The more complex the technologies, the more global the problems. The industrial revolution led to a worsening of the climate, antibiotic treatment – to the mutation of bacteria. A person is trying to improve his life, and she sets before him more and more difficult tasks.
Below are technologies that will help solve today’s global problems.
10. Carbon sequestration
Studies in the United States show that by 2000 the carbon content in the air had reached its highest concentration in the last millennium.
When fuel is burned, carbon is released into the atmosphere as CO2. The process of becoming organic will take too long.
Sequestration, the transformation of carbon from gas into soil, will help speed it up. With this technology, carbon dioxide can be converted into organic matter.
Reducing the CO2 content in the atmosphere will reduce the greenhouse effect, and replenishment of the soil with carbon will restore the resources necessary for life.
9. Storage of electricity in the network
Humanity has invented power plants, but they often fail. Alternative energy sources have emerged, such as solar panels or wind farms. But they don’t work when there is no light or wind.
Installing batteries and backup power supplies for each power plant is too difficult and costly. Therefore, scientists are developing a network that can store energy in case of emergencies.
8. Universal influenza vaccine
Influenza is one of the most common human diseases. Epidemics and pandemics are rare but claim the lives of millions.
Now there is a “milder” type of flu, so mortality has decreased. But it’s impossible to predict what will happen next. The virus evolves and spreads rapidly.
Scientists are developing a universal vaccine against all strains of influenza. This will not only reduce the inconvenience associated with the disease, but also prevent another pandemic.
7. Treatment of senile dementia
Senile dementia refers to the many brain disorders that some people develop after about 65 years of age. It is the loss of higher brain functions such as speech, memory, attention, thinking, or coordination. About 2/3 of all diseases that cause dementia are Alzheimer’s disease.
The problem of senile dementia is becoming more and more urgent as the life expectancy of modern people is increasing. And along with it, the cases of the disease increase.
While dementia is considered practically incurable. Doctors and genetic scientists are investigating the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and looking for ways to treat it in order to be prepared for the wave of disease associated with an aging population.
Also, modern robotic and digital technologies open up new opportunities for improving the lives of patients.
6. Cleaning up the oceans
Enterprises produce millions of tons of plastic per year, but no more than 1/10 of the waste is spent on further processing.
To save landfill space on the ground, plastic is dumped into water. These industrial wastes end up in the ocean themselves: small particles of undecomposed matter are carried away by the stream of water. Plastic poisoning kills fish, birds, mammals.
Vessels collect large waste carried by the current. To purify water from tiny particles of plastic, filter pumps have been invented. But even this is still not enough for a complete cleansing. Technologies to cleanse the oceans from plastic continue to improve.
5. Energy-efficient desalination
The content of seawater in the world’s oceans is much higher than that of freshwater. A huge number of people, for example in Africa, do not have access to drinking water. According to forecasts, the same fate awaits developed countries as well.
Desalination technologies have existed for a long time, but their main drawback is their high energy intensity. Israel, for example, has built a reverse osmosis plant and is now able to drink water from the sea. But this method is too expensive for the whole world.
American scientists have developed a cheap method of water desalination – electrochemical. Electrodes are immersed in seawater and a current is applied, salts settle on them, and the water becomes drinkable. This method requires very little electricity.
4. Safe self-driving car
It is believed that a car capable of driving without the participation of a driver would reduce the number of accidents on the roads, and its owner could get home in any condition.
Google, Tesla Motors and many other companies are currently developing such devices.
3. Embodied artificial intelligence
So far, there are only “weak” AIs capable of solving only a narrow range of intellectual tasks, such as cleaning the floor or playing chess. The developers strive to create a “strong”, universal artificial intelligence that can solve any problem posed.
But don’t be hoaxed and afraid of AI by imagining a robot with human ulterior motives. Among them there are very necessary and useful devices for humans.
For example, Watson is a medical computer containing a huge database of diseases and their symptoms. He diagnoses almost everything, including cancer, and does it much more accurately than doctors. Now scientists are aiming to “train” him in the field of oncology.
2. Forecasting earthquakes
Despite the age of high technology and fairly accurate weather forecasts, people still do not know how to predict earthquakes. This disaster is causing huge losses to countries and takes millions of lives.
Predicting an earthquake will allow you to prepare for it and protect yourself and your property from destruction.
1. Decoding the brain
Humanity has accumulated a large knowledge base about the brain and its work. But they are sketchy, neuroscientists still do not know how our brain works.
The human psyche remains the biggest mystery. But if we find the answer, we will find out the nature of mental disorders, memory, sleep, the reasons for any actions.
Understanding how our brain works will even help connect a person to a computer and technology, if he wants to.