reality revolution that is upon us. Though headsets are just beginning to hit the market, by 2025, the market for VR hardware is expected to reach $62 billion. See how it will change everything from entertainment to medicine to communication to journalism. This is just the beginning.
The Untold Story of Silk Road’s Rise – And Fall (Part 1) and The Untold Story of Silk Road’s Rise – And Fall (Part 2) by Joshuah Bearman and Tomer Hanuka in Wired, April and May 2015 editions respectively
Joshuah Bearman and Tomer Hanuka wrote a fascinating two-part story about the rise of the Dread Pirate Roberts, the head of the Silk Road, a global drug bazaar. The man behind the operation was a former eagle scout turned murderer. The story of the operation to bring him down is as fascinating as the story of his rise.
Amazon Dominated Nearly Everything This Year by Alex Shephard, December 21, 2015
After a rough 2014, Amazon’s commercial domination is now underway in earnest. Amazon Web Services is turning into a hugely profitable business, Amazon Prime is expanding, and their recent foray into original programing has resulted in five Emmys. After posting two quarters of record profits, the New Republic’s culture news editor Alex Shephard reports that Amazon is out to optimize every aspect of our lives.