The often-slow arc of good news may not make headlines. But 2012 brought its quiet share: from extreme poverty dropping by half since 1990 to a robot with the bulky profile of an NFL player that may have a role in bringing jobs back to the US.
From smart phones that act as personal concierges to self-parking cars to medical robots, the artificial intelligence revolution is here. So where do humans fit in?
The IBM computer Watson, appearing on Jeopardy! this week, may defeat the human players. But humanity is the real winner by gaining a better understanding of what real intelligence is.
More consumers than last year say they'll look for bargains. Thrift shops are in.