The worlds of science and technology seem to intersect more often than not these days, and experts at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology are keeping their eyes on the trend. With the first quarter of the year almost nearing its end, the institute has published a list of 10 Top Breakthrough Technologies for 2018.
Before we get to the list – why exactly should we pay attention? Piotr Rojek of DSR, which provides IT solutions for businesses in Poland, has a convincing argument: “A scientific approach to groundbreaking discoveries and innovations often works like a cold shower – it cools down our excitement and steers our attention to science-based analysis in order to focus on what’s valuable and promising. It’s more than just news. This kind of analysis is often just what business needs.”
With that in mind, here are the top 10 trends according to MIT:
3D Metal Printing
3D printing has caused a lot of noise in the tech-savvy spheres, but in the end, the technology found its true calling with designers who use it to create prototypes. So far, only plastic has been used for printing on a larger scale, as other materials, such as metal, have not turned out to be cost-effective. This is about to change – with metal becoming a viable material for the technology, 3D printing may influence the production industry on a larger scale.
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have recently developed a way to create mouse embryos from stem cells alone. Even though no mice will be born from this innovation quite yet, the discovery will help the researchers understand the development of life at its core.
We’ve seen factories employ the use of Internet of Things, but the technology has a lot more to offer. Thanks to Alphabet, which is the holding company of Google, Toronto is currently taking steps towards becoming the first Smart City. The Sidewalk Toronto Project wants to tackle the issues of public transport, housing, and energy usage in true IoT spirit, in order to intersect metropolitan design with new technologies.
Artificial Intelligence systems are getting increasingly popular, and no big player in the industry can afford to leave the trend behind. Bringing AI to the cloud will enable smaller companies to get interested in the technology as well, as it will make it more affordable and accessible.
Duelling Neural Networks
What if AI systems could be capable of having imagination? The idea isn’t as far-off as you may think. Google Brain’s current research is focused on enabling AI to create realistic computer-generated content, such as images it has never actually seen before.
Instant translation technology
The ongoing research into earbuds capable of instant translation technology may sound like something out of a science fiction franchise, but the research actually shows a lot of promise. While Google’s Pixel Buds are still in the very early stages of development, the technology is eventually meant to let humans conduct near real-time conversations in different languages.
No more CO2
Looking past environmental issues is simply not viable anymore – researchers have developed ways to capture CO2 emissions caused by burning natural gas in a strive for clean energy.
Online Privacy At All Costs
With most of our interactions conducted through social media and apps, it’s nearly impossible to stay anonymous online these days. According to MIT, the trends are about to turn towards privacy, as IT scientists are perfecting technology which would enable transactions to be conducted without revealing information about either side.
The so-called genetic fortune telling will enable us to predict various health risks on the basis of data found in our genes. While the invention could be revolutionary in the sphere of public health, it also raises some ethical concerns.
Quantum Leaps For Materials
Scientists at Harvard are working towards a way to design new types of materials with the use of quantum computers. The technology could tailor the properties of all sorts of materials to make them more suitable for specific purposes.