Spoiler warning: our annual list of Innovators Under 35 isn’t really about what a small group of smart young people have been doing (though that’s certainly part of it.) It’s actually about where the world of technology is going.
As you read about the challenges this year’s winners intended to address, you will also glimpse the near future of AI, biotechnology, materials, computing, and the fight against climate change.
To connect the dots, we asked five experts – all judges or former winners – to write short essays on where they see the most promise and the biggest potential obstacles in their fields. We hope the list will inspire you and give you a sense of what to expect in the years ahead.
The question of urbanism
The modern city is a surveillance device. It can track your movements via your license plate, your mobile phone and your face. But go to any city or suburb in the United States and there will be a different kind of surveillance, one powered by a network of private doorbell cameras, wildlife cameras, and even security cameras in various gardens.
The the latest print edition of the MIT Technology Review explores why, independently of local governments, we have built our neighborhoods into panopticons: everyone watches everything, all the time. Here’s a selection of some of the new stories in the release, which will surely make you wonder if smart cities are that smart after all:
– What are the groups of online neighbor guards taking the law into their own hands.
– Why Toronto wants it forget everything you know about smart cities.
– Bicycle theft is a big problem. Specialized parking floor could be the answer.
– Public transportation wants to kill cash — but that it won’t be so disturbing as you think.