10 Technologies That Will Change The World: According To Bill Gates
Robots will be smarter, nuclear power will be safer, and cancer patients may get a life-saving vaccine. Each year, the MIT Technology Review publishes a list of 10 breakthrough technologies. In 2019, this task was entrusted to an external expert, Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Here are the innovative technologies that will change our future.
Robots in 2019 can flawlessly cope with the assembly of components on the conveyor. But if you change the scenario a little, the machine will be helpless. It cannot be taught to understand how to work with any object, but it can be programmed for self-study by trial and error.
OpenAI, a San Francisco-based company, created the Dactyl robotic arm, which can smoothly swipe the letter cube match them. The main objective of OpenAI was to teach the robot to act regardless of the circumstances. The developers experimented with the position of Dactyl, the colors, weight, and materials of the cube. Truly smart machines are still a long way off, but thanks to such programs. Robots will learn how to assemble gadgets, load dishwashers and help older people get out of bed.
#2 Nuclear Power
According to Bill Gates, traditional technologies should evolve. The production of less dangerous small modular reactors and the replacement of enriched uranium-235 with depleted uranium-238 are necessary. This will solve the problem of the lack of the previously used isotope: there is much more depleted uranium in nature.
Developments in this direction are led by Terrestrial Energy and TerraPower. In the life of the latter, Gates is directly involved in the role of the main investor and chairman of the board of directors. The experimental reactor could not be built in either America or China due to safety restrictions and a ban on the export of critical technologies. But this does not stop Gates from talking about a new era of electrification with depleted uranium-based technology reactors in the 2020s.
#3 Prediction Of Preterm Birth
Our genetic material lives inside cells, but a small amount of DNA and RNA also circulates in blood plasma. Scientists from Stanford, led by bioengineer Stephen Quake, have learned to determine the risk of premature birth from this extracellular material. All that the future mother needs to do is donate blood for analysis. The startup, whose goal is to bring technology to the commercial market, was called Mirvie (formerly Akna Dx).
#4 Tablet Endoscopy
Classical endoscopy is an unpleasant procedure for adults and difficult for babies. Guillermo Tierni, a pathologist and engineer at the Massachusetts Hospital, is developing special capsule probes that are more comfortable to swallow than an endoscopy hose. Each device is equipped with a miniature microscope and a thin cable through which power is supplied and data is transmitted.
Bill Gates says the endoscope tablet will help children in the undeveloped regions of the world diagnose tropical enteropathy. But in fact, the technology can simplify the study of any problems of the gastrointestinal tract.
#5 Individual Cancer Vaccination
Scientists at the BioNTech startup believe that each patient’s cancer cells mutate in a unique way. Therefore, the company is developing vaccines containing data on these mutations. They stimulate the patient’s immunity and help fight cancer. Healthy cells, inevitably killed by chemotherapy, do not suffer. While the startup continues to conduct research to launch the market, perhaps the first working cancer vaccine.
#6 Artificial Meat
According to the UN population report, in 2050 the world’s population will be 9.7 billion. And this means that humanity will begin to consume even more meat. However, its production requires great resources. For example, to get 1 pound (0.43 kg) of beef, 16 pounds (7.2 kg) of vegetable feed and about 10,000 liters of water are needed. For comparison: growing 1 pound of wheat will require a little less than 100 liters of water.
People are trying to find alternatives, and now there are at least two of them. First of all, this is test-tube meat. The technology is promising, but far from entering the commercial market. The second alternative is the grown meat, which matches the animal’s taste, smell and characteristic hiss in the pan. This is already being done by Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods – Bill Gates has become an investor in both.
#7 Carbon Dioxide Absorption
Harvard physics professor David Kate suggests capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is possible. Such a solution would require less than $100 per ton. In the future, this will help to cope with the consequences of the greenhouse effect. Kate offers not only to “catch” carbon dioxide, but also to use it to produce synthetic fuel. In addition, the Swiss company Climeworks, with a branch in Italy, is already producing methane from carbon dioxide, which it uses to saturate the bubbles of drinks.
Not only Gates believe in Keith’s Carbon Engineering project, but also the US Department of Energy, which partially finances the company’s activities.
#8 Simple ECG Measurement
To make an electrocardiogram, you usually have to go to the hospital. Startup AliveCor has proposed an alternative in the form of a special strap for the smart Apple Watch. A little later, the fourth and fifth-generation Apple Watch themselves began to work on similar technology, removing the ECG using a sensor on a digital crown. Withings also speak of similar developments.
The main problem of these technologies is that they use one sensor instead of 12, and are not able to detect a heart attack. However, in the fall of 2018, AliveCor introduced a new development – a gadget for a smartphone with two sensors that can identify a certain type of heart attack.
#9 Non-sewage Waste System
Waste-free toilets are needed primarily in undeveloped countries. Where sewage merges into water bodies and contributes to the spread of epidemics and infectious diseases. In 2011, Bill Gates launched a competition for young companies to invent toilets that recycle waste themselves and do not require sewage. Farthest was Biomass Controls, which introduced a waste heating system to form fertilizers.
#10 Smart Voice Assistants
Modern voice assistants work only within the framework of the programs set by him, but they try to overcome these limitations. For example, OpenAI is designing a self-learning voice assistant system that does not require manual input of all instructions. Such technologies will someday allow us to not only interact with the assistant in the “request-response” format but to conduct a full-fledged dialogue.
Google also shows its development. Its BERT system has studied millions of sentences and can predict the words between sentence no worse than a person. Even more futuristic Google Duplex – pumped up “Google Assistant”, which can answer spam calls and call the restaurant with a request to book a table for the user.