The World Economic Forum (WEF) last week published its annual list of 2016's breakthrough technologies, with a specific focus on closing the gaps in investment and regulation. "Horizon scanning for emerging technologies is crucial to staying abreast of developments that can radically transform our world, enabling timely expert analysis in preparation for these disruptors," says WEF Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies chair Bernard Meyerson. "The global community needs to come together and agree on common principles if our society is to reap the benefits and hedge the risks of these technologies."
The 10 leading technologies on the 2016 WEF list include nanosensors and the Internet of Nanothings, which involve tiny sensors that can be circulated in the human body or embedded in construction materials. Also making the list is blockchain cryptocurrency, with its potential to transform how markets and governments function.
Other cited technologies include self-driving vehicles, miniature organ models, and next-generation sodium-, aluminum,- and zinc-based batteries that could support clean and reliable mini-grids. The list also included perovskite solar cells, which offer near-ubiquitous deployment, easier fabrication, and more efficient power production than silicon solar cells. WEF's list also includes an open artificial intelligence ecosystem driven by innovations in natural-language processing, social-awareness algorithms, and data availability, enabling versatile smart digital assistants. The list also includes systems metabolic engineering, and optogenetics, the use of light in brain treatments.
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Abstracts Copyright © 2016 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA
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