Quantum computing will potentially mark one of the tech world’s biggest revolutions, harnessing the quirks of quantum mechanics to speed up machine computation exponentially. Researchers hope eventually to use it to crack online encryption or to model entirely new molecules.
Our appetite for energy seems insatiable. Whether it’s to run the increasing amount of digital tech we use every day, or the rapidly growing economies of developing nations, we are all power-hungry.
Artificial intelligence is one of the important technological advances of the early 21st century. Already it has meant that machines can read medical images as well as a radiologist, and enabled the auto industry to develop autonomous cars.
In 2016, about 51 percent of new power capacity in the European Union came from the wind, according to energy association WindEurope. In the U.S., only around 5.5 percent of the nation’s energy came from wind power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, up from 4.7% in 2015. And, until very recently, all of that wind had been harvested from land-based turbines.
Artificial Intelligence tends to grab the headlines when it promises dramatic leaps in consumer product capability. The driverless car has captured the popular imagination. Ever-smarter phones and online home appliances also get a lot of attention. The market in consumer AI is expected to be huge, with tech giants like Google and its Chinese equivalent Baidu, investing an estimated US$30 billion in it last year.