With the Earth in the background, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft – REUTERS/NASA With the Earth in the background, the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft – REUTERS/NASA

2017: Tech and science roundup

Tue, Dec. 26, 2017
CAIRO – 26 December 2017: 2017 has been an eventful year for technology; many companies have made huge leaps in the development of their technologies. Many fields have undergone renewals and refreshes with the new technology updates that have surfaced this year. We start with three of the revolutionary Elon Musk’s companies, as well as AI developments and gadget developments.

SpaceX

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The SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket lifts off from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, May 22, 2012 – REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme


SpaceX is a private aerospace manufacturer and transport company. One of their main aims is reducing the cost of space travel, and eventually creating a colony on Mars. They are the first private company to successfully launch, orbit, and recover a spacecraft, which is a huge achievement and the basis for their reduced costs. They are able to reuse their rockets when they recover them, but only for scrap metal to build new ones. This year, they successfully reused their first rocket.

The Boring Company

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Elon Musk, founder, CEO and lead designer at SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla – Reuters/ Aaron Bernstein


The Boring Company is Elon Musk’s solution to traffic. It makes digging machines that can create underground roads to relieve the above ground congestion, and they can also be used for other more general underground operations, such as metro lines. The company is meant to make underground digging more affordable and more accessible. The Company began digging in the Tesla parking lot this year while they waited for permission to dig in Los Angeles. Musk’s breakneck pace of work is part of the reason the company is moving quickly. It could change vehicular transportation in the coming years.

Neurolink

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Godot – The Boring Company Official Website


Neurolink is a neurotechnology company developing implantable brain-computer interfaces; their aim is enhanced human intelligence, or augmented human intelligence. The uses of such technology could be telepathic communication or even improving the lifestyle of people who suffer from brain injuries. They aim to have their implants available within the next eight to 10 years – the future is almost here.

Machine learning and AI

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The humanoid robot AILA (artificial intelligence lightweight android) operates a switchboard – Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch


Machine learning has been gaining momentum in the last couple of years as the new hot topic of technology. It allows you to train a ‘brain’ to understand how you would like it to act under specific circumstances and in certain scenarios, and what its outputs should be, given certain inputs. More and more startups are focusing on this technology because it allows dynamic decision-making as opposed to static options programmed into an application. The field keeps growing and advancing and the scenarios that can be handled are getting more delicate and complex.

Smart Speakers

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The Amazon Echo is seen on display at the Amazon Books store in the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle in New York City – Reuters/Shannon Stapleton


The Amazon Echo has had a particularly good year, with the release of the Echo 2, which is smaller and has better audio output than the Echo and the Echo plus. Smart speaker sales have grown 300 percent in 2017, with more than 20 million Amazon Echos sold in the third quarter of 2017, according to Jeff Bezos. The number of homes with Smart Speakers in the U.S. is expected to rise from 15 million in 2017 to 66 million in 2022.

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