By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
May 9, 2017

Good morning from New York, where I got in late and am up early. So I’ll be brief.

I want to call your attention to an extraordinary report from MIT Technology Review, its annual “10 Breakthrough Technologies” issue. When I have time, I plan to study it to get my head around what an amazing—both scary amazing and good amazing—time it is in technology.

Some of the magazine’s breakthroughs are either ho-hum or otherwise uninspiring. Self-driving trucks already are a thing everyone is talking about. I think I can live without the “360-degree selfie.”

Two that blew my mind are “Botnets of Things” and “Paying With Your Face.” The first trend refers to the sinister ramifications of having every gadget we own connected to the Internet. Not so long ago we thought that’d be a good thing. Now we know bad actors can wreak havoc through our lights, garage-door-openers and other mundane devices. And the magazine has its eyes wide open about how this will play out: “The best defense would be for everything online to run only secure software, so botnets couldn’t be created in the first place. This isn’t going to happen anytime soon.”

When I read about paying for goods and services through face-detection technology my immediate thought was, “Yes, please.” China is a leader in this technology, and that’s a whole other theme to watch: the emergence of China as a purveyor of innovative technology that eclipses its me-too past.

The future is bright—and frightening. Have a breakthrough day.

Adam Lashinsky


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