23-24 september
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20.05.2019
10 BREAKTHROUGH TECHNOLOGIES 2018, collected by MIT

Dueling neural networks. Artificial embryos. AI in the cloud. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) designed the annual list of the 10 technology advances they think will shape the way we work and live now and for years to come.

Every year since 2001 MIT has been conducting a research called the 10 Breakthrough Technologies. Editors of MIT Technology Review noted few breakthroughs in 2018: a new technique in artificial intelligence called GANs which is giving machines the imagination; artificial embryos, despite some thorny ethical constraints, are redefining how life can be created and are opening a research window into the early moments of a human life; and a pilot plant in the heart of Texas’s petrochemical industry is attempting to create completely clean power from natural gas—probably a major energy source for the foreseeable future.

These and other few breakthroughs from the list of TOP 10 are worth reading and to watch out for.

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.

Key Players: Markforged, Desktop Metal, GE

Availabilitynow

Artificial Embryos


Photo archive: University of Cambridge

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.

Key Players: University of Cambridge; University of Michigan; Rockefeller University

Availability: now

Sensing City


Photo archive: Sidewalk Toronto

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.

Key Players Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto

Availability Project announced in October 2017; construction could begin in 2019


What’s distinctive about what we’re trying to do in Quayside is that the project is not only extraordinarily ambitious but also has a certain amount of humility,” says Rit Aggarwala, the executive in charge of Sidewalk Labs’ urban-systems planning. 

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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.

Key Players Amazon; Google; Microsoft

Availability: now

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.

Key Players Google Brain, DeepMind, Nvidia

Availability Now

Babel-Fish Earbuds


Photo: Google

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.

Key Players Google and Baidu

Availability Now

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.

Key Players: 8 Rivers Capital; Exelon Generation; CB&I

Availability: from 3 to 5 years

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.

Key Players: Zcash; JPMorgan Chase; ING

Availability: now

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.

Key Players: Helix; 23andMe; Myriad Genetics; UK Biobank; Broad Institute

Availability: now

Materials’ Quantum Leap

Breakthrough: IBM 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.

Key Players IBM; Google; Harvard’s Alán Aspuru-Guzik

Availability: from 5 to 10 years


Eager to learn more about use of IoT & AI Technologies all over the Globe? Register and join Knowledge HUB powered by Redenex Academy at the IoT & AI World Summit Russia, which will be held in Kazan, Republic of Tatarstan, Russia on the 1-2 of October, 2019.

Register now

Source: MIT Technology Review (2018, March/April). 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018

To read the full version of the article follow the link: https://www.technologyreview.com/lists/technologies/2018/#ai-for-everybody

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