From advanced robotics to artificial intelligence, these are the leading examples of the most disruptive technologies in the world.
The pace of innovation is incredibly fast with new things being discovered daily. Here are eleven examples of the most disruptive technologies at the time of writing:
1. Artificial Intelligence:
This is a special type of intelligence that is exhibited by computers and other machines. It’s a flexible agent that perceives its environment and takes the necessary action required for the success of that particular phenomenon.
Artificial intelligence is used when machines copy the cognitive functions of the human brain in learning and solving problems.
As machines become increasingly capable, other facilities are removed from the definition. Although this area has a long history, professionals in the field are getting ever closer to achieving artificial intelligence.
2. Internet of Things (IoT):
This refers to identifiable objects and virtual representations in the internet. Equipping all objects with machine readable identifiers or minuscule identifying devices could dramatically change lives.
Such IoT devices could, therefore, be used in health, mining, manufacturing among others.
The only danger is that the connections could present high security threats. IoT is certainly an interesting innovation to look into.
3. Space Colonization:
Presently, only a few highly trained and selected astronauts can go to space. But based on the materials available at the time of writing, the human population in space could exceed one trillion people in the 22nd Century.
There are also numerous enterprises in the private sector such as SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and Stratolaunch Systems working on space-exploration, which are funded by billionares Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and Paul Allen respectively.
Space colonization is a good example of disruptive technology where lots of macro disruptive technologies will be invented as a result.
4. 3D Printing:
What would happen if we could create anything including cars simply by printing? Although this is hard to imagine, it is already happening.
We could now print settlements, space-stations, furniture, utensils, transportation, clothes, games, food, body-parts, and a long list of other assets through the transfer of a document containing such files.
This list of printable items also expands to include glass, soybean base, wood filler, icing sugar, Nutella, metal, rubber, wood and even concrete to name a few.
3D printing is already changing many things and set to continue.
USA, Europe, and China are the top 3 places with the most 3D printer manufacturers in the world. According to forecasts by Forbes the 3D Printing industry will grow by 133% within three years, from $9b in 2017 to $21b in 2020.
In the long-term the commercial activity of transporting goods to customers and the fabrication of products on a large scale using machinery could get disrupted through 3D printing.
As an advantage, this could reduce human activities that cause climate change. 3D printing is additionally an enabler of the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
5. Medical Innovations:
At the time of writing, there are many medical innovations that are in existence and being further trialled.
These innovations include vaccines that were not there before, genomic directed clinical trials, gene editing using CRISPR, cell-free fetal DNA testing, cancer screening through protein biomarker analysis, frictionless remote monitoring and more.
Innovations in the medical sector is an interesting area to look into, particularly if you are into healthcare and life-sciences.
6. High-Speed Travel:
When this emerging technology gets developed and implemented on a mass scale, it could solve many complex long distance issues.
High-speed travel could also relieve over-crowded cities by decreasing carbon pollution and the need for urbanisation.
Robotics is another exciting innovation when it comes to disruptive technology. It corresponds with capable robotics or robots that have enhanced dexterity, senses, and intelligence.
New robots can perform tasks that were previously thought to be too hard or expensive to automate.
Society could benefit a lot when it comes to these technologies.
People have already started making use of robotic surgical systems, robotic prosthetics, and nanorobotics to name a few.
Robotics without a doubt deserves its place among the most disruptive technologies of the 21st Century.
8. Blockchain Technology:
This is a distributed ledger technology that makes Bitcoin, Stellar (Lumens), Ethereum, and others possible by providing a record of transactions and confirming who has what at any given moment.
Its security is assured by the sophisticated cryptographic processes. The immediate impact of blockchain technology may not be clear for the non-technological eye, however it could improve existing systems within society at large.
For more information about blockchain technology, read my article Why Blockchain? What Exactly Are the Societal Implications?
9. Autonomous Vehicles:
This technology includes automated cars and drones. It refers to vehicles or drones that could operate and self-drive in many situations using advanced sensors such as LIDAR and other systems of communications from machines.
According to an article published in Times Magazine in 2013, some of the new users of these vehicles will be farmers, architects, and even real estate agents.
At the time of writing, you could have a personal drone tracking your phone to carry your shopping bags or to keep a camera focused on you.
10. Advanced Virtual Reality:
Virtual Reality already exists on a commercial level. However, it may become even more advanced by being developed to help people enhance their memories or even mental wellbeing.
There could be lots of benefits coming from Virtual Reality.
11. Renewable Energy:
The generation of energy from renewable sources such as solar and wind is certainly disruptive, particularly when compared with traditional energy sources.
According to experts, renewable energy could minimise climate change and pollution on a global scale.
Renewable energy includes technological inventions such as wind turbines, photovoltaic cells, concentrated solar power, geothermal energy, ocean wave power among others.
Renewable energy is another great example of disruptive technology which could help accelerate sustainable development.
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