For the first time since its inception 18 years ago, Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, has selected the Technology innovations that are on the MIT Tech Review’s 2019 Technology Achievement List.
Bill Gates had already successfully predicted the development of the home computer, the desktop operating system, and the internet. It, therefore, seems legitimate to be the first external writer to select this year’s technological innovations.
The MIT Technology Review publishes its annual list, which highlights the technological innovations that will most impact our lives in the coming year.
Applying to an editor outside the magazine is a radical change for this year’s list – rather than focusing on the technologies that could develop in our lives, more emphasis is being placed on those that could improve our lives. comfort of life.
Most of the selected advances are aimed at solving health and environmental challenges, which is very important for improving the quality of life and longevity of humans. And as we could have become, artificial intelligence has its role to play.
One of these advances that seems important is that of “robot dexterity”. Today’s robots, while performing well in controlled environments, face challenges when they find themselves in unexpected or unfamiliar situations.
The field of robot dexterity involves making mechanical devices (such as robotic hands) that can use artificial intelligence to learn more about unknown devices and environments in order to study and manipulate them more efficiently.
The “beef burger” is an example of a breakthrough that uses high and low technology to meet the same challenge: to limit the carbon emissions caused by the meat industry, and to participate in the fight against climate change.
This category includes the alternatives of plant-based meat and artificially grown “cultured” meats, which have been the subject of many scientific experiments over the last decade.
The first artificial meat burger was created by Mark Post in a laboratory at the University of Maastricht in 2013 and cost 300,000 dollars. In 2017, the cost of producing the same amount of artificial meat was reduced to just 11 dollars. Of course, it remains to be seen whether consumers would be willing to eat meat that was produced in-vitro. But as the world begins to realize the problem of hunger and the ever-increasing world population, Gates believes this technology has the capacity to change the world.
The geological sequestration technology for carbon dioxide is also part of the 2019 list. Again, this is not a new idea, but thanks to new research this technology are starting to become more accessible. The principle is to capture the carbon that is released (in gas stations for example) before it enters the atmosphere and it contributes to climate change. Some experts believe that this technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions at gas stations by more than 90%.
As with most of the technologies selected by Bill Gates, artificial intelligence plays a major role in this area where algorithms could be developed to predict the most relevant place where a carbon sequestration machine should be placed for example.
In the area of health, Gates highlights 4 technologies that have proven their ability to improve patient outcomes and quality of life.
These are electrocardiogram controllers that are worn on the wrist, tablets that once swallowed can imagine inside the human digestive system, personalized cancer vaccines that use DNA and the patient’s immune system profile, and finally, a new blood test to indicate the probability of premature births in pregnant women.
According to Gideon Lichfield, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, “Bill’s list reflects his belief that we are approaching a crucial moment in terms of human technological development, from technologies that extend life expectancy to those who will improve it. His choices correspond to what we consider to be the most important challenges and opportunities of our generation. ”
A list of technological advances has been published every year since 2001 by the MIT Technology Review, and in the past has selected ideas that now have a place in our everyday lives such as cloud and instant messaging.
Here is the complete list of 2019, formed by Bill Gates:
- Robotic dexterity: Robotic hands that learn by themselves to manipulate unknown objects
- New Generation Nuclear Energy: New Fission or Fusion Reactor Designs that Could Help Reduce Carbon Emissions
- Anticipating premature births: a simple blood test could predict premature birth and potentially save the lives of many children
- Probe tablet: a device that goes down and allows to see the digestive tract and even to perform biopsies
- Customized cancer vaccines: a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to target only cancer cells
- Beef-free burger: alternatives to plant-based meat and laboratory-grown meat that could effectively reduce emissions from the meat industry
- Carbon dioxide sequestration: techniques to absorb CO2 in the air and sequester it
- An electrocardiogram on your wrist: the possibility for people with heart problems to be able to control their health at any time and to be able to detect possible problems as soon as possible
- Sewer less sanitation: self-contained toilets to prevent unpleasant diseases and living conditions in developing countries
10. Artificial intelligence as an assistant: new advances in language for digital assistants that would allow them to become more autonomous