Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, philanthropist and one of the richest men in the world, was invited by the publication MIT Technology Review to choose The 10 inventions of 2019, which in his opinion will see a seed towards the future.
from robots up to synthetic meat burgers, the entrepreneur develops a list of technologies and innovations that will change the lives of all people, and it is already becoming available.
1. Robots with dexterity
While industrial robots can do more assignments with complete precision they remain clumsy and inflexible. However, a new generation of automata learns that deal with the physical world.
Gates mentions as an example Dactyl, a robot who learned to manipulate a toy block with his hands. These robots get through trials and bugs Take objects without breaking them Having observed them, it is very impossible to achieve a very human skill and a robot.
For another example, we could mention the robot trained by a group of researchers from the same Massachusetts Institute of Technology, so see play jenga, a game that requires excellent fine motor skills, so the block tower does not fall.
Gates believes that thanks to these advances, robots will no longer be "clumsy" in less than 5 years.
2. Renewal of nuclear power
the advanced fusion and fission reactors they become reality. The new designs that have gained momentum in the last year promise to make this energy source safer and cheaper.
Gates cites fission reactors fourth generation, a development of traditional designs; the small modular reactors; and fusion reactors, a technology that has worked forever unattainable.
These inventions come back safer nuclear powerand much less harmful to the environment. Its creators believe that they could supply electricity before 2020.
3. Give early births
A simple one blood test can predict whether a pregnant woman risks giving birth too early.
One in 10 babies is born prematurely. EFE / Attila Balazs
Stephen Quake, a Stanford bioengineer, found a way to solve one of the most difficult problems in medicine: approx. One in 10 babies is born prematurely.
By sequencing RNA flows in the mother's bloodQuake can detect fluctuations that he points out as associated with premature birth. It allows you to identify women who have odds to give birth too early. Once warned, doctors can take steps to prevent premature birth and give the child a better chance of survival.
4. Intestinal probe in a pill
one small unit what can you do swallow captures detailed images of the gut without having anesthesia, even in infants and children.
Capsule developed by Guillermo Tearney (The Tearney Lab)
William Tearney, pathologist and engineer at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, is developing artifacts the size of a pill which can be used to inspect gut and even get tissue biopsies. Unlike endoscopes, they are easy to use in a primary care center.
This invention could be essential in the detection of diseases such as e.g. environmental enteric dysfunction (EED), one of the most expensive and difficult to diagnose.
the capsule is being tested in humans, and this year begins testing on children.
Read more►Favaloro bypass was chosen by Google among the 400 inventions that changed history
5. Personal cancer vaccines
Scientists are about to market the first personal vaccine against cancer. If it works as expected, the vaccine that activates a person's immune system to identify a tumor by its unique mutations can effectively cure many types of cancers.
The treatment encourages natural defense of the body To destroy only cancer cells by identifying unique mutations for each tumor.
The possibility of developing this type of vaccine began to take shape in 2008, five years after the Human Genome Project was completed. The ongoing trial is at least aimed at 10 types of cancers and aims to recruit more than 560 patients worldwide.
6. Burger without queues
the livestock for consumption has harmful effects for the environment. Because of that, they try so much alternatives grown in the laboratory like others based on plants that approximates the taste and nutritional value of real meat without the harmful effects.
Researchers from Maastricht University in the Netherlands are working to produce meat grown in the laboratory to scale and believe that they will have a laboratory-produced hamburger available by 2020.
However, the environmental benefits are still very high couple in this type of system: a recent report by the World Economic Forum says that greenhouse gas emissions from laboratory-produced meat would only be around one 7% discount than beef production.
A better result at the environmental level occurs with vegetable meat of companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods, which use peas, soy, wheat, potato and vegetable oil proteins to mimic the texture and taste of animal meat.
According to an analysis of the Center for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan, a hamburger of this type generates 90% less emissions than a conventional hamburger made of cow.
7. "Capturers" of carbon dioxide
In connection with the previous point and the problem with greenhouse gas emissionsfor Gates it is important to find ways to capture carbon dioxide to reduce environmental change.
To avoid a dangerous one increase in temperatures, warns the UN climate panel that the world should eliminate 1 trillion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in this century.
David Keith, a Harvard scientist, showed that it is possible to catch a ton of carbon dioxide at a price of approx.$ 100. The problem is what to do with the trapped particles.
A Canadian startup now suggests generate fuelby the captured carbon dioxide as the main constituent. Other proposals include the use of carbon dioxide in the production of gaseous.
However Remove CO2 from the air is from one technical point of view one of the most difficult and costly to deal with climate change. But given the slowness of emissions, there are no other options.
8. An electrocardiogram on the wrist
Technological advances make it easier for people to continuous monitoring of their hearts with portable devices.
Apple Watch has the ability to perform electrocardiograms. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP
Smartwatches enabled to perform electrocardiograms provide the convenience of a portable device with an accuracy close to a medical equipment, who can also attention to emergencies or contacts in case of heart failure detection.
Apple Watch was pioneer In this field, however, several companies are developing complementary sensors that can Discover some types of heart failure.
9. Waste treatment without sewer
One of the projects where Gates is heavily involved is related to the creation of a new kind toilets It can work without sewer system and treat the waste in situ.
Bill Gates and a toilet that doesn't need water or connect to the sewer system.
The lack of a suitable sewage system is spread bacteria. virus and pests what can cause diarrhea and anger. Diarrhea causes one in nine infant deaths all over the world
Researchers are working to build this new type of toilets it is enough Cheap for developing countries that can not only eliminate waste but also treat it.
In 2011, Gates launched a global challenge to reinvent the toilet. Since then, several teams from around the world have achieved successful prototypes, although it is still not possibleproduce them on a large scale.
10. Virtual assistants who can hold conversations
Alexa. Siri and Google Assistant They are more and more involved in our lives. However, these systems are based on artificial intelligence they only recognize a narrow range of directives and they easily stumbled with the language deviations.
But some latest progress is expanding the repertoire for these virtual assistants, as the technique developed by OpenAI researchers, which will allow them to move from simple orders to continue conversations with the robots.
Some of these developments are already used as Google DuplexThe restless human innovation of Google Assistant that can answer phone calls and categorize them as spam or you can call reservations at restaurants or similar places.
But even though the artificial intelligence programs they improved In knowing what the user wants, still can't understand a sentencewhich reflects how difficult it is to equip machines with a genuine understanding of language. When it is passage The obstacle we will be in the presence of a true revolution.