10 big global problems that technology can solve

It seems that with progresshuman civilization is progressing and its problems. The industrial revolution led to climate change: the oceans are clogged with plastic, and the planet is gradually turning into Venus. No matter how hard we try to improve our lives, opposition is always created and we receive new tasks in response. Solving problems turns into a vicious circle, but we do not lose heart - and again we find new solutions. Let's see what the ten biggest global problems technology can solve.

Carbon sequestration

One reduction in greenhouse gas emissions will beinsufficient to prevent a sharp rise in global temperature. We also need to remove a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which will not only be incredibly expensive, but also confront us with the acute problem of what to do with all this CO2. More and more startups are exploring ways to process carbon dioxide into products like synthetic fuels, polymers, carbon fiber and concrete. This promises a lot, but we need a cheap way to store the billions of tons of carbon dioxide we may need to extract from the atmosphere.

Electricity storage network

Renewable energy sources like windand the sun is becoming cheaper and more widely used, but they do not generate electricity when the sun does not shine and the wind does not blow. This limits the amount of energy these sources can supply, as well as the rate at which we abandon sustainable sources such as coal and natural gas. The cost of creating enough batteries to back up entire networks at a time when renewable sources are unavailable will be astronomical. Various scientists and startups are working to create cheaper forms of energy storage in the network, including flowing batteries or molten salt containers. In any case, we urgently need a cheaper and more efficient way to store huge amounts of electricity.

Universal Flu Vaccine

Flu pandemic is rare, but takes a lotof victims At least 50 million people died in 1918 from the H1N1 pandemic. More recently, about a million people died during the pandemics of 1957-1958 and 1968. In 2009, half a million people died from the return of H1N1. The death toll has recently been lower, because the virus has shown a milder strain. Maybe next time we will be unlucky - and a particularly powerful strain of the virus will begin to multiply too quickly so that we can react and create a vaccine to effectively combat it. The universal flu vaccine, which not only protects against relatively less dangerous versions of the flu, but also from a catastrophic outbreak that occurs once in a century, is the most important task of medicine.

Dementia treatment

At least 1 in 10 seniors over 65years of sick Alzheimer; 3 out of 10 are over 85 years old. As the life expectancy of people increases, the number of people living with this disease — across the world — can increase dramatically. Alzheimer's disease remains rather incomprehensible: definitive diagnoses are possible only after death, and even then doctors argue about the differences between Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, or senile dementia. However, advances in neuroscience and genetics are beginning to shed more light. This understanding gives the key to how you can slow down or even stop the destructive effects of this condition.

Cleaning the oceans

Billions of tiny pieces of plastic -microplastic - swim across the ocean, even at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Most of this waste comes from bags or tubes, which disintegrate over time. And they poison birds, fish, and people. Scientists fear that the impact on both human health and the environment will be too strong, and it may take centuries to clear hundreds of millions of tons of plastic that has accumulated over the decades. Because the pollution is so diffused, it is difficult to eliminate, and although there are prototype methods for combating massive pollution from oceanic areas, there is no solution for coasts, seas and waterways.

Energy efficient desalination

On Earth, about 50 times more salt water,than fresh. As the world population grows and the climate worsens, the need for fresh water is becoming more acute. Israel has built the world's largest desalination plants for reverse osmosis and now receives most of the water for its domestic needs from the sea, but this method is too energy-consuming to be used worldwide. New types of membranes can help; Also, electrochemical methods can make salt water applicable to irrigation. With regard to technologies for adaptation to climate change, the creation of drinking water from the ocean should be a top priority.

Safe, self-driving car

Autonomous cars drove millionskilometers on public roads. Pilot programs for the delivery and ordering of taxis are gradually being implemented more and more. However, cars without a driver are not yet ready to seize roads in general. They have problems on busy roads and in snowy weather. If they could be made safe and secure, we would be able to rethink transport forever. Traffic jams would cease to exist as a phenomenon, and the cities could be rebuilt, since there would no longer be any need for parking. In addition, it is expected that self-driving cars will be able to reduce the number of fatal road incidents.

Incarnated artificial intelligence

Last fall a video appeared on the Internet fromBoston Dynamics, on which the Atlas robot was captured in all its glory. There he jumped up the steps like a commando. And it happened just two years after AlphaGo defeated the world's best go player. Atlas cannot play go (it is embodied in the body of the robot, but is not a supercomputer), and AlphaGo does not know how to run (but he is very clever, though incorporeal). What happens if you put AlphaGo consciousness into Atlas body? Many scientists say that true general artificial intelligence may depend on the ability to link internal computing processes with real things in the physical world, and that the AI ​​will acquire this ability by learning to interact with the physical world like humans and animals.

Earthquake prediction

Over 100,000 people died as a resultearthquakes in Haiti in 2010, and a tsunami in the Indian Ocean in 2004, caused by one of the most powerful earthquakes, killed nearly a quarter of a million people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and other countries. We can predict hurricanes in days and weeks, but earthquakes still appear unexpectedly. Predicting earthquakes with some confidence in the medium term would allow planners to find long-term solutions. Warned even for a few hours, people could leave unsafe areas and save millions of lives.

Brain decoding

Our brain remains a deep mystery toneuroscientists. Everything that we think and remember, all our movements, must somehow be encoded in the billions of neurons in our heads. But what code? In understanding how our brain stores and transmits thoughts, there are many unknowns. Breaking this code can lead to a breakthrough in how we treat mental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. This will allow us to improve the interfaces that directly connect our brain with computers or even other people, and it will change the lives of people who are paralyzed by injuries or degenerative diseases.

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