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Just A Thought 3-26
Maybe I can soon pay with my face
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I was online searching for technological advancements and stumbled across some very impressive stuff.
According to technologyreview.com, there are 10 breakthrough technologies that will affect the economy and our politics, improve medicine, or influence our culture.
Impressive, right? I thought so too. It says some are unfolding now, while others will take a decade or more to develop. It adds, “But you should know about all of them right now.”
Here they are:
• Reversing paralysis – Scientists are making remarkable progress at using brain implants to restore the freedom of movement that spinal cord injuries take away.
• Self-driving trucks – Tractor trailers without a human at the wheel will soon barrel onto highways near you. What will this mean for the nation’s 1.7 million truck drivers?
• Paying with your face – Face detecting systems in China now authorize payments, providing access to facilities, and track down criminals. Will other countries follow?
• Practical quantum computers – Advances at Google, Intel, and several research groups indicate computers will previously unimaginable power are finally within reach.
• The 360-degree selfie – Inexpensive cameras that make spherical images are opening a new era in photography and changing the way people share stories.
• Hot solar cells – By converting heat to focus beams of light, a new solar device could create cheap and continuous power.
• Gene therapy 2.0 – Scientists have solved fundamental problems that were holding back cures for rare hereditary disorders. Next we’ll see if the same approach can take on cancer, heart disease, and other common illnesses.
• The cell atlas – Biology’s next mega-project will find out what we’re really made of.
• Botnets of things – The relentless push to add connectivity to home gadgets is creating dangerous side effects that figure to get even worse.
• Reinforcement learning – By experimenting, computers are figuring out how to do things that no programmer could teach them.
I’m happy about reversing paralysis and gene therapy 2.0. I like the thought of cell atlas. If we determine what we’re made of, maybe we can figure out what’s wrong with some people.
A definite “no” to a 360-degree selfie. I think I can live the rest of my life without seeing a 360-degree duckface selfie. Let’s not subject the world, and Facebook users, to that spectacle.
I searched technological advancements in an attempt to figure out what scientists are doing these days if they can’t cure the common cold or save the world from paper cuts, one of which I got and it hurt very badly.
However, I did learn the science behind why a paper cut hurts so much. They stimulate a large number of pain receptors in a very small area. Because the shallow cut does not bleed very much, the pain receptors are left open to air, ensuring pain. Knowledge might be power, but it did not lessoned the pain.
Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.