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In 2015 we were given false hope with the introduction of so-called hoverboards, which sounded cool but ended up either exploding, or getting stuffed in a broom cupboard. But while we’re going about our days, some true visionaries are building the tech of the future.

3D printing organs

In the last couple of years, 3D printing as an industry has grown exponentially. Home tinkerers can print anything from Princess Leia figurines to miniature aeroplanes, while the industrial applications of the technology are advancing at a rapid pace.

In healthcare, 3D printing has been used to produce 3D-printed skin for burn victims, replacement heart valves, and in a more recent research project at Princeton University, a bionic ear that can hear a wider range of radio frequencies than the human ear.

 

 

Talking to robots

It seems fitting that the voice of artificial intelligence (AI) is Morgan Freeman, don’t you think? Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, developed an AI assistant for his home, and asked the Facebook community to choose the AI’s voice. They picked Morgan Freeman, and the gravelly-voiced actor agreed to record his voice for all the interactions between human and machine. If robots are going to take over the world, at least they’ll do it with charisma and style. Check out the video below to meet the friendly AI, Jarvis.

Going to Mars

On 14 January 2017, SpaceX returned to flight after their previous launch ended in catastrophe, with the rocket and its payload exploding on the launchpad. The Falcon 9 rocket launched 10 satellites into space, and then landed on a droneship named ‘Just Read the Instructions’.

The return of the first-stage rocket is important for future missions to Mars. The SpaceX team is working on making these rockets reusable, thereby drastically reducing the costs associated with space exploration.

SpaceX’s founder, Elon Musk, has also published detailed plans for going to Mars and colonising the planet. In his view, it’s the ultimate insurance for the protection of the human race.

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