1. 3-D Metal Printing
Breakthrough: Now printers can make metal objects quickly and cheaply.
Why It Matters: The ability to make large and complex metal objects on demand could transform manufacturing.
Key Players: Markforged, Desktop Metal, GE
2. Artificial Embryos
Breakthrough: Without using eggs or sperm cells, researchers have made embryo-like structures from stem cells alone, providing a whole new route to creating life.
Why It Matters: Artificial embryos will make it easier for researchers to study the mysterious beginnings of a human life, but they’re stoking new bioethical debates.
Key Players: University of Cambridge; University of Michigan; Rockefeller University
3. Sensing City
Breakthrough: A Toronto neighborhood aims to be the first place to successfully integrate cutting-edge urban design with state-of-the-art digital technology.
Why It Matters: Smart cities could make urban areas more affordable, livable, and environmentally friendly.
Key Players: Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto
Availability: Project announced in October 2017; construction could begin in 2019
4. AI for Everybody
Breakthrough: Cloud-based AI is making the technology cheaper and easier to use.
Why It Matters: Right now the use of AI is dominated by a relatively few companies, but as a cloud-based service, it could be widely available to many more, giving the economy a boost.
Key Players: Amazon; Google; Microsoft
5. Dueling Neural Networks
Breakthrough: Two AI systems can spar with each other to create ultra-realistic original images or sounds, something machines have never been able to do before.
Why It Matters: This gives machines something akin to a sense of imagination, which may help them become less reliant on humans—but also turns them into alarmingly powerful tools for digital fakery.
Key Players: Google Brain, DeepMind, Nvidia
6. Babel-Fish Earbuds
Breakthrough: Near-real-time translation now works for a large number of languages and is easy to use.
Why It Matters: In an increasingly global world, language is still a barrier to communication.
Key Players: Google and Baidu
7. Zero-Carbon Natural Gas
Breakthrough: A power plant efficiently and cheaply captures carbon released by burning natural gas, avoiding greenhouse-gas emissions.
Why It Matters: Around 32 percent of US electricity is produced with natural gas, accounting for around 30 percent of the power sector’s carbon emissions.
Key Players: 8 Rivers Capital; Exelon Generation; CB&I
Availability: 3 to 5 years
8. Perfect Online Privacy
Breakthrough: Computer scientists are perfecting a cryptographic tool for proving something without revealing the information underlying the proof.
Why It Matters: If you need to disclose personal information to get something done online, it will be easier to do so without risking your privacy or exposing yourself to identity theft.
Key Players: Zcash; JPMorgan Chase; ING
9. Genetic Fortune Telling
Breakthrough: Scientists can now use your genome to predict your chances of getting heart disease or breast cancer, and even your IQ.
Why It Matters: DNA-based predictions could be the next great public health advance, but they will increase the risks of genetic discrimination.
Key Players: Helix; 23andMe; Myriad Genetics; UK Biobank; Broad Institute
10. Materials' Quantum Leap
Breakthrough: IBM has simulated the electronic structure of a small molecule, using a seven-qubit quantum computer.
Why It Matters: Understanding molecules in exact detail will allow chemists to design more effective drugs and better materials for generating and distributing energy.
Key Players: IBM; Google; Harvard’s Alán Aspuru-Guzik
Availability: 5 to 10 years
Collected from MIT Technology Review