10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 by MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review has published 10 breakthrough technologies annually since 2001. In addition to Artificial Intelligence and other technologies from the IT environment, technologies from the production and energy sectors will also be among the top 10 this year.

Gartner and Frobes have already published their TOP 10 technology trends for 2018 in October last year. Now MIT Technology Review introduces its 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018:

  • 3-D Metal Printing
  • Artificial embryos
  • Sensing City
  • AI for Everybody
  • Dueling Neural Networks
  • Babel-Fish Earbuds
  • Zero-carbon natural gas
  • Perfect Online Privacy
  • Genetic Fortune-Telling
  • Materials’ Quantum Leap

3-D Metal Printer

3-D Printing has been on the TOP 10 annual lists in recent years. Over the years, printer prices have dropped sharply, and prototypes can now be made easily and quickly in plastic. The 3-D metal printer is now to make this possible for metal. Large and complex metal parts could very soon be made individually and to order. The metal microstructure can also be made very precisely by the printer. As a result, the 3-D metal printer has the potential to significantly change the production process in the future. American US company Markforged unveiled a 3-D metal printer under $100,000 last year.

Artificial embryos

At Cambridge University, stem cell researchers have made embryo-like structures without using eggs and sperm. The researchers hope to gain insights into the early life stages of humans. At the same time, similar to earlier biotechnologies, this technology is likely to trigger intense ethical debates.

Sensing City

Many Smart City projects have had to withdraw their ambitious goals or delay their realization. The project Quayside in Toronto is now to put the reputation of the Smart City projects back in a better light. With the help of the latest digital technologies, people want to redesign urban design and public life. A sensor network will collect data on air quality, noise levels and map the activities of urban residents. Toronto also discusses data management and data storage. The declared goal of the project is to make the urban environment friendlier, healthier and more liveable.

AI for Everybody

Due to the high cost and the high degree of integration Artificial Intelligence has been used only by the big tech companies like Amazon, Baidu, Google and so on. Cloud based machine learning tools should change that now. So far, Amazon dominated in the Cloud AI with their AWS subsidiary. Google races with TensorFlow, an open source libary. Microsoft has also developed its own system named Azure. Which companies in the end will be the market leading providers of AI for Everybody is open. What is certain is that the winners will enter a profitable market.

Dueling Neural Networks

Dueling Neural Networks means 2 AI systems which together can produce very realistic pictures or sounds. It is based on a so-called “generative adversarial network – GAN”. Both AI systems were trained with the same data. One network generates images or sounds, the other identifies these things. Both systems are in dialogue with each other and learn from it. For example, a research group has produced counterfeits by van Gogh that are difficult to distinguish even for humans. The technique would be a first step in the direction of “machine imagination / creativity”. It would make machines even more independent of humans.

Babel-Fish Earbuds

The realtime translation earplug is available for $159 from Google and is based on Google Translater. It already works for many languages. In a globalized world, language is still one of the hurdles to communication. Google and Baidu try to reduce this.

Zero-carbon natural gas

An American company near Huston promises to produce energy from natural gas in the future without releasing greenhouse gases. Energy production should be just as cheap as the previous one and highly efficient. 32% of US electricity is based on gas-fired power plants, which account for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in America. 8 Rivers Capital, Exelon Generation, CB & I is working on this technology and expects it to be available in three to five years.

Perfect Online Privacy

The cryptography protocol “a zero-knowledge proof” should realize the perfect online privacy. Much of the technology comes from the development of Zcash’s Internet currency. The technology enables the user to handle all transactions on the Internet without divulging his personal data. Especially banks could use this technology for their internet services and the customer

Source: 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2018 by MIT Technology Review