With time technology has become more accessible to people. This has given birth to new ventures and ideas which seemed out of reach earlier. Take, for example, mRNA vaccines, which are already changing the lives of many and this goes without saying that there are still technologies that are still a few years off. However, they are getting there.
Below is a list of technologies that are brilliant and one of a kind. So let us dive into the 10 brilliant breakthrough technologies of 2021.
Messenger RNA vaccines
We are indeed lucky. The two most effective vaccines against the COVID-19 virus are based on messenger RNA, which was in work for around 20 years. When the pandemic began several biotech companies opted for mRNA as a way to create a potent vaccine in the late December of 2020. The death count was around 1.5 million from the coronavirus and the vaccines were approved in the US, marking it the beginning of the end of the coronavirus pandemic.
The covid vaccines are based on a technology that has never been used in therapeutics. It could easily transform medicine, making it effective against various infectious diseases, including malaria. If the coronavirus mutates, then the mRNA vaccine can easily and quickly be modified. mRNA has a bright future as the basis for cheap gene fixes to HIV and sickle-cell diseases. Under development using mRNA to help the body fight off cancer.
Nowadays large natural language computer models that can learn to write and speak are aimed at AI that can understand things better and interact with the world. GPT-3 is the largest and the most literate amongst all to date. GPT-3 is trained to the text of around a thousand books and most of the internet, allowing it to mimic human written tent with amazing realism, making it the most awesome language model produced using machine learning yet.
However, GPT-3 doesn’t understand what it’s writing, so the results sometimes seem garbled and nonsensical. It takes huge amounts of computation power, money, and data to train, creating a large carbon footprint and restricting the development of like models to those labs which have a considerable amount of resources. Since it is trained on text acquired from the internet, which is full of misinformation and prejudice, which often results in the production of similarly biased passages.
TikTok recommendation algorithms
TikTok since its launch in China in 2016 has become one of the world’s fastest-growing social networks. It has attracted hundreds of millions of users and has been downloaded billions of times. Wondering why? TikTok’s algorithm for the “For You” feed has changed the way people become famous online.
Unlike other social networks which focus more on highlighting the content with mass appeal, TikTok’s algorithm picks a new creator out of obscurity as they were a famous star. TikTok works well when feeding relevant content to its niche communities of users who share a particular interest or identity.
The ability to grow at rapid growth, with the ease of which users can discover new content all have contributed to the app’s stunning growth. Other such companies are now working towards implementing these features on their own apps.
Electric vehicles are gaining a lot of praise, regardless of the fact that they aren’t cheap and you can only drive a few hundred miles before they need to be recharged. This would take a longer time than stopping at a gas station for gas. These drawbacks are mostly due to the limitations of lithium-ion batteries. A Silicon Valley startup, well funded, says that they have batteries that would make electric vehicles far much more feasible to our budget and mass consumers.
They are called lithium-metal batteries and are developed by QuantumScape. According to the test results, the battery can produce a range of an EV by 80% and can be rapidly recharged. The startup has a deal with VW, which says that they would be selling EVs with these new batteries by 2025.
However, just a prototype, the battery is much smaller than the one needed for a car. If the work done by companies such as Quantum Scape with lithium-metal batteries succeeds, then we could be seeing many millions of EVs on the roads.
Many technology companies couldn’t prove themselves good stewards of our personal data. Our information has been hacked, leaked and sold, and resold uncountable times. So begs the question, is the problem with us? The answer is the privacy model to which we have adhered, in which as individuals we are primarily responsible for managing and protecting our own privacy.
Data trusts give us an alternative approach that now some governments are starting to adopt. A data trust is a legal body that collects and manages people’s personal data on their behalf. The structure and function of these data trusts are still in the process of being defined and still, a lot of questions remain unanswered, data trusts are notable for offering a potential solution to a long-standing problem in security and privacy.
Hydrogen has always poised itself to be an intriguing possible replacement for fossil fuels. For its nature is that it burns cleanly, emitting zero carbon dioxide. Being energy-dense, it offers a good way to store power from on and off renewable sources. You can make liquid synthetic fuels that could be a replacement for gasoline or diesel. Till now most of the hydrogen was made from natural gas. The process is dirty and consumes a lot of energy.
With the vigorous drop in the cost of solar and wind power which are the means of green hydrogen, it is now cheap enough to be practical. Europe is leading in this area and is beginning to build its needed infrastructure.
Digital contact tracing
When the pandemic was spreading widely, digital contact tracing was considered helpful. Smartphone apps would easily use Bluetooth or GPS to create a log of people who were getting affected. If a person tested positive for the virus then he could enter the result in the app and the app would inform others who might have been infected.
Digital contact tracing, however, failed to impact the spread of the virus. Tech giants like Google and Apple were quick to respond to this and they pushed out features such as exposure notifications to many smartphones, however public health officials struggled to convince people to use them. The lesson learned from this is that this pandemic could not help us prepare for the next pandemic but also carry over to other aspects of health care.
All those who drive have used GPS, it has already transformed our lives and many of our businesses. Even though the GPS is accurate within 5 to 10 meters, the new hyper-accurate positioning technology would give an accurate reading within a few centimeters or millimeters. This has opened new possibilities such as landslide warnings, delivery robots, and self-driving cars which would be able to navigate the streets safely.
BeiDou (Big Dipper) China’s global navigation system was completed in June of 2020 and plays a part in making all of this possible. It can efficiently provide positioning accuracy of 1.5 to 2 meters to anyone in the world. With its ground-based augmentation, it can draw down to millimeter-level accuracy. On the other hand, GPS which has been around since the early 1990s is now getting an upgrade as four new satellites for GPS III launched in November, and more are expected in orbit by 2023.
The pandemic made the world adapt to remote access. There are some places that have already done a good job at getting remote services in these two areas of work for people.
Take for example Snapask an online tutoring company that has more than 3.5 million users in around nine Asian countries and Byju’s, a famous learning app based out of India, has around 70 million users. Unfortunately, it is difficult as students in many countries are still fooling around with their online classes.
On the other hand, telehealth efforts in Uganda and other African countries have spread healthcare to millions during the pandemic. As these parts of the world with a huge lack of doctors, remote health care can be a lifesaver.
Regardless of fact that there have been huge developments in artificial intelligence in recent years, AI and robots are still dumb in so many ways, as when it comes to solving problems or navigating unfamiliar environments. They do not even have the human ability which is normally found in young children, to learn how the world functions and apply general knowledge to new arising situations.
An approach to improve the skill of AI is to expand its senses. Currently, AI with audio recognition and computer vision can sense things but it is unable to “talk” about what it is seeing and hearing using natural language algorithms. What would happen if you combine it all in a single AI system? This could lead the system to get a human-like intelligence? Question- Will a robot that can see, hear, feel and communicate be a more productive human assistant?
With technology being developed every day with new innovations, who knows what the future would be like. Regardless, it would be for the better of us humans. There are many companies that are looking for innovative solutions to harness technology. If you are someone like that and need assistance with software development, do book a Free, no-obligation consultation with us, today.