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WEF: Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2024

The Top 10 Emerging Technologies report is a vital source of strategic intelligence. First published in 2011, it draws on insights from scientists, researchers, and futurists to identify 10 technologies poised to significantly influence societies and economies.


These emerging technologies are disruptive, attractive to investors and researchers, and expected to achieve considerable scale within five years. This edition expands its analysis by involving over 300 experts from the Forum’s Global Future Councils and a global network of comprising over 2,000 chief editors worldwide from top institutions through Frontiers, a leading publisher of academic research.


The Top 10 Emerging Technologies of 2024 are:


1. AI for scientific discovery: While artificial intelligence (AI) has been used in research for many years, advances in deep learning, generative AI and foundation models are revolutionizing the scientific discovery process. AI will enable researchers to make unprecedented connections and advancements in understanding diseases, proposing new materials, and enhancing knowledge of the human body and mind.

2. Privacy-enhancing technologies: Protecting personal privacy while providing new opportunities for global data sharing and collaboration, “synthetic data” is set to transform how information is handled with powerful applications in health-related research.

3. Reconfigurable intelligent surfaces: These innovative surfaces turn ordinary walls and surfaces into intelligent components for wireless communication while enhancing energy efficiency in wireless networks. They hold promise for numerous applications, from smart factories to vehicular networks.

4. High-altitude platform stations: Using aircraft, blimps and balloons, these systems can extend mobile network access to remote regions, helping bridge the digital divide for over 2.6 billion people worldwide.

5. Integrated sensing and communication: The advent of 6G networks facilitates simultaneous data collection (sensing) and transmission (communication). This enables environmental monitoring systems that help in smart agriculture, environmental conservation and urban planning. Integrated sensing and communication devices also promise to reduce energy and silicon consumption.

6. Immersive technology for the built world: Combining computing power with virtual and augmented reality, these technologies promise rapid improvements in infrastructure and daily systems. This technology allows designers and construction professionals to check for correspondence between physical and digital models, ensuring accuracy and safety and advancing sustainability.

7. Elastocalorics: As global temperatures rise, the need for cooling solutions is set to soar. Offering higher efficiency and lower energy use, elastocalorics release and absorb heat under mechanical stress, presenting a sustainable alternative to current technologies.

8. Carbon-capturing microbes: Engineered organisms convert emissions into valuable products like biofuels, providing a promising approach to mitigating climate change.

9. Alternative livestock feeds: protein feeds for livestock sourced from single-cell proteins, algae and food waste could offer a sustainable solution for the agricultural industry.

10. Genomics for transplants: The successful implantation of genetically engineered organs into a human marks a significant advancement in healthcare, offering hope to millions awaiting transplants.


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