Three incredible new technology developments improving the world - July 2019
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
I love technology and particularly how we are using new technologies to better the world for humanity, wildlife, and the environment.
Below is a quick dive into three very exciting recent technology developments that are shaping our future.
Elon Musk Unveiled His Secret Project; Hooking Brains Up to Computers.
What is this?
SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the technology behind Neuralink, his company that has raised $US158 ($225) million to develop “ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers”.
Once the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gives Neuralink approvals, and they are trageting early 2020 to commence human trials, Neuralink robots will drill four 8mm-sized holes into a patient's skull. In those holes, the Neuralink robots would implant thousands of electrodes in so-called "threads" that would interact with brain functions.
Why is it important?
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) scares a lot of people, including Elon Musk.
The Singularity, as coined by Ray Kurzweil, is the point at which AGI overtakes human intelligence. When this happens, and it could happen as early as 2035, AI reaches escape velocity. Humans will lose control as AI is able to use all the world's information, digital, and potentially physical, resources to constantly improve itself.
Elon Musk and many others have already conceeded it is a foregone conclusion we will lose control of AI. So when this happens we can only hope we have trained AIs to be wise, ethical, and to operate in the best interests of humanity.
Neuralink has the potential to become a platform technology that enables thousands of entrepreneurs around the world to create and improve technologies that allow humans to extend their mental and physical capacity to keep up with, or maybe even control, AI.
Neuralink is, however, much more than this. When humans can extend their mental and physical capacity to a potentially unlimited universe, then anything and everything becomes possible.
Imagine living in a world where averything is known by everyone and anything is possible.
Read more on Inc.com
Breakthroughs Enable Major Steps Toward Abundant Energy
What is this?
A paper was released in the journal of Nuclear Fusion, where researchers at the United States DIII-D National Fusion Facility describe experiments on a new operating mode for fusion reactors that may create abundant, nearly limitless, and emmission-free energy.
Super-H Mode, as the researchers dub the approach, allows higher fusion performance than was previously possible. In recent experiments, the researchers achieved record-breaking values of fusion gain for a device of DIII-D’s size. Fusion gain is the ratio of fusion power generated to heating power required.
Why is it important?
Only those with the head under a considerable sized rock, or that stand to benefit from fossil fuel industries and/or subsidies, still believe there is any economic case for energy to be produced from fossil fuels.
The world is turning to emmision-free energy generation and investment in renewables like solar and wind power is increasing as the cost decreases and efficiency increases exponentially.
But what if Fusion power becomes a reality? What if we can actually create and contain the energy of a star on earth with the cost of production being lower than the value of the output?
Once that happens perhaps all other energy production becomes obsolete and we live in a world where the cost of energy trends to zero. This would/could/SHOULD be the biggest advancement towards the eradication of poverty the world has ever seen as every human should then have access to almost zero-cost energy for food and water production, education, transport, and health.
and if you really want to geek out then here's a report on the US National Academics Press on Advancing Magnetic Fusion Toward an Economical Energy Source
IBM Made its Cancer-Fighting AI Projects Open-Source
What is this?
IBM has released three artificial intelligence (AI) projects tailored to take on the challenge of curing cancer to the open-source community. This means the software's original source code is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified by anyone.
IBM’s tools range from predicting the efficacy of new drugs to treatment personalization.
PaccMann uses deep learning to predict the viability of certain compounds for anticancer drugs. The ML algorithm exploits data on gene expression as well as the molecular structures of chemical compounds. IBM says that by identifying potential anti-cancer compounds earlier, this can cut the costs associated with drug development.
INtERAcT can parse (examine and analyse) tomes of medical journals to identify critical updates in the field. With roughly 17,000 papers published every year in the field of cancer research, INtERAcT will enable researchers and practitioners to stay up-to-date and informed.
PIMKL helps doctors tailor care regimens to optimise individual patients’ needs. It uses what is known as multiple kernel learning to identify molecular pathways crucial for categorizing patients, giving healthcare professionals an opportunity to individualize and tailor treatment plans.
Why is this important?
Cancer alone is estimated to have caused 9.6 million deaths in 2018, with an estimated 18 million new cases reported in the same year.
In the hands of many, IBM's tools become a platform technology upon which new and better solutions can be built. This is similar to the strategy IBM has taken with Watson; enabling developers all over the world to build on and improve the technology for all.
This creates a positive loop of constant improvement.
Now this can be applied to the field of curing and treating cancer, the resulting improvements will accelerate exponentially. This will multiply innovation in a number of medical fields, accelerating iteration rates, algorithm feedback and improvement, and the development of highly effective drug therapies.
Welcome to a new worlde of AI- and crowd-driven medical discovery.
I hope this article helps shed a bright light on some super exciting new technologies. Are you as excited for the future as I am?