-Inventing the Future 1.7 Inventing the Future: Tomorrow Never Knows 15.1 Thinking About Thinking Machines 15.5 Question-Answering Machines

SciFi Invents the Future

Many of our biggest technological breakthroughs have their roots in science fiction. This Wired piece, and the book that inspired it, explores the SciFi/Tech link with several real-world examples. What futuristic ideas are likely to graduate into everyday tech over the next decade?

-Updates 15.2 Natural-Language Communication 15.4 Pattern Recognition: Making Sense of the World

Translation for—and by—Everybody

While you’re learning a language you can help with the world’s biggest translation project. This Wired article explains how Duolingo hopes to translate the whole Internet into a resource without language barriers.

-Updates 7.3 Database Trends 9.3 Internet Issues: Ethical and Political Dilemmas

A Big Picture of Big Data

The Internet teems with data waiting to be analyzed by companies, government, and savvy individuals. Big data has become an industry buzzword as more businesses and governments find ways to tap into the mountains of data our digital devices produce every day. Photographer Rick Smolan’s latest project is to make big data—and its impact on us—visible. This Huffington Post article describes this crowdsourced work of art and includes a direct link to The Human Face of Big Data.

-Updates 1.4 Computer Connections: The Internet Revolution 8.6 Inventing the Future: The Mind-Machine Connection

The Internet Isn’t Just for People Anymore

The original Internet was designed to link people together using computers and networks. Today’s Internet has an exploding population of non-human connections that are changing the way our high-tech world works. This Huffington Post blog explains the basics of the Internet of Things (IoT).

-Cross Currents 10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age 8.7 Social Networks

If All Your Friends Were Voting, Would You?

In the U.S., non-voters outnumber Democratic voters and Republican voters combined. What does it take to get those non-voters to realize that democracy is not a spectator sport? A recent study suggests that many of them respond to peer pressure, Facebook-style.