For the first time in its 18-year history, MIT Tech Review’s 2019 breakthrough list has been picked by a contributing editor, Microsoft founder, and former CEO Bill Gates.
Gates correctly predicted the rise of the home computer, the graphical desktop operating system, and the internet, so he seems like a natural choice for the esteemed publication’s first guest editor.
Here’s the full 2019 selection, as picked by Gates – a comprehensive exploration of each idea will be published in the March/ April edition of MIT Technology Review, released on March 5.
- Robot dexterity—robot hands that can learn to manipulate unfamiliar objects on their own.
- New-wave nuclear power—both fission and fusion reactor designs that could help bring down carbon emissions.
- Predicting preemies—a simple blood test to warn of a preterm birth, potentially saving many children’s lives.
- Gut probe in a pill—a swallowable device that can image the digestive tract and even perform biopsies.
- Custom cancer vaccines—a treatment that uses the body’s own immune system to target only tumor cells.
- The cow-free burger—both plant-based and lab-grown meat alternatives that could drastically cut emissions from the food industry.
- Carbon dioxide catcher—techniques for absorbing CO2 from the air and locking it away that may finally become economic.
- An ECG on your wrist—the ability for people with heart conditions to continuously monitor their health and get early warnings of problems.
- Sanitation without sewers—a self-contained toilet that could tackle disease and unpleasant living conditions in much of the developing world.
- Smooth-talking AI assistants—new advances in natural language processing that make digital assistants capable of greater autonomy.