Technology that will change our lives in the new year

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Electric cars, cryptocurrencies and artificial intelligence are poised for leaps forward. And Amazon will get even bigger

By Joanna Stern and Christopher Mims | The Wall Street Journal

It’s been a weird year. In 2017, technology spread its tentacles into our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined—see the Equifax hack, Russia’s manipulation of Facebook, and Amazon’s purchase of everyone’s favorite overpriced supermarket. In 2018, expect the invasion to get even weirder—and more aggressive.=

Artificial intelligence will touch so many of the gadgets and services we use, we won’t even realize that machines, not humans, are behind them. Hackers will continue to pursue the institutions that hold our most sensitive information. The consolidation of power by the big four—Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple—will have an even bigger impact on what we see on our screens and what we buy.

And while you won’t necessarily pay for your new electric car with Bitcoin, you’ll continue to hear more about it and other cryptocurrencies. (Yes, you’ll soon consider buying an electric car.)

Tech is more powerful than ever. To help you prepare, here’s our annual roundup of the tech that will affect us in the year ahead.

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