Bill Gates gave an interview to the MIT Technology Review at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and told him what the latest technologies in 2019 seem to him to be the most important and promising. At the same time, Gates said that it would be not so much about technologies that already exist, but about those that are still being developed, but can have a huge impact on our world.
Latest Technologies in 2019 According to Bill Gates:
Dexterous Robotics Latest technologies in 2019
Dexterous robotics is one of the latest technologies in 2019. Robots are gradually learning to deal with the outside world. Industrial robots are able to perform small and accurate work, but they are programmed to do this by humans.
Take the part from the conveyor, move it a couple of centimeters to the side or replace it with something else – and the metal claw will be wasted enough to take in air.
To prevent this from happening, robots must learn to feel the world around them and interact with it adequately.
That is what is happening now. The other day we told you about a soft robotic arm that has the ability to learn by trial and error. Another similar project is the Dactyl robot, developed by the non-profit organization Open AI.
This latest technology in 2019 arm also independently learns how to work with objects, scrolling through options in a virtual environment. According to Gates, it is precisely this flexibility in training that will make robotics more dexterous and bring it to a new level.
New Wave in Nuclear Power
New projects in the nuclear power industry promise to make this source of energy safer and cheaper. Scientists are developing a variety of approaches. Among them – the improved fourth-generation reactors, small modular reactors and even nuclear fusion reactors, which until now was unattainable. The fourth generation reactors represent the development and evolution of old designs.
Developers of such systems, such as Canadian Companies Terrestrial Energy and Washington TerraPower, are already concluding contracts for the supply of electricity.
Latest technology in 2019 include:
- Small modular reactors typically produce tens of megawatts of energy (for comparison, a typical nuclear reactor produces approximately 1000 MW).
- Companies like NuScale Oregon claim that using small reactors can save money and reduce potential environmental risks.
- As for the synthesis, it will show efficiency only by 2030. However, some success can be observed now.
- Companies like General Fusion and Commonwealth Fusion Systems are working on reactors that do not leave radioactive waste.
- According to Gates, when such a reactor is launched, society will accept it more readily than traditional nuclear reactors.
Predicting the Risk of Preterm Birth
The risks of preterm birth can be detected with a simple blood test. The amazing and latest technologies in 2019.
Human genetic material is contained within cells. But not all. A small amount of DNA and RNA floats just in the blood, getting into it from damaged cells. For this reason, the blood of a pregnant woman contains not only her DNA, but also the DNA of the unborn baby.
Dr. Stephen Quake, a bioengineer at Stanford University, has found a way to catch this floating DNA from the blood. Thus, an invasive biopsy is no longer necessary for the genetic analysis of an unborn child. It is enough to take a blood test of his mother.
DNA analysis, among other things, makes it possible to detect abnormalities in seven genes that correlate with the risk of premature birth. If there is such a risk, then, knowing it, doctors can easily postpone childbirth, increasing the child’s chances of survival.
At the moment, the corresponding test kit is being developed by Akna Dx. When it is ready, its market value will be about $ 10.
Smart Tablet-shaped Probes
Doctors and engineers at Massachusetts Central Hospital in Boston have developed a miniature probe in the form of a tablet.
The device can be used to check the entire gastrointestinal tract for the presence of diseases or even to obtain a tissue biopsy. In this case, the patient does not feel the slightest discomfort.
The development is able to save humanity from the horror of various invasive studies.
Individual Cancer Vaccines, Latest Technologies in 2019
This new type of treatment uses as a weapon its own human immunity. Treatment encourages the body’s ability to destroy cancer cells, identifying mutations that are unique to each tumor.
For the first time such vaccines were talked about in 2008, five years after the first decryption of the cancer genome. After that, scientists began to compare the DNA of malignant tumor cells with the DNA of benign tumors and healthy cells.
- Studies have confirmed that all cancer cells contain hundreds if not thousands of mutations, most of which are unique to each tumor.
- That is, one medicine for all cannot be developed.
But a few years ago, the German startup BioNTech confirmed that a vaccine containing examples of specific mutations could “tune” the immune system of one specific person to destroy one specific tumor. In December 2017, BioNTech, together with the biotech giant Genentech, began extensive vaccine testing.
Now scientists are on the verge of a breakthrough. But the question remains – if the vaccine is individual, how to adjust the release for millions of people? Now, to create a vaccine, a biopsy of the tumor is required, to analyze and organize its obtained DNA and transfer the information to the production site.
Therefore, at the moment, BioNTech and Genentech are developing a new production technology that would simplify and speed up this process for mass use.
Artificial Meat – Latest Technology in 2019
If there are no large-scale surprises, by 2050 there will be 9.8 billion human beings on the planet. The well-being of the average earthling will also increase, so that the consumption of meat will increase. According to experts, humanity will consume 70% more meat than in 2005.
And mass animal husbandry greatly affects the environment – a huge livestock population produces a lot of greenhouse gases. Scientists propose to reduce this load, simply growing real meat in the laboratory. It is assumed that a large piece of meat can be grown from several muscle cells in a bioreactor.
- Scientists from the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands have already achieved success.
- However, this method of production reduced greenhouse gas emissions by only 7%.
- The alternative is the synthesis of “meat” from pea protein, soy, wheat, potatoes and other plant products.
- California companies Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are already trying to produce such a product, and the imitation is quite accurate.
- According to Bill Gates, who invests in both companies, 90% less greenhouse gases are emitted during the production of such “meat” than with conventional cattle breeding.
Carbon Dioxide Trap
Carbon Dioxide Trap is one of the latest technologies in 2019. You can try to reduce emissions, but you can – just remove the extra carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. And this may be a more efficient and high-tech solution than all the fuss, which environmentalists are now engaged in.
According to data from the UN, limiting emissions, you can only slow down the greenhouse effect. For the same, to stop it, carbon dioxide from the atmosphere must be removed. To this end, by the end of the century, 1 trillion tons of carbon must be removed from the atmosphere.
Last year, Harvard climatologist David Keith calculated that this can be achieved with the help of air filtering machines. With current technology, it will cost about $ 100 per ton of carbon. Then, the collected carbon can be converted into synthetic carbon fuel used by experimental rockets.
Toilet Without Sewage
Approximately 2.3 billion people live in primitive unsanitary conditions. The absence of normal toilets leads to the fact that the feces fall into the neighboring water bodies, spreading bacteria, viruses and parasites.
To combat this problem, scientists are developing a new type of toilet, which will be cheap enough for the poorest developing countries, but will not only accumulate but also recycle waste. In 2011, Bill Gates established a special award “Reinvent the toilet”. Several startups have already offered their options, so it is likely that an acceptable solution will be found soon.
More Intelligent Voice Assistants
We have become accustomed to voice assistants and do not perceive them as something new. However, Alexa and Siri are still very far from ideal.
They are able to perform specific commands, but deviating to the side confuses them. A real assistant can be a breakthrough, able to maintain an adequate dialogue on any topic. The development of such an assistant is a non-profit company Open AI.
We already mentioned it when we talked above about self-learning robotics. Developers use similar self-learning algorithms to give artificial intelligence the ability to process speech and maintain adequate dialogue.