54 Most Interesting Technology Research Topics for 2023
May 30, 2023
Scrambling to find technology research topics for the assignment that’s due sooner than you thought? Take a scroll down these 54 interesting technology essay topics in 10 different categories, including controversial technology topics, and some example research questions for each.
Social technology research topics
Whether you have active profiles on every social media platform, you’ve taken a social media break, or you generally try to limit your engagement as much as possible, you probably understand how pervasive social technologies have become in today’s culture. Social technology will especially appeal to those looking for widely discussed, mainstream technology essay topics.
- How do viewers respond to virtual influencers vs human influencers? Is one more effective or ethical over the other?
- Across social media platforms, when and where is mob mentality most prevalent? How do the nuances of mob mentality shift depending on the platform or topic?
- Portable devices like cell phones, laptops, and tablets have certainly made daily life easier in some ways. But how have they made daily life more difficult?
- How does access to social media affect developing brains? And what about mature brains?
- Can dating apps alter how users perceive and interact with people in real life?
- Studies have proven “doomscrolling” to negatively impact mental health—could there ever be any positive impacts?
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research topics
Following cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has been a rollercoaster the last few years. And since Bitcoin’s conception in 2009, cryptocurrency has consistently showed up on many lists of controversial technology topics.
- Is it ethical for celebrities or influential people to promote cryptocurrencies or cryptographic assets like NFTs?
- What are the environmental impacts of mining cryptocurrencies? Could those impacts ever change?
- How does cryptocurrency impact financial security and financial health?
- Could the privacy cryptocurrency offers ever be worth the added security risks?
- How might cryptocurrency regulations and impacts continue to evolve?
- Created to enable cryptocurrency, blockchain has since proven useful in several other industries. What new uses could blockchain have?
Artificial intelligence technology research topics
We started 2023 with M3GAN’s box office success, and now we’re fascinated (or horrified) with ChatGPT, voice cloning, and deepfakes. While people have discussed artificial intelligence for ages, recent advances have really pushed this topic to the front of our minds. Those searching for controversial technology topics should pay close attention to this one.
- OpenAI–the company behind ChatGPT–has shown commitment to safe, moderated AI tools that they hope will provide positive benefits to society. Sam Altman, their CEO, recently testified before a US Senate He described what AI makes possible and called for more regulation in the industry. But even with companies like OpenAI displaying efforts to produce safe AI and advocating for regulations, can AI ever have a purely positive impact? Are certain pitfalls unavoidable?
- In a similar vein, can AI ever actually be ethically or safely produced? Will there always be certain risks?
- How might AI tools impact society across future generations?
- Countless movies and television shows explore the idea of AI going wrong, going back all the way to 1927’s Metropolis. What has a greater impact on public perception—representations in media or industry developments? And can public perception impact industry developments and their effectiveness?
Beauty and anti-aging technology
Throughout human history, people in many cultures have gone to extreme lengths to capture and maintain a youthful beauty. But technology has taken the pursuit of beauty and youth to another level. For those seeking technology essay topics that are both timely and timeless, this one’s a gold mine.
- With augmented reality technology, companies like Perfect allow app users to virtually try on makeup, hair color, hair accessories, and hand or wrist accessories. Could virtual try-ons lead to a somewhat less wasteful beauty industry? What downsides should we consider?
- Users of the Perfect app can also receive virtual diagnoses for skin care issues and virtually “beautify” themselves with smoothed skin, erased blemishes, whitened teeth, brightened under-eye circles, and reshaped facial structures. How could advancements in beauty and anti-aging technology affect self-perception and mental health?
- What are the best alternatives to animal testing within the beauty and anti-aging industry?
- Is anti-aging purely a cosmetic pursuit? Could anti-aging technology provide other benefits?
- Could people actually find a “cure” to aging? And could a cure to aging lead to longer lifespans?
- How might longer human lifespans affect the Earth?
Geoengineering technology research topics
An umbrella term, geoengineering refers to large-scale technologies that can alter the earth and its climate. Typically, these types of technologies aim to combat climate change. Those searching for controversial technology topics should consider looking into this one.
- What benefits can solar geoengineering provide? Can they outweigh the severe risks?
- Compare solar geoengineering methods like mirrors in space, stratospheric aerosol injection, marine cloud brightening, and other proposed methods. How have these methods evolved? How might they continue to evolve?
- Which direct air capture methods are most sustainable?
- How can technology contribute to reforestation efforts?
- What are the best uses for biochar? And how can biochar help or harm the earth?
- Out of all the carbon geoengineering methods that exist or have been proposed, which should we focus on the most?
Creative and performing arts technology topics
While tensions often arise between artists and technology, they’ve also maintained a symbiotic relationship in many ways. It’s complicated. But of course, that’s what makes it interesting. Here’s another option for those searching for timely and timeless technology essay topics.
- How has the relationship between art and technology evolved over time?
- How has technology impacted the ways people create art? And how has technology impacted the ways people engage with art?
- Technology has made creating and viewing art widely accessible. Does this increased accessibility change the value of art? And do we value physical art more than digital art?
- Does technology complement storytelling in the performing arts? Or does technology hinder storytelling in the performing arts?
- Which current issues in the creative or performing arts could potentially be solved with technology?
Cellular agriculture technology research topics
And another route for those drawn to controversial technology topics: cellular agriculture. You’ve probably heard about popular plant-based meat options from brands like Impossible and Beyond Meat. While products made with cellular agriculture also don’t require the raising and slaughtering of livestock, they are not plant-based. Cellular agriculture allows for the production of animal-sourced foods and materials made from cultured animal cells.
- Many consumers have a proven bias against plant-based meats. Will that same bias extend to cultured meat, despite cultured meat coming from actual animal cells?
- Which issues can arise from patenting genes?
- Does the animal agriculture industry provide any benefits that cellular agriculture may have trouble replicating?
- How might products made with cellular agriculture become more affordable?
- Could cellular agriculture conflict with the notion of a “circular bioeconomy?” And should we strive for a circular bioeconomy? Can we create a sustainable relationship between technology, capitalism, and the environment, with or without cellular agriculture?
Transportation technology research topics
For decades, we’ve expected flying cars to carry us into a techno-utopia, where everything’s shiny, digital, and easy. We’ve heard promises of super fast trains that can zap us across the country or even across the world. We’ve imagined spring breaks on the moon, jet packs, and teleportation. Who wouldn’t love the option to go anywhere, anytime, super quickly? Transportation technology is another great option for those seeking widely discussed, mainstream technology essay topics.
- Once upon a time, Lady Gaga was set to perform in space as a promotion for Virgin Galactic. While Virgin Galactic never actually launched the iconic musician/actor, soon, they hope to launch their first commercial flight full of civilians–who paid $450,000 a pop–on a 90-minute trip into the stars. And if you think that’s pricey, SpaceX launched three businessmen into space for $55 million in April, 2022 (though with meals included, this is actually a total steal). So should we be launching people into space just for fun? What are the impacts of space tourism?
- Could technology improve the way hazardous materials get transported?
- How can the 5.9 GHz Safety Band affect drivers?
- Which might be safer: self-driving cars or self-flying airplanes?
- Compare hyperloop and maglev Which is better and why?
- Can technology improve safety for cyclists?
Gaming technology topics
A recent study involving over 2000 children found links between video game play and enhanced cognitive abilities. While many different studies have found the impacts of video games to be positive or neutral, we still don’t fully understand the impact of every type of video game on every type of brain. Regardless, most people have opinions on video gaming. So this one’s for those seeking widely discussed, mainstream, and controversial technology topics.
- Are different types or genres of video games more cognitively beneficial than others? Or are certain gaming consoles more cognitively beneficial than others?
- How do the impacts of video games differ from other types of games, such as board games or puzzles?
- What ethical challenges and safety risks come with virtual reality gaming?
- How does a player perceive reality during a virtual reality game compared to during other types of video games?
- Can neurodivergent brains benefit from video games in different ways than neurotypical brains?
Advancements in healthcare have the power to change and save lives. In the last ten years, countless new medical technologies have been developed, and in the next ten years, countless more will likely emerge. Always relevant and often controversial, this final technology research topic could interest anyone.
- Which ethical issues might arise from editing genes using CRISPR-Cas9 technology? And should this technology continue to be illegal in the United States?
- How has telemedicine impacted patients and the healthcare they receive?
- Can neurotechnology devices potentially affect a user’s agency, identity, privacy, and/or cognitive liberty?
- How could the use of medical 3-D printing continue to evolve?
- Are patients more likely to skip digital therapeutics than in-person therapeutic methods? And can the increased screen-time required by digital therapeutics impact mental health
What do you do next?
Now that you’ve picked from this list of technology essay topics, you can do a deep dive and immerse yourself in new ideas, new information, and new perspectives. And of course, now that these topics have motivated you to change the world, look into the best computer science schools, the top feeders to tech and Silicon Valley, the best summer programs for STEM students, and the best biomedical engineering schools.