Are we prepared to assimilate the technological change that is imminently looming? The World Economic Forum, in collaboration with the Scientific American magazine, recently published a report with the 10 emerging technologies of 2016. This list has been defined by the WEF Emerging Technologies Meta-Council and highlights the technological advances that, in the words of Its members, have the power to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard the planet.
This report covers a wide range of state-of-the-art and state-of-the-art technologies, including examples such as the internet for nanowires, optogenetics and 2D materials. Technologies that will soon be able to play, if they are not already doing it, an essential role in the fight against the great challenges of our society. Dr. Bernard Meyerson, IBM’s Director of Innovation and President of the Emerging Technologies Meta-Council, makes it very clear: “Exploring the horizons of emerging technologies is crucial to keep abreast of events that can radically transform our world, Which allows the analysis of experts in timely preparation for these disruptors. The world community must come together and agree on common principles if our society wants to reap the benefits of these technologies. “
One of the most disruptive criteria used by Council members during the preparation of the report is that 2016 may represent a turning point in the deployment of these technologies. This innovative listing includes technologies known and used for several years, but only now they are reaching a point of maturity in which their impact can have significant and real relevance. The Meta-Council for Emerging Technologies was based on the listing of the collective experience of the Forum communities to identify the most important recent technological trends. The goal is therefore to raise awareness of the potential of these technologies and to help close the gaps in investment, regulation and understanding of the paralyzing public and barriers to global progress, as a civilization.
1. Two-dimensional materials create new tools for technologists
Innovative new materials such as graphene are becoming more economical and could offer radical improvements to solar energy and air pollution.
2. Stand-alone vehicles go up the lane
The development of autonomous or driver-less vehicles has accelerated rapidly with companies such as Tesla that already produce consumer models. It is likely that semi-autonomous vehicles may be available for mass production sooner than expected.
3. The blockchain improves privacy, security and data transport
The block chain is a decentralized database where electronic transactions are recorded in a secure and verified way. They are currently used for digital coins like bitcoin. The future world economy will be based on block chain transactions and third party organizations may no longer be needed.
4. Next Generation Batteries Increase Capacity
It includes new battery technologies such as sodium ions and zing-air, which are much more efficient and economical. This will make it possible to store energy on a large scale and facilitate the use of renewable energies.
5. An open ecosystem of artificial intelligence augurs a personal assistant for all
AI technologies that interpret speech, text, financial behavior and health conditions will soon be able to provide assistance and support equal to or greater than those of a human personal assistant.
6. Organs-on-chips allow exploring new angles of human biology
Organs on chips are miniature models that can effectively emulate human organs, allowing new drugs to be tested more accurately and animal experimentation replaced.
7. Perovskite solar cells recharge electricity production
It is a new type of solar cell that is much more efficient in power generation. The rapid development of these solar cells could provide a reliable source of clean energy around the world.
8. Metabolic engineering systems transform microbes into factories
Concerns about climate change and dependence on fossil fuels are leading to a bio-based economy. Microorganisms that can be contained safely and without ethical problems are being used as “biofactories” for the production of chemicals and sustainable materials, which will be used to produce products that are more environmentally friendly, with no carbon footprint.
9. The Internet of Things Becomes Nano
This technology is based on sensors small enough that they can circulate through living bodies or mix directly with building materials. It is a crucial first step towards a Nanotechnology Internet (IoNT) that could transform medicine, environmental sciences and many other sectors.
10. Optogenetics illuminates therapeutic neuroscience
With optogenetics, neuroscientists can selectively activate and deactivate neurons with an unprecedented level of accuracy. The World Health Organization estimates that mental disorders affect one in four people in the world, with long-term consequences for individuals and societies. Optogenetics can have a revolutionary impact on the treatment of mental disorders such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.
What do you think?. We hope to see the evolution and implementation of these technologies in the real world soon, although if this type of initiatives and reports allow us to create spaces to discuss the social, human, economic or environmental risks and concerns that these technologies may pose before their Widespread adoption, welcome sean.