What are the hottest technological innovations at the moment? As it turns out some will be pretty obvious, while others might surprise you.
In the following article, we've collated some of the most interesting and potentially revolutionary tech-innovations currently either being researched or developed.
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What are the newest technologies coming our way?
Here are some of the newest up and coming technologies for 2019 and beyond. This list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. AI coming of age is, um, coming!
AI has been on the receiving end of massive financial investment over the last few years. According to Forbes, 80% of enterprises are now investing in it or are planning to expand AI investment if they already are.
This influx of money has given rise to some serious innovation in deep learning. With all this cash flowing around, many tech experts believe AI will really "come of age" within the next few years.
2. Internet at the speed of lightning
The appetite for faster and faster internet connection is really pushing the technology forward. Businesses and private users are constantly demanding ever quicker response times and the industry is responding.
With lightning-fast internet speeds just around the corner, it should be transformative for many aspects of our lives. Should it be achieved, it will increase the efficiency of workers and will provide reliable communication tools for companies that rely on remote workers.
This is where 5G might be able to change the world as much as our "regular" internet did several decades ago. That's if it doesn't kill us all first, of course.
3. Life-enriching smart tech will change the home
More and more of our lives are becoming integrated with smart tech. Our homes being no exception.
Demand for ever better smart home appliances and home entertainment systems are changing the way we socialize. Whether for better or worse, today is just the tip of the iceberg.
Current trends seem to indicate a greater demand for more control over the way we are entertained in the home from tech. One area that may be something to watch is something called flexible viewing surfaces.
These promise to be able to curve around any environment will change home entertainment and advertising beyond all recognition. Watch this space.
4. Dextrous robots might be with us very soon
Computers and robots are dumb. Very dumb indeed.
If their work environment changes even slightly outside their preprogrammed procedure and the whole production line could come to a grinding halt. This is where improving robotic dexterity offers an incredible opportunity for more flexible automation.
While it may be possible to program robots to figure out how to grasp something by "looking" at it in the future, current research is trying to make them learn how to do so through a trial and error process.
One example is a project called Dactyl, that has taught itself to flip a toy using it's "fingers".
5. Brain-computer interface is almost here
Innovations like Elon Musk's Neuralink could make the mouse and keyboard obsolete in the future. Work in this area is continuing apace and promises to allow us to control computers just by thinking.
We'll let you decide if this will be revolutionary or not to you working and daily life.
6. Swallowable medical devices are on the way
Small, swallowable devices are currently being developed that can capture images of your guts without the need for anesthetic. They can even be used in infants and children.
Once fully developed these little medical devices will revolutionize how medical professionals diagnose and monitor some very serious diseases. This will be an incredibly powerful tool for things like cancer and intestinal disorders like environmental enteric dysfunction.
7. Custom cancer vaccines could be a reality soon
Thanks to scientific developments like the Human Genome Project, personalized medicines and vaccines could be just around the corner. One interesting application for this is the possibility of developing personalized cancer vaccines.
This might sound a little far-fetched, but it is hoped that medical professionals could soon train your immune system to identify and destroy cancer cells. This, if achieved, could make cancer a thing of the past.
8. Fancy a cow-free burger?
Meat is a vital part of a healthy diet, so we are told, but it comes with a small problem - an animal needs to die. Developments are in motion to provide the world with animal-free meat.
Whether lab-grown, 3D printed or plant-based, alternatives that provide the same nutritional value as proper meat could soon be a reality. It will also offer a means for mankind to reduce dramatically our collective appetite for meat's impact on the planet.
9. An end to sewers is on the way (hopefully)
Developments are afoot to push forward with "eco-friendly" toilets that do not need a connection to a sewer system and can treat waste on the spot. Not only will this be revolutionary for cities of the future, but it will bring much-needed sanitation to many parts of the world that currently lack this "luxury".
Philanthropists Bill Gates has been running a competition called "Reinvent the Toilet Challenge" to find suitable, viable prototypes for this. Many submissions are actually quite promising and once self-contained, self waste metabolizing systems will benefit mankind and the environment for the better.
10. GANs - Generative Adversarial Networks are on the way
GANs, or Generative Adversarial Networks is one of the latest developments in neural networks could be the future. Invented by Ian Goodfellow, this class of machine learning basically sets two neural networks against each other to solve a problem.
Given a set starting condition, the two networks battle it out in a usually non-zero sum game to find a solution to something. These have been described by some as "the coolest idea in machine learning in the last twenty years"
Applications for this technology include generating artificial images, modeling things, improving computer games and many more.
What other examples of technological innovations are there?
Apart from the ten highlighted above, there are some other interesting technological innovations out there. These include, but are not limited to things like (credit to MIT) : -
- 3-D metal printing
- Artificial embryos
- Sensing cities (smart cities)
- AI for everyone
- Instant foreign language translation
- Zero-carbon natural gas
- Genetic fortune-telling
What are the latest technologies in computer science?
According to sites like topuniversities.com, some of the latest technology areas of research include, but are not limited to: -
- Big data analytics
- Machine learning
- Cloud computing
- Computer-assisted education
- Better cybersecurity