Can you imagine having a superhero’s view like Superman? Curing cancer with a chip? Or stopping a suicide through a Facebook chat? This could soon be a reality thanks to technology.
See the list of technological innovations that will change our lives in the coming years:
Artificial intelligence will help mental health
About 10% of the world’s population suffers from depression or anxiety and mental disorders account for 30% of the global burden of non-fatal illness, according to a World Health Organization study.
Can you imagine detecting these mental illnesses by analyzing our speech and writing?
In 5 years, everything we say and write will be an indicator of our mental health and physical well-being. Thanks to artificial intelligence, we will have new cognitive systems capable of analyzing our speech and writing and identifying patterns that could give warning of a possible mental illness at an early stage.
With this information it will be possible to apply better treatment to the disease and even help patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, autism or attention deficit disorder.
Facebook is currently building predictive models by analyzing users’ text posts to prevent suicide, while Cogito, a company funded by MIT’s DARPA, is testing an application that creates a picture of a user’s mental health just by listening to the sound of their voice during the day.
Hyper imaging will give us superhero vision
Having a hawkish view wouldn’t be the best thing you could ask for in the future. Thanks to hyper imaging technology we will be able to see beyond the visible and detect valuable information or potential dangers that would be unknown or unnoticeable to human eyes.
In 5 years, we will have portable devices that could improve vision in several ways: It could help a driver see through rain, fog, and identify hazards or hard-to-see conditions on a road that are a long distance away.
This device built into our mobile phone could take pictures of our food and show us its nutritional value or tell us whether or not it is safe to eat. It could also distinguish whether a medicine, check or ticket is counterfeit. Best of all, this “superhero” vision is expected to become part of the everyday experience, making the cost of this device accessible to the public.
Macroscopes to understand the complexity of the Earth in detail
The technological innovations represent more than 6 billion connected objects, from drones, cameras to satellites or large telescopes, which generate tens of exabytes of data per month, increasing their volume by 30% per year.
However, most of this data is not organized and it is estimated that a scientist spends 80% of his time “cleaning” this data instead of analyzing and understanding it.
In 5 years, it will be possible to use learning machine algorithms and software called “macroscopes” that will help organize the complex information, collected by the millions of connected devices, about the physical world around us and make discoveries from it.
For example, by analyzing data on climate, crops and water levels, better decisions could be made about where to grow crops and harvest them in ways that conserve water supplies.
Medical labs on a chip thanks to nanotechnology
Detecting a disease at its onset would be crucial for its possible cure and this could happen in the next 5 years with the tiny medical laboratories inside a chip that would be developed thanks to nanotechnology and scientific advances.
If we detect a disease in time, it is very likely that it will be controlled and cured. Even diseases like cancer or Parkinson’s that are difficult to detect and hide in our bodies without showing symptoms could be discovered.
This chip could be incorporated into a portable device and send the information to the cloud. This, combined with data from other devices such as smart watches, sleep monitors and others, could provide a complete map of our health and alert us quickly at the first sign.
Smart sensors will detect environmental pollution at the speed of light
Methane is the primary component of natural gas and a source of clean energy. However, if methane leaks into the air, it can heat the earth’s atmosphere, contributing to global warming.
According to IBM, we will have scientific advances in sensoring deployed near natural gas extraction sites that will allow for real-time leak detection. This would reduce pollution and the possibility of a catastrophe.
And in 5 years, the sensors will be able to extend their detection capabilities beyond methane. They will be able to detect oil residues in water, harmful pollutants from a vehicle and other particles in the air. In this way, we will better protect the environment.
Robots will replace workers
There are currently about 25 million mobile robots worldwide and their insertion in domestic and industrial environments is planned for the future.
In the next 15 years, it is estimated that 4 out of every 10 people will be replaced by robots to perform repetitive tasks such as cutting the grass or cashing products at the supermarket cashier.
Artificial intelligence in industry allows production processes to become more efficient and precise. The productive industry in the US will have to adapt to this new trend, thus demanding more technical professionals specialized in technologies like this.