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Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2017
The World Economic Forum’s Expert Network and Global Future Councils in collaboration with Scientific American and its Board of Advisors announced the top 10 emerging technologies of 2017 on June 26 in Dalian, China where the 2017 Summer Davos Forum is being held. Each technology was chosen for its potential to improve lives, transform industries, and safeguard the planet. The KAIST delegation, headed by President Sung-Chul Shin, is participating in the forum’s diverse activities including IdeasLab and GULF (Global University Leaders Forum). KAIST is the only Korean representative participating in the IdeasLab. KAIST Distinguished Professor Sang Yup Lee of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, director of KAIST Institute, has served as a committee member of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Technologies since 2012 and Global Future Council on the Fourth Industrial Revolution. He also chairs the Global Future Council on Biotechnologies. Professor Lee said, “Very diverse technological breakthroughs were proposed for the final list of candidates. We made the final selections through very in-depth discussion with experts in each field. We focused on the technologies which have a level of maturity that will enable them to be adopted widely within three to five years." The top 10 emerging technologies are (courtesy from https:// www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/these-are-the-top-10-emerging-technologies-of-2017): 2017 10대 기술. 1. Liquid biopsies Liquid biopsies mark a step forward in the fight against cancer. First, they are an alternative where traditional tissue-based biopsies are not possible. Second, they provide a full spectrum of information compared to tissue samples, which only reflect the information available in the sample. Lastly, by homing in on circulating-tumor DNA (ctDNA), genetic material that routinely finds its way from cancer cells into the bloodstream, disease progression or resistance to treatment can be spotted much faster than otherwise relying on symptoms or imaging. 2. Harvesting clean water from air The ability to extract clean water from air is not new, however existing techniques require high moisture levels and a lot of electricity. This is changing. A team from MIT and University of California, Berkeley has successfully tested a process using porous crystals that convert the water using no energy at all. 3. Deep learning for visual tasks Computers are beginning to recognize images better than humans. Thanks to deep learning, an emerging field of artificial intelligence, computer-vision technologies are increasingly being used in applications as diverse as driving autonomous vehicles, medical diagnostics, damage assessment for insurance claims, and monitoring water levels and crop yield. 4. Liquid fuels from sunshine Can we mimic the humble leaf to create artificial photosynthesis to generate and store energy? The prospects are looking increasingly positive. The answer lies in using sunlight-activated catalysts to split water molecules into water and hydrogen, and then using the same hydrogen to convert CO2 into hydrocarbons. 5. The Human Cell Atlas An international collaboration aimed at deciphering the human body, called the Human Cell Atlas, was launched in October 2016. The project aims to identify every cell type in every tissue; learn exactly which genes, proteins, and other molecules are active in each type, and the processes which control that activity. 6. Precision farming The Fourth Industrial Revolution is providing farmers with a new set of tools to boost crop yield and quality while reducing water and chemical use. Sensors, robots, GPS, mapping tools, and data-analytics software are all being used to customize the care that plants need. 7. Affordable catalysts for green vehicles Progress is being made on a promising zero-emission technology, the hydrogen-fed fuel cell. Progress to date has been stymied by the high price of catalysts which contain platinum. However, much progress has been made in reducing reliance on this rare and expensive metal, and the latest developments involve catalysts that include no platinum, or in some cases no metal at all. 8. Genomic vaccines Vaccines based on genes are superior to more conventional ones in a number of ways. They are faster to manufacture, which is crucial during violent outbreaks. Compared to manufacturing proteins in cell cultures or eggs, producing genetic material should also be simpler and less expensive. 9. Sustainable design of communities Applying green construction to multiple buildings at once has the potential to revolutionize the amount of energy and water we consume. Sending locally-generated solar power to a smart microgrid could reduce electricity consumption by half and reduce carbon emissions to zero if a project currently under development at the University of California at Berkeley goes according to plan. 10. Quantum computing Quantum computers’ almost limitless potential has only ever been matched by the difficulty and cost of their construction. This explains why today the small ones that have been built have not yet managed to exceed the power of supercomputers. But progress is being made and in 2016 the technology firm IBM provided public access to the first quantum computer in the cloud.
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