As we proceed on our list of top 10 technological breakthroughs of 2018, published by MIT Technology Review, we discover that the extensive report covers all aspects of developments ranging from material science to data management. Today, every physical device is conversable through internet (has a digital presence) and is capable to send and receive data. Information Communication Technology (ICT) has expressively changed the way people live, work, communicate and learn. Interconnected smart-home devices can certainly bring benefits to users in terms of monitoring and intelligent capabilities. However, these devices collect, transmit, store, and have a potential to share vast amount of personal and individual data that encroach private spaces and can be vulnerable to security breaches. True internet privacy can finally become possible thanks to the next technological breakthrough by world’s leading blockchain players. Read on:
Perfect Online Privacy
According to MIT, computer scientists are perfecting a cryptographic tool for proving something without revealing the information underlying the proof. Although researchers have been working on it for years, people’s interest in the technology has splurged recently owing to their growing obsession with cryptocurrencies, most of which aren’t private.
A tool is now developed for blockchains making it possible to carry out a digital transaction without revealing any personal information. This new technology lowers the odds of risking your privacy or exposing yourself to identity theft.
Zcash, a digital currency launched in 2016, developed a method called a zk-SNARK to give users the power to transact anonymously. Consequently, much of the credit for a practical zero-knowledge proof goes to Zcash. However, the computations involved are very heavy and slow. Other companies working on the technology are JPMorgan Chase, and ING.
There’s tremendous amount of data available on people’s genes today. This wealth of information is inspiring research studies across various verticals, of which, a one-of-its-kind is genetic fortune-telling. Other than gene therapy and gene expression, researchers can now also guess a person’s chance of getting common diseases like arthritis, diabetes, clogged arteries, depression, or even cancer. Such DNA-based predictions could be the next revolutionary advancement in public health, but they might also increase the risks of genetic discrimination (as it can even predict your IQ).
Helix, 23andMe, Myriad Genetics, BK Biobank and the Broad Institute are the key players in advancing predictive analysis using genomic data.
Materials’ Quantum Leap
Supercomputers are the crowning achievement of the digital age. The next generation of supercomputers promises immense speed and processing power that could trigger a new industrial revolution and redefine business strategies. Imagine a computer operating a million times faster than current computers, allowing scientists to develop complex molecular connections at an atomic level.
While the existing nanomaterials and Quantum dots are extensively exploited by mankind for their optimal use, the emerging technology of such supercomputers can open doors for boundless breakthroughs in quantum physics. This paves way to design all sorts of miracle materials, such as compounds that could turn sunlight directly into a liquid fuel, more efficient solar cells and better batteries, and proteins that act as far more effective drugs. It might take another five to ten years for this technology to fully materialize. The people involved in this breakthrough come from IBM, Google and Harvard.
These technological evolutions are reflections of their innovation and the inventor’s diligence. It would be interesting to see how these amazing technologies unfold into our day-to-day reality. The dynamic capability lies in the discovery of new knowledge that is applied to practical problems.