MIT Technology Review names 10 technologies that will change the World
Here we are in the Information Age. Never before has the flow of ideas, innovation and new technologies been so strong, so much so that it's hard to imagine what the world will be like in 10, 20 or 50 years time. So which of today's fledgling technologies will have a fundamental impact on the way we live our lives in the future? MIT’s Technology Review has turned its attention to this question with the release of its annual list of 10 emerging technologies and it makes thought provoking reading.
Technology Review 2010 TR10 - technologies likely to change the world
- Solar fuel. Joule Biotechnologies’ Noubar Afeyan has created genetically engineered microorganisms that can turn sunlight into ethanol or diesel — a feat that could allow biofuels to compete with fossil fuels on both cost and scale.
- Mobile 3-D. Recent box-office hits like Avatar and Up have added to the growing popularity of 3-D movies. Julien Flack of Dynamic Digital Depth is leading the charge to take 3-D mainstream not only on TVs, but also smart phones and mobile devices, through a technology that can convert existing 2-D content to 3-D on the fly.
- Dual-action antibodies. Genentech’s Germaine Fuh has found a promising way to fight conditions like cancer and AIDs through dual-action antibodies that give patients two drugs for the price of one, offering the promise of drugs that work better and cost less.
- Real-time search. Amit Singhal is leading Google’s quest to mine social networks for up-to-the-second search results that offer the same relevance and quality of traditional Web searches.
- Light-trapping photovoltaics. By depositing nanoparticles of silver on the surface of a thin-film cell, Kylie Catchpole of the Australian National University has found a way to boost the cells’ efficiency — an advance that could help make solar power more competitive with fossil fuels.
- Engineered stem cells. James Thomson of Cellular Dynamics and the University of Wisconsin has potentially revolutionized the way we screen drugs and study disease by providing a way to make — in the test tube — any kind of cell from patients with different diseases.
- Social TV. People are already trying to combine their social networks with TV, using laptops and smart phones to comment on live events like the Oscars or the Olympics. MIT’s Marie-José Montpetit is working on social TV — a way to seamlessly combine the active experience of social networks with the more passive experience of traditional TV viewing.
- Green concrete. The production of cement is responsible for about 5 percent of global carbon emissions. Novacem’s Nikolaos Vlasopoulos has created a cement that is a carbon “sink” rather than a source. His innovation could greatly reduce the global carbon emissions that result from cement production.
- Implantable electronics. Tufts University’s Fiorenzo Omenetto is developing implantable electronic devices that can be used to deliver drugs, stimulate nerves, monitor biomarkers, and more. And once they’ve done their job, they almost completely dissolve away.
- Cloud programming. At the University of California, Berkeley, Joseph Hellerstein is creating better software for building cloud applications, and this could herald a new wave of applications for social media analysis, enterprise computing, or sensor networks monitoring for earthquake warning signs.
What do you think? Anything missing - advances in nanomedicine perhaps, or the advent of personal flight? Let us know in the comments section.
More info on each of the 2010 TR10 (and previous years) is now online and will be featured in the May/June edition of Technology Review.
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- Personal Air Vehicles (PAV) that take off vertically and are automated (easier to do than car automation).
- Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) also known as pod cars are taking off in Sweden, Poland, Abu Dhabi (Masdar City), and the UK.
Most people cannot express how trust is built, or understand the significance of reciprocity in everyday life. Nor do they understand the importance of the formal and informal rules that govern societies or the significance of the institutions that have been created to support the rules and create trust environments.
Wealth differences around the world are highly correlated to the effectiveness of a nation\'s social capital.
As communities develop an understanding of what is social capital and the strengths and weaknesses of their own social capital, we should see another revolution as significant as the industrial revolution.
Since our individuality derives from the sum of our nurturing, experiences, education, and inherited traits and basic mental endowments, these all can be summarized as "˜memories'. Once these memories (one could say that they represent our "˜soul') can be moved, cloned, stored, and retrieved via digital technology, then we have attained a reasonable working definition of "˜Immortality'. Who needs a body? We would "˜move' from our "˜analog' shell into an indestructible, virtual, digital environment. We now could access our memories flawlessly - electronically, communicate with others instantly - electronically, and could dispense with once-implacable imperatives like eating, sleeping, washing, etc.. Nanotechnology will boost this overall capability and lead us to interstellar travel. We will tour the Universe without the need of a towel nor, as the Universe hums with energy, the need to remember spare batteries. Distance will be meaningless as we can either hibernate or slow our "˜cpu' down to a trickle. We will create an entirely new Civilization, and when we visit other worlds with sentient life, those creatures will think the same thoughts that our ancestors did when they saw the same event - they will believe us to be gods,
At our current arithmetic technological growth rate, the human race has perhaps 30 years left of "˜traditional' existence. The nation that gets to "˜Der Tag' first could easily take over the World with hardly a whimper from those so who place second in the race. However, should the technology become available to the common citizen, who would care??
Goodbye Old Planet! ... and thanks for all the fish!