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Bill Gates puts robots, cow-free burgers on list of breakthrough tech for 2019

The Microsoft co-founder curated the yearly tech list from the MIT Technology Review.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates

Bill Gates curated the MIT Technology Review's 2019 10 Breakthrough Technologies list. 

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Cancer vaccines and smooth-talking AI assistants are all on Bill Gates' list of technologies to watch for.

The MIT Technology Review on Wednesday released its 2019 10 Breakthrough Technologies list, which was curated by Gates. It was the publication's first time having a guest editor choose what would land on list.

"Bill's list reflects his belief that we're approaching a tipping point in humanity's technological development -- from technologies that mostly make life longer to those that mostly make it better," said Gideon Lichfield, editor-in-chief of the Review, in a release. "His choices highlight some of what he considers the most important challenges and opportunities of our time."

Here are the 10 technologies, ranging from climate change to health care to artificial intelligence:

  • Robot dexterity: robot hands that can manipulate unfamiliar objects on their own.
  • New-wave nuclear power: both fission and fusion reactor designs that can bring down carbon emissions.
  • Predicting preemies: a blood test that can warn of a preterm birth.
  • Gut probe in a pill: a swallowable device that can show the digestive tract and perform biopsies.
  • Custom cancer vaccines: a treatment that helps the body's own immune system to target only tumor cells.
  • The cow-free burger: plant-based and lab-grown meat alternatives that could cut emissions from the food industry.
  • Carbon dioxide catcher: techniques for absorbing CO2 from the air and locking it away.
  • An ECG on your wrist: smartwatch's ability to monitor someone's heart health and get early warnings of problems.
  • Sanitation without sewers: a self-contained toilet that can tackle disease and unpleasant living conditions.
  • Smooth-talking AI assistants: advances in natural language processing that make digital assistants capable of more natural conversations.

You can read more about the technologies in the MIT Technology Review

Gates earlier this week answered questions from Redditors during his Ask Me Anything session, including his thoughts on taxes, climate change, terrorism and other lighter topics.