Each year, the MIT Technology Review draws up its list of the 10 innovations likely to change the planet and society. It is clear that many innovations come from Israel.
According to (1): “This year, they were selected by a special guest: Bill Gates. We find in this list many subjects dear to the philanthropist through his foundation.
” There are two kinds of progress: those which increase the quantity of life and those which increase the quality of life.writes Bill Gates in his introduction to the magazine MIT Technology Review. Throughout human history, we first focused on the former. Today that our life expectancy has doubled since 1913, our attention is door on the second “. One does not exclude the other, of course. New drugs can thus save lives and improve people’s quality of life. In his list, the billionaire cleverly places many startups in which he himself has invested or that he has helped with his Bill & Melinda Gates foundation. But that’s quite normal: after all, when you bet on a company, it’s because you believe it has the potential to change society.
The new nuclear.
Reviled by ecologists, nuclear power is nevertheless a energy future, believes Bill Gates, who also supports several start-ups in this sector. But not nuclear oldschool Like that of the EPRs: the billionaire is betting on small modular reactors (SMR), presenting much less financial and ecological risks, like those of NuScale. Nuclear fusion research could also soon come to fruition, providing zero energy carbon almost unlimited.
- For when ? Ten years.
If the robots are very good at performing repetitive tasks on an assembly line, they are not very agile in manipulating objects individually according to their shape or their context as humans do. By combining visual recognition, algorithms of deep learning and roboticsrobots will tomorrow be able to do as well as them, hopes Bill Gates, who cites the example of Dactyl, a robotic “hand” developed by the OpenAI association.
- For when ? Within 3 to 5 years.
The personalized cancer vaccine.
With nearly 10 million deaths each year, cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Among the hundreds of new therapeutic approaches, that of the German startup BioNTech caught the attention of Bill Gates. This young shoot detects mutations in cancer cells and uses its own immune system patients to develop vaccines targeting these mutations.
- For when ? Under test.
The endoscope pill.
Have you ever heard of environmental enteropathy (EE)? This disease, which results in inflammation of the intestine and leads to malnutrition, causes retarded growth and psychomotor development. Detectable only by endoscopyit could however be better diagnosed thanks to an electronic pill to be swallowed which will inspect the intestine and carry out biopsies. Developed by Guillermo Tearney, biologist and engineer of the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, it can also be used to treat other pathologies, such as Colon Cancer.
- For when ? First tests in 2019.
Meat without meat.
In 2050, the planet will have 9.8 billion inhabitants who will consume 70% more meat than in 2005. However, the production of a kilogram beef requires 70 times more surface area, eight times more water and emits nine times more gas earth effect that the production of one kilogram of soy. Cultivated in vitro with stem cells or plant-based, “fake” meat is therefore the subject of big ambitions on the part of startups such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Foods, in which Bill Gates has also invested.
- For when ? Today for plant meat, 2020 for artificial meat.
Toilets without sewer.
Toilets in developing countries are one of Bill Gates’ great hobbies. Some 2.3 billion people today still do not have access to clean sanitary facilities, he constantly reminds us, which encourages people to defecate in the open. air and promotes the spread of disease. In 2011, the philanthropist launched the ” Toilet Challenge » calling on innovators around the world to create toilets low-cost and autonomous. Dozens of prototypes have already been presented.
- For when ? Within 1 to 2 years.
ECG connected watches.
Last May, Apple proudly announced that its connected watch had saved the lives of two people by detecting an abnormally high heart rate. The latest version of the Apple Watch is indeed equipped with a function electrocardiogram (ECG) analyzing heart impulses. However, current devices with a single sensor cannot detect a stroke in real time. This could soon change: the American manufacturer AliveCor presented at the last Congress of the American Association of Cardiology a device with two sensors supposed to detect certain types of attack.
- For when ? Right now.
To prevent the global warmingit would be necessary to remove 1,000 billion tons of carbon during the 21ste century, according to UN experts. As recently as February 26, Australian researchers presented a method to capture and convert CO2 atmospheric carbon solid storable. Bill Gates cites the startups Carbon Engineering (in which he invested) and Climeworks, which transform CO2 atmospheric in biofuel or industrial gas. ” It is still expensive and difficult but given our inability to sufficiently reduce our emissions, there is no other option. “, explains Bill Gates, fatalist.
- For when ? Within 5 to 10 years.
Predict premature births.
Fifteen million babies are born prematurely every year, one million of whom will die from complications, according to a report from some 50 organizations and universities. ” Tomorrow, a simple blood test will show whether a woman is at risk of childbirth premature “says Bill Gates. Stephen Quake, a researcher at Stanford University, has developed a test that detects the expression of certain genes inRNA circulating (outside the cells) associated with a risk of premature birth. Mothers at risk could thus be identified and cared for.
- For when ? Within 5 years.
Intelligent voice assistants.
Amazon AlexaSiri, Google Home… connected speakers have been widely adopted in the United States, but their capacities remain quite limited for the moment. The deeper understanding of human language combined with the improvement of synthetic voices will soon make it possible to have a real conversation with voice assistants, assures Bill Gates, who cites in particular the example of Google Duplex, capable of phoning to make an appointment. you in your place.
- For when ? Within 1 to 2 years.