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January 19, 2013

Technologies will make the world better

Peter Diamandis (Planetary Resources cofounder, Singularity University cofounder, Space University founder) has a list of eight technologies that he expects to make the world better.

Diamandis' eight areas:

Biotech. Now, even some high school students have displayed an ability to sequence DNA, and life is looking less like a fixed condition, and more like a manufacturing process.

NBF - Synthetic Biology and Genetic Engineering are and will be very important

Computational systems. Computers that can model almost anything are now cheaply and widely available to more and more people, who can lease them by the minute via cloud-based services.

NBF - This has been happening for 60 some years and still has many decades-centuries to go.

* Artificial Intelligence. AI is creating a new generation of personal digital assistants that are so smart they can tell people where they need to go next, without even being asked or prompted.

NBF - another aspect of computational systems. AI has already had a lot of impact in financial systems. IBM's Watsons and really good voice recognition are having growing impact

* Networks and sensors. Wireless devices embedded in objects are gathering huge amounts of data that can be modeled by people who are able to “ask the right questions.”

NBF - Various aspects of sensors and sensing. From satellite imaging to terapixel cameras. New lenless systems. Millimeter and microwave sensing. LIDAR (laser imaging). Dew drop sized and sand sized sensors.

* Robotics. The robots are coming and they are going to be everywhere, performing all sorts of tasks that people once did. “Jobs are going from China to India to robots,” Mr. Diamandis said.

NBF -
Robotic cars and planes will transform transportation and cities over the next few decades.
More efficient designs.
Modular systems.
Fewer components.
More efficient processes.
All will combine with new mass market robotics and new generation industrial systems.

* Digital manufacturing. Lego won’t be a toy manufacturer. It will be an information company that creates blueprints for toys. Consumers will produce the parts at home using 3D printers that spit out Legos—along with all sorts of other objects, Mr. Diamandis.

NBF - Additive manufacturing will scale up to print airplanes, buildings and also will go down to the desktop and smaller.

* Medical technology. Modern medicine is information technology, according to Mr. Diamandis, who predicted that small mobile devices will allow people to self-diagnose their own health conditions.

NBF - The gadget aspect of medicine will have less importance than the synthetic biology, nanomedicine, and treatments that can boost immune systems to prevent cancer, Aids, cardiovascular disease and brain diseases and all viruses.

* Nano technology. Nano technology won’t stop with warmer and lighter pairs of shoes. Mr. Diamandis envisions high strength, light weight fabrics that enable personal air flight.

NBF - DNA nanotechnology is here and getting better and commercializing. Full diamondiod molecular nanotech will come.



There also needs to be more emphasis on energy technologies.

Horizontal drilling has enabled more natural gas and oil to be developed.
Improvements to nuclear energy will have a big impact over the next few decades.
Nuclear fusion breakthroughs should be developed over the next few years.

New factory mass produced skyscrapers have been developed (Over 20 buildings have been made.) There will be hundreds more built over the next seven years.

My list of technologies is my Mundane Singularity list.

1. Pro-growth (government and business) Policies
2. Energy Efficiency - superconductors, thermoelectrics, improved grid
3. Energy Revolution - Mass produced fission, fusion, and maybe cold fusion
4. Additive manufacturing
5. Not so mundane - neuromorphic chips, quantum computers, photonics
6. Automated transportation (leading to robotic cars and planes)
7. Urbanization MegaCities
8. Urbanization Broad Group skyscrapers, Tata flat packed buildings
9. Robotics
10. Hyperbroadband
11. Supermaterials
12. Improve medicine and public health
13. Space (fully reusable rockets from Spacex)
14. Synthetic biology and recombineering
15. Sensors everywhere
16. Education transformed and accelerated innovation
17. Supersmartphones, exoskeletons and wearable systems
18. Memristors and other significant computing and electronic improvements.

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