Current affairs

Marta del Amo

Thursday, 18 de July, 2019

Marta del Amo, the Chief Editor of the journal MIT Technology Review, led an Innovation Meeting organized by EAE Business School at the Utopicus coworking space in Madrid.

MIT Technology Review is a digital journal founded in 1899, owned by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is also licensed for publication is Spanish in Spain and Latin America. The journal gives readers an insight into various technological innovations that help to change the life of society from any perspective. Within this context, the journal has drafted a list of the ten most innovative technological trends of 2019, coordinated by Bill Gates, the Co-Founder of Microsoft.

Marta del Amo presented the list to students at the event. Before getting started, she reflected on the innovations on the list, emphasizing that “while huge advances have been made throughout history, there are still great challenges to be resolved”.

Top of the list of the ten technological trends was “robotic expertise”. Virtual models help robots to learn to do complex physical tasks on their own based on a process of trial and error. The second trend on the list was ‘the new wave of nuclear energy’. New nuclear reactor designs are gaining ground and promise to make this energy source safer. Meanwhile, renewable energies are moving in the opposite direction because their cost is excessive and “ the transition to this kind of energy requires a lot of time”, explained Marta del Amo.

‘Premature birth prediction’ was the third trend on the list. “If you enter DNA databases into Artificial Intelligence, after analysing it, patterns are revealed that enable us to predict things”, added the Chief Editor. By analysing the mother’s blood, based on the prior gene sequencing, we can predict which mothers have a greater risk of going into early labour.

Fourth on the list was ‘the capsule with an intestinal probe’, which enabled tests to be carried out inside the gut. It contains a camera that sends data directly out. The capsule is swallowed and later expelled simply without the need for invasive procedures.

At the halfway point of the list came ‘personalized vaccines against cancer’. “This involves analysing each person’s DNA through a blood test that enables us to identify the mutations and characteristics of the tumour”, added Marta del Amo. Based on this information, personalized treatments can be administered that train the immune system to fight against the cancer without the need for aggressive treatments. The technology is based on sequencing the genome of the patient’s tumour and creating a vaccine for each patient and each type of tumour.

‘The meat-free hamburger’ was the sixth trend on the list, of which there are two types: the first made from vegetable proteins but which mimics the properties of meat from animals; the second uses stem cells from cultivated animals to generate steaks. The latter version is still at the testing phase and the cost is currently excessive. Next on the list were ‘carbon dioxide traps’. According to Marta’s analysis, new innovation methods strive to find a way to use the CO2 in the air, turn it into a raw material and sell it to other industries to be used again”.

The eighth trend was ‘an electrocardiogram on your wrist’. A device has been developed that can measure your heartbeat and predict any cardiovascular problem. The penultimate place on the list went to ‘drainage-free toilets’. Marta explained that “systems are being designed that process human waste without the need for sanitation”.

 ‘AI assistants that talk almost like humans’ were the last trend on the list. These assistants are far more advanced than current designs, overcoming the typical errors and freeing people up from lots of tasks.

Marta finished her presentation by emphasizing that “Technology is neither good nor bad. We humans are the bad ones. It all depends how we use it”.

Salvador Carrizo, a student of the Master in Human Resources, and Cristian Ferreira from the Master in Supply Chain Management at EAE Business School attended the event. In Salvador’s opinion, the talk was “very interesting, particularly the whole part about Artificial Intelligence, because that is the future”. Cristian added that “the technological insight was really in-depth because we analysed medical terms that are less superficial, giving a real human touch to the technological sphere”.