Technology

2016 had its flaws, but the technological progresses made bode well for the future. Advances in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have made smarter products for everyday consumers and present the possibility for much more advanced uses for industry and security. Biological advances have the potential to improve health for billions and allows us to produce better and cheaper livestock and plants for consumption. And then there is the technology to keep our planet greener with solar panels making big leaps and if that doesn’t work the technology to get off the planet has improved as well. Progress cannot be stopped and the 21st century seems to barreling full steam ahead.

 

 

A good list to highlight some of the advances that will shape the years to come.

Technologies of 2016

Not really related to any category, but fire is one of the original technological achievements, never hurts to know more ways to get it started.

Odd Ways To Make Fire

 

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

If you have a smart phone the AI in its interface is improving by leaps and bounds. The information it gleans from your life can now be shaped to make your life better. Soon everyone will have their robot assistants. The moral questions that brings up about your privacy not withstanding smarter machines can improve not just basic consumers lives, but also that of many different types of businesses and even government.

 

The battle of the smart home speakers; Google seems to have the AI advantage.

Smart House Speakers

After acquiring a translation company Google’s AI has a breakthrough.

Google AI Breakthrough

Obama forever the technocrat outline the challenges his successor will have with AI.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602612/obama-my-successor-will-govern-a-country-being-transformed-by-ai/?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post

 

 

Infrastructure and Transportation

Although much of our old school infrastructure isn’t in tip top shape that doesn’t stop innovators from looking to the future. Internet for 3rd world, flying cars, electric highways, all ideas that promise to bringer closer to the Jetson’s lifestyle.

 

 

Electric cars have improved by leaps and bounds. Their batteries are more efficient and their range longer than ever. However, they still need to be charged every now and then. Ideas about highways that can charge them while they are driving or stations every 50 miles or so have come up.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602802/electric-superhighways-cant-come-soon-enough/

Apparently, taking over the taxi industry wasn’t enough; now Uber wants to transport via flying cars.

Flying Cars?!?!/

Speaking of Uber for the air Imagine Air is trying to ferry people via small planes profitably.

http://www.inc.com/skyler-inman/2016-inc5000-this-company-is-reimagining-how-america-ravels.html

Uber apparently also wants to ship beer not just people and without drivers at that. Watch out truck drivers.

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/ubers-self-driving-truck-makes-first-delivery-50000-beers/

Apparently, it’s really hard to move containers out of port, that backlog builds up. Here’s an interesting solution.

https://www.wired.com/2016/10/forget-hyperloop-awful-looking-thing-can-move-stuff/

Jetpacks are coming. Be prepared to fly to work. Hope you aren’t afraid of heights.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a23276/jetpacks-are-real/

Due to China’s policies, many tech companies have abandoned plans to have a business imprint in the world’s most populous nation. However, Facebook no longer wants to be deterred even if that means leaving some of its “Western Values” at home.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602493/mark-zuckerbergs-long-march-to-china/?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post

Most of the world still doesn’t have internet, Facebook is looking to change that. Hard to get people to join Facebook if they don’t have internet, guess over a billion users isn’t enough.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602624/facebooks-three-point-plan-to-get-four-billion-more-people-online/?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post

Green Energy

 

Building a nuclear reactors is expensive. How to save on the enormous upfront costs? Build a smaller one.

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/602520/small-modular-nuclear-reactors-could-run-in-the-uk-by-2030/?utm_campaign=socialflow&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=post

 

This seems like it could help global warming. Converting CO2 to ethanol is a environmentalist wildest dream.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/green-tech/a23417/convert-co2-into-ethanol/

Green energy keeps getting cheaper and cheaper. Hooray for the Earth and maybe green jobs.

http://energy.gov/articles/6-charts-will-make-you-optimistic-about-america-s-clean-energy-future

Health

Health technology also had a good year from new vaccines to useful genetic engineering, some diseases are getting closer to extinction.

 

http://www.popsci.com/12-greatest-health-innovations-year#page-9

 

Apparently, the bacteria in your stomach not only help with digestion but also cognition. Who knew?

http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/06/gut-bacteria-on-the-brain/395918/

Accurate test for any disease are important more so for HIV. Putting that test on a USB drive, innovative.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/11/10/hiv-test-usb-drive/#.WCYs_0YrJhE

An artificial pancreas for diabetes now that’s just genius.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/10/10/fda-approves-first-artificial-pancreas/#.WCYtdEYrJhE

Sounds like cannibalism, but its good for you? Apparently the lack of autophagy (self-eating) is how cancer and dementia spreads. Guess anything that slows that is good.

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/10/04/self-eating-cells-autophagy-medicine/#.WCYtl0YrJhE

Well I hope not that many people need to use this, but quickly stopping the bleeding after being shot seems to be a good idea.

http://www.popsci.com/fda-approves-gunshot-staunching-invention-for-use-in-civilian-population

It might not be a lot relatively, but 3 billion is huge gesture for health research thanks Zuckerberg putting your money where your mouth is.

http://www.popsci.com/lets-talk-about-how-small-3-billion-is-compared-to-total-scientific-funding

My old chemistry set couldn’t do this. Being able to whip up a vaccine for Malaria while also teaching kids about chemistry, talk about practical instruction.

http://www.popsci.com/just-add-water-chemistry-kit-to-help-sis-world-and-next

001_biomolecular_manufacturing_kit

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