About the list

The Tech Top 10 List

The list was developed by Dr. Jessica Baron in 2012.* Dr. Baron continues to compile and write the list and can be contacted at jessicalbaron@me.com if you have questions. You can also visit her website for more information about her work.

The list, released each December, is now in its 9th year. It is designed for both citizens and scientists alike to learn about new technologies as they develop (or begin to cause problems).

We live in an era of rapid development, and technologies that seemed theoretical only a few years ago are increasingly incorporated into our daily lives. At first, our concern was that there was little public dialog about the use and risks of these technologies. Now, it seems like there’s so much information out there that the list has become a way to find reliable material written by a trained tech ethicist.

Unlike other year-end lists, Tech Top 10 is not about creating fear of the future. It’s simply a heads up to those of us who don’t have the time or the inclination to follow every breakthrough as we’re bombarded with news of all kinds each day. Our hope is that in reading the list, people will take the time to think about the steps involved in integrating new technology into society (as well as keeping public policy in pace with new developments).

Over the last nine years, we’ve heard from dozens of teachers around the world who use their list in the classrooms as well as journalists who get new ideas from the site (though we do appreciate credit where credit is due!). We couldn’t be more thankful for those of you who reach out to tell us that our hard work is making a difference! These conversations belong in the science, literature, arts, history, and language classrooms, but also in the news, at the dinner table, at the water cooler, and anywhere else people stop to chat.

Since there are now over 90 entries, you may find technologies that seem critical on older lists (what can we say, we made some good predictions!). We’re trying to update those as quickly as possible so that they can be useful in current conversations.

Journalists, please do credit Dr. Jessica Baron and the Tech Top 10 list if you use our site. It’s disheartening to volunteer hundreds of hours only to see the hard work here duplicated elsewhere with no mention of where it came from. And it’s rampant. (And we probably know your editor.)

* This list was formerly known as the Reilly Top 10 List.
In rare cases when Dr. Baron is not the sole author of an entry, scholars who provided significant help in the creation of an entry are listed at the bottom of its page.