10 BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGIES 2018 – from MIT Technology Review

Here top 10 trends which will likely affect our lives and society in the near future:

1) 3-D Metal Printing

  • Breakthrough: Now printers can make metal objects quickly and cheaply.
  • Why It Matters: The ability to make large and complex metal ­objects on demand could transform manufacturing.

2) Artificial Embryos

  • Breakthrough:Without using eggs or sperm cells, researchers have made embryo-like structures from stem cells alone, providing a whole new route to creating life.
  • Why It Matters: Artificial embryos will make it easier for researchers to study the mysterious beginnings of a human life, but they’re stoking new bioethical debates.

3) Sensing Cities

  • Breakthrough:A Toronto neighborhood aims to be the first place to successfully integrate cutting-edge urban design with state-of-the-art digital technology.
  • Why It Matters: Smart cities could make urban areas more affordable, livable, and environmentally friendly.

4) AI for Everybody

  • Breakthrough:Cloud-based AI is making the technology cheaper and easier to use.
  • Why It Matters: Right now the use of AI is dominated by a relatively few companies, but as a cloud-based service, it could be widely available to many more, giving the economy a boost.

5) Dueling Neural Networks

  • Breakthrough:Two AI systems can spar with each other to create ultra-realistic original images or sounds, something machines have never been able to do before.
  • Why It Matters: This gives machines something akin to a sense of imagination, which may help them become less reliant on humans—but also turns them into alarmingly powerful tools for digital fakery.

6) Babel-Fish Earbuds

  • Breakthrough:Near-real-time translation now works for a large number of languages and is easy to use.
  • Why It Matters: In an increasingly global world, language is still a barrier to communication.

7) Zero-Carbon Natural Gas

  • Breakthrough:A power plant efficiently and cheaply captures carbon released by burning natural gas, avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions.
  • Why It Matters: Around 32 percent of US electricity is produced with natural gas, accounting for around 30 percent of the power sector’s carbon emissions.

8) Perfect Online Privacy

  • Breakthrough:Computer scientists are perfecting a cryptographic tool for proving something without revealing the information underlying the proof.
  • Why It Matters: If you need to disclose personal information to get something done online, it will be easier to do so without risking your privacy or exposing yourself to identity theft.

9) Genetic Fortune-Telling

  • Breakthrough:Scientists can now use your genome to predict your chances of getting heart disease or breast cancer, and even your IQ.
  • Why It Matters: DNA-based predictions could be the next great public health advance, but they will increase the risks of genetic discrimination.

10) Materials’ Quantum Leap

  • Breakthrough:BM has simulated the electronic structure of a small molecule, using a seven-qubit quantum computer.
  • Why It Matters: Understanding molecules in exact detail will allow chemists to design more effective drugs and better materials for generating and distributing energy.


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