Summary of 10 Breakthrough Technologies 2019

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Business magnate and philanthropist Bill Gates picked ten “Breakthrough Technologies” to feature in this special edition of MIT Technology Review and also recommends ten books on many of the subjects included in this publication. The issue also briefly discusses "Ten Grand Challenges” ripe for solving by new technologies and ten intriguing smaller ideas. The compilation of articles will engage anyone concerned with what a not-so-distant future will look like.

About the Authors

Bill Gates is the principal founder of Microsoft Corporation and is the guest curator of “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2019” for the MIT Technology Review.

 

Summary

Artificial Intelligence offers new ways for robots to learn dexterity, by challenging them to solve “the messiness of reality.”

People nervous that machines will usurp their jobs should relax. Most of today’s robots are clumsy and incapable of adapting to changes. However, a San Francisco-based non-profit group, “OpenAI,” is working with a deep-learning capable machine named Dactyl. Loaded with a sophisticated neural-network program, Dactyl repetitively tests new moves before employing its “hand” to perform new tasks.

In the effort to reduce carbon emissions, nuclear power could play a pivotal role.

With dwindling public support and competition from cheaper shale gas, nuclear power plants around the world are being phased out and closed. Advancement of reactors may challenge that trend. Developers are currently entering partnerships with utility companies to bring some “generation IV fission reactors” online by the 2020s. The Oregon company NuScale claims their smaller, modular reactors operate more efficiently, while reducing environmental risks. Molten-salt reactors are considered safer than older reactors, and run at ...


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