Along with the development of society, technology has gradually proved its great power in making human life easier and more convenient. The followings are 10 breakthroughs technologies in 2017, have a look at technologies which promise to greatly affect all aspects of life .

 1. Reversing Paralysis

When the spinal cord is damaged, the neurotransmitter from the brain to the limbs in the body is vulnerable to paralysis. Resolving that problem, the scientists designed a device for implantation in the brain and spinal cord to stimulate motor neurons, helping the limbs to function again.

Reversing Paralysis – brain-reading chip 

Now researchers are taking a significant next step toward reversing paralysis once and for all. They are wirelessly connecting the brain-reading technology directly to electrical stimulators on the body so that people can again move their limbs.

2. Self-Driving Trucks

Self-driving trucks use a combination of cameras, detailed maps and radar to detect objects on the road. In addition, they can use a laser sensor system to scan objects around them to detect more accurately and they can help each other to reduce wind power and save on fuel.

Google’s Self-Driving Truck

 Self-Driving Trucks opens an impressive perspective when the streets are full of intelligent cars that move freely without the driver. This prospect has attracted a lot of technology giants such as Tesla, Google, Intel, Uber, Ford … to participate in the race to develop self-driving trucks that are becoming more and more fierce.

3. Paying with Your Face

Facial recognition technology has existed for decades, but until now the technology has been accurate enough for use in secure financial transactions. Since September 2107, facial payment technology has been widely used in China with the “Smile to Pay” facial recognition system implemented by Ant Financial, the operator of the electronic payment platform, Alipay.

App “Smile to Pay” – Paying with Your Face

“Smile to Pay” using Face ++ technology developed by start-up Megvii, China. Face ++ recognition is based on 83 points on the human face, with an accuracy rate of over 96% with a scanning speed of only 1-2 seconds to identify a face. To make a payment, a 3-D camera will scan the customer’s face to verify their identity with the identity card or identification card in the system. After that, the customer will enter the phone number to complete the transaction.

4. Practical Quantum Computers

Practical Quantum Computer is a computing device that directly uses the effects of quantum mechanics, such as quantum superposition and entanglement to perform mathematical operations on input data. Instead of using bits like regular computers, quantum computers use quantum bits – called qubits – to store larger amounts of information, use less power and speed up computing times much more than classic computer.

Practical Quantum Computers

Until now, researchers have built fully programmable five-qubit computers and more fragile 10- to 20-qubit test systems. According to Futurism, Google has planned to soon own a quantum computer system of up to 49 qubits to maintain its advantage in the world of quantum computing.

5. The 360-Degree Selfie

The 360-Degree Selfie

Cheap cameras can create 360-degree images that hails a new era in photography and change the way people share their own stories. Today, anyone can buy a 360-degree camera for under USD 500 to record videos and images and upload them to YouTube or Facebook.

6. Hot Solar Cells

Hot Solar Cells

A team of MIT scientists has created a new type of solar energy device that uses advances in materials science to gain more energy from the sun at a cheaper price. This device turns sunlight into heat and then converts it back into light, but focuses on the spectrum that solar cells can use. This device from MIT is the first device to absorb more energy and run more efficiently than a photovoltaic battery.

7. Gene Therapy 2.0

Researchers have pursued a gene therapy dream for decades with the idea of using a virus designed to provide copies of a healthy gene for patients with faulty gene versions. The progress of this study slowed down in 1999 when an 18-year-old patient died in a gene therapy trial.

Gene Therapy 2.0

Hitherto, scientists have addressed the fundamental problems of treating rare genetic diseases by gene therapy, at the same time made clinical trials of about 40 to 50 different diseases. In addition to treating disorders caused by the malfunctioning of single genes, researchers are seeking ways of applying gene therapy to treat common diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart failure and cancer and even skin aging.

8. The Cell Atlas

Studies show that there are more than 300 cell variants in the human body and the actual number may be even greater. Thanks to cellular imaging technology in the cell atlas, cellular variants will soon be discovered, catalyzing the process of finding the suitable drug.

The Cell Atlas 

Three technologies are coming together to make this new type of mapping possible:

  • Cellular microfluidics: Individual cells are separated, tagged with tiny beads, and manipulated in droplets of oil that are shunted like cars down the narrow, one-way streets of artificial capillaries etched into a tiny chip, so they can be corralled, cracked open, and studied one by one.
  • The second is the ability to identify the genes active in single cells by decoding them in super fast and efficient sequencing machines at a cost of just a few cents per cell. One scientist can now process 10,000 cells in a single day.
  • The third technology uses novel labeling and staining techniques that can locate each type of cell—on the basis of its gene activity—at a specific zip code in a human organ or tissue.

9. Botnets of Things

Botnets of Things 

Botnets are networks of computers that are infected with malwares and are remotely controlled by hackers to serve their own purposes. A botnet can include hundreds of thousands, even millions of computers. From here, the hacker can perform distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks, cripple server systems by continually sending data requests and drain resources of the computer. Botnet is growing stronger and more difficult to stop, posing a threat to users of Internet-connected devices around the world.

10. Reinforcement learning

Reinforcement learning 

In 2016, AlphaGo – a program trained by reinforcement learning technology, has defeated one of the best go players of all time-Lee Sedol of Korea. This is an amazing result because most AI researchers think it will take a decade for the computer to play the game as a professional.

Reinforcement learning is being applied in more and more fields. This technology is particularly suited to the automated driver program because it allows the program to make continuous decisions instead of waiting for programmers to encode all previous decisions.

Mai Hien  (collected from MIT Technology Review)

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