Mainstream technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality and social media have at one time or another been said to be "revolutionary," but this may be a misleading label. Perhaps technologically they represent a leap forwards, but isn't the point of any revolution that "the people" normally gain better rights, economic and political?

This talk will encourage us to consider that whilst many of these technologies may be "cool," we would do well to look harder at their provenance - who develops them, who owns them, and who ultimately benefits from them, before we can be sure that they are actually good for us.

In a world where social media 'bots' are set up to exploit racial and religious tensions, artificial intelligence consistently learns and reproduces society's prejudices while threatening to put more and more people out of work, and Mark Zuckerberg uses the destruction in Puerto Rico demonstrate Facebook's new virtual reality platform, is the belief that technological progress will make the world a better place really such a sure bet?