The top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has come out with its annual list of tech to keep an eye on this year.

According to the WEF, the selections were made by, “the World Economic Forum’s Expert Network and Global Future Councils in collaboration with Scientific American and its Board of Advisors.”

Tell us in the comments below, what tech development do you think will have the greatest impact on the world in the years to come?

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 1: Liquid biopsies
Imagine being able to be checked for cancer with a simple blood test. According to the WEF, “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.”
(Fortune)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 2: Harvesting clean water from air
This isn’t a new technology per se, but existing methods require a lot of electricity. That may be 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.”
(Getty Images)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 3: Deep learning for visual tasks
When it comes to areas like self-driving cars, insurance assessments and crop yield, computers are quickly becoming better than humans.
(Thinkstock)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 4: Liquid fuels from sunshine
The WEF says it’s looking more likely that humans will soon be able to replicate the process by which plants convert sunlight into energy, or photosynthesis.
(Reuters)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 5: The human cell atlas
The human cell atlas, according to the WEF, is, “an international collaboration aimed at deciphering the human body.” If successful, the project could lead to personalized health care.
(AP Photo/NIAID)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 6: Percision farming
Farming no longer consists of humans monitoring a crop and harvesting it when it’s ready. There is a host of high and low-tech aides that farmers all over the world are already starting to utilize.
(Time)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 7: Affordable catalysts for green vehicles
One of the big roadblocks to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles is the high price of catalysts. Many of them contain the rare and expensive metal platinum. But progress is being made and we’re closer than ever to catalysts that contain no platinum at all.
(Reuters)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 8: Genomic vaccines

Conventional vaccines are slow to manufacture, a big hinderence in the event of an outbreak. Production of gene-based vaccines is much faster, and according to the WEF, “enables more rapid adaptation in the event of a pathogen mutating.”
(PA Science)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 9: Sustainable design of communities
We all know that reducing our energy use is a key component of managing the effects of climate change. According to the WEF, “Sending locally-generated solar power to a smart microgrid could reduce electricity consumption by half and reduce carbon emissions to zero.”
(Reuters)

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2017

No. 10: Quantum computing
Conventional computers process data in a binary way. A piece of information is coded in either an on or off setting. In quantum computers, that information can exist in both the on and off settings at the same time, giving them near limitless potential. Unfortunately, they’re extremely complex and expensive. That may be changing: in 2016, “IBM provided the public access to the first quantum computer in the cloud,” says the WEF.
(Marketwired)