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Ten challenges the world needs to solve

Source – technology review https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612951/ten-big-global-challenges-technology-could-solve/amp/

  1. Greenhouse gases – where to store and repurpose the excess CO2
  2. Storing Renewable  energy from solar, wind and sea – how to store enough to replace coal
  3. The universal flu vaccine 
  4. Dementia treatment –  The number of people living with the disease is skyrocketing. (10pc over 65, 30pc over 85 in USA) Advances in neuroscience and genetics are beginning to shed more light. Hopefully there will be a solution to shut down the devastating effects of the condition.
  5. Ocean clean-up – Billions of tiny pieces of plastic—so-called “microplastics”—are now floating throughout the world’s oceans poisoning birds, fish, and humans.
  6. Energy-efficient desalination – There is about 50 times as much salt water on earth as there is fresh water. As the world’s population grows and climate change intensifies droughts, the need for fresh water is going to grow more acute. Reverse-osmosis desalination facilities are being used is Israel, which now gets most of its household water from the sea. How do you make it cheaper. As far as climate-change adaptation technologies go, creating drinking water from the ocean ought to be a top priority.
  7. Safe driverless car – If they can be made reliably safe, traffic jams might be eliminated, cities could be transformed as parking lots give way to new developments and most of the 1.25 million deaths a year caused by traffic accidents would be eliminated 
  8. Embodied AI – where imaginary can interact with real things as people and animals interact with each other. Will machines have souls? 
  9. Predicting earthquakes Over 100,000 people died in the 2010 Haiti earthquake, and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami—triggered by one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded—killed nearly a quarter of a million people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and elsewhere. Predicting earthquakes would allow people to evacuate unsafe areas, and could save millions of lives.
  10. Brain decoding– Cracking that code could lead to breakthroughs in how we treat mental disorders like dementia, schizophrenia and autism. It might allow us to improve direct interfaces that communicate directly from our brains to computers, or even to other people—a life-changing development for people who are paralyzed by injury or degenerative disease.

Posted on March 18, 2019

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