Original article was published by Zhou on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
Three technologies that will change the future
In the world today, technologies are developing at an unbelievable speed. From small things like audio sunglasses to virtual reality, there are thousands and thousands of new inventions every week. Here, I listed three technologies that could change the future world.
Artificial intelligence, commonly known as AI, is a system in which machines will learn a tremendous amount of data to fulfill a specific task.
The term artificial intelligence was coined in 1956. AI researches began in the 1950s. In the 1960s, the US Department of Defense got interested and started training computers to mimic basic human actions and thinking. In 2003, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) already developed a personal assistant, long before Siri, Cortana, or Alexa existed.
Today, we are already using AI in many ways. The most common approach is probably the personal assistants developed by tec-companies. AI is also useful in many more different areas, such as autonomous vehicles and automated warehousing.
AI can change our daily life in the future. It can liberate humans from doing repetitive and primary work.
However, there are also many solicitudes that AI will develop too far. For example, in 2017, the two artificial intelligences developed by Facebook, Bob and Alice, were caught talking to each other in a secret and more efficient language developed by the two robots. Some of these conversations look like this:
Bob: I can can i i everything else
Alice: Balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to
They were utterly incomprehensible for humans, but they were understandable for the robots.
Although we need to develop technologies, we still need to be careful about AIs because it can get terrifying in the future.
Additive Manufacturing, more commonly known as 3D printing, is a very recent invention. In 1974, the British chemist and author, David Jones first laid out the concept of 3D printing. The first commercial 3D printer, the SLA-1, was released in 1986. In the 1990s, people used 3D printing to do prototyping because of the lack of speed and accuracy.
Since the beginning of this decade, 3D printing was able to perform tasks with more complexity, accuracy, speed, and with different kinds of materials, making 3D printing a new way of manufacturing. Here are a few examples of its usage today:
- 2014: The Koenigsegg One:1 is a car designed by the Swedish car manufacturer Koenigsegg. They made air ducts, interior mirror pieces, and other small pieces using additive manufacturing. They weighed 400g lighter than a similar piece made from aluminum.
- 2015: The A350 XWB designed by Airbus contained more than 1000 3D printed parts.
- 2017: GE Aviation (a subsidiary of General Electric, is headquartered in Evendale, Ohio, outside Cincinnati) claimed that they designed a helicopter engine using 3D printing, which only has 16 parts instead of 900.
3D printing can develop in many ways. For example, it can be essential for the aerospace industry: they can build things with higher speed, less money, and much less complexity.
Synthetic biology is the design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems.
The term first appeared in 1910, in the publication of the French biologist Stéphane Leduc. But researches in this area first began in the 1960s. In 1988, the first DNA amplification by the polymerase chain reaction was published in Science. Scientists use this technology to analyze ancient DNA that is thousands of years old. Researchers were able to examine the DNA of Egyptian mummies, a Russian tsar, and the body of English king Richard III.
In recent years, synthetic biology became more and more influential. A very recent discovery is to cure cancer using synthetic biological circulates.
Today, we are using synthetic biology to accomplish many different tasks. Some of the applications are:
- Biological computers: It is an engineered organic system that can run a computer-like operation, such as detecting and killing cancer cells.
- Biosensor: A engineered organism, mostly bacterium, that is capable of reporting the presence of heavy metals or toxins.
- Space exploration: NASA has a high interest in synthetic biology. On Mars, in particular, synthetic biology could lead to production processes based on local resources.
But there are many ethical concerns: it is a highly popular topic of discussion nowadays. Here are a few typical questions:
- Who should have control over the products of synthetic biology?
- What if it ended up in the wrong hands? (biological weapon)
- What happens if a synthetic organism accidentally escapes?
Technologies could change our lives and our future world, but it can cause tremendous problems if we don’t treat them carefully enough. We have to develop different technologies, but at the same time, we have to make sure that they can’t become harmful for human beings.