The Greatest Technological Challenges of Mankind | Photo: Shutterstock

The Greatest Technological Challenges of Our Time

A Forbes Special: We looked closely at six promising areas that are at the frontier of humanity's technological efforts. Why is it that the revolution that each promises is not already happening? What are the challenges that face developers - and when could we really give up driving, cure diseases using gene therapy or even fully charge our smartphone in 3 minutes?

Many of current technologies have been described as revolutionary: the “autonomous car revolution”, the “revolution of the internet of things”, the “blockchain revolution”, the “big data revolution”: Every such revolution is described with magnificent adjectives, as though taken from science fiction movies – cars that drive themselves and follow voice commands, robot service providers that can understand and speak exactly like humans, only much smarter and better at making the right decision quickly, a world without banks, without any big institutions that control information, a world in which you can charge your smartphone from zero to a hundred percent in three minutes… what can’t be done?

And when the excitement is palpable, the first question to arise is “when?” – When will all this happen? In our generation? In a decade? In just a few years?

The Greatest Technological Challenges of Mankind | Photo: Shutterstock

The second question which follows immediately on the heels of the first is “why?” – why is this futuristic world not already happening now? Why is the future not happening in the present? In other words, what exactly is missing for all of this to be realized – what are the challenges facing the scientists, the engineers, the entrepreneurs and governments, that delay the realization of all these promises – the coming of the revolutions?

In this special project, we closely examined six promising areas at the forefront of the human technological effort: blockchain, artificial intelligence, energy storage, the autonomous car, immunotherapy and gene therapy. Breakthroughs in each one of these fields could drastically change our lives and start a chain reaction that will create new industries, bring new scientific discoveries and nurture new technologies. And challenges will have to be overcome on the way there.

Storing and Recharging Energy: The Battery Challenge

Is Genetic Medicine the End of all Illness?

Artificial Intelligence: “We expect ‘smart-ness’ from everything”

The Autonomous Car: Are You Driving Your Last Car?

Immunotherapy: An Unconventional Weapon

Blockchain: Will it Create the new Internet?

Translation by Zoe Jordan

Newsletter Subscription

More Articles

Newsletter Subscription

Sign up for a free newsletter and enjoy regular updates, news, alerts and everything you must not miss.

Skip to content