Technology Review has released their list for “10 Breakthrough Technologies” for 2018. It’s hard to argue with the list having some important developments in it:
- 3-D printing with metal — this could drastically disrupt manufacturing and give rise to lighter, stronger parts;
- Artificial embryos — not exactly coming to a lab near you, but basically creating an embryo from another cell without an egg or sperm…great for research, but the ethical issues haven’t been worked out;
- Smart-design for urban settings — using sensing technology and integrating tech into high-end design has always been part of the “future” in various sci-fi movies, but Quayside in Toronto will make some of it a reality;
- Dueling neural networks — computer AI’s are bad at “creating”, but new techniques teaching them to learn off each other is creating a pseudo creativity with amazing applications for modelling, virtual entertainment, design, etc.;
- Babelfish earbuds — auto translation in an earbud is great in theory, but I’m not convinced it will move out of the tourist zone as rapidly as some claim, particularly as early designs by no less than Google have been pretty clunky;
- Zero-carbon natural gas — obviously, it’s still a non-renewable fuel, but having a clean version with no GHG emissions would be amazing, even if “Net Power’s technology won’t solve all the problems with natural gas, particularly on the extraction side.