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Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. He's currently Head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital, co-chair of the Symbiotic Autonomous Systems Initiative of IEEE-FDC. Until Aprile 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books. He writes a daily blog,  http://sites.ieee.org/futuredirections/category/blog/, with commentary on innovation in various technology and market areas.

Graphene to sense cancerous cells

Graphene keeps surprising me in terms of its potential applications. It has been proposed as a paint to protect any surface from corrosion, as a way to filter water, as the way to create transistors that would be much more effective than the ones we have today (based on silicon), and …

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The fountain of youth

Since the beginning of humans history we have seen the quest for eternal youth. In 1513 Ponce de Leon, a Spanish explorer set foot on Florida, US; according to the myth he was actually looking for the fountain of youth. He was not alone. Over the millennia we have records …

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A human touch

Our sense of touch can pick up thousands of nuances because we have soft flesh. Try to touch an object with your nails and you’ll miss a lot of the sensations that your fingertips can provide. Robots are facing a similar problem. Having a rigid surface they have a limited touch sensitivity. …

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Controlling a robot with your mind…

Several progresses have been made in decoding the electrical activity generated by/in our brain when directing our body to perform a specific action. Researchers have been able to "read the mind", in a way our thoughts, as it gets ready to order our muscles to perform a certain action, like …

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Another year is over … a new one just begun

Time for some numbers, as we close 2016 and open 2017. There are (almost) 7.5 billions people and over 3 billions have access to Internet. That’s a lot, but if you look at the other side of the coin over 4 billions people do not have access to the Internet, and that’s even more. …

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The Future of Jobs: Nano-medicine

What’s wrong with you?  How many times have you heard this and the answer might have been: I’ve got a cold, the flu….Behind this there are causes and processes that are in the nanoscale: a few billionth of a meter.  Medicine is trying to cure at the meter scale what …

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The Future of Jobs: Tree-Jackers

Moving from programming bacteria to programming multicellular system is a giant step.  We are already "programming" plants: Genetically Modified Organisms are an example of "programming".   Scientists have been able to program goats to produce a milk containing a protein that is similar (actually better) to the one produced by the silk …

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Getting the feeling out of Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is supposed to become more and more real to the point we won’t be able to tell it is … virtual. The first hurdle to overcome was tricking our eyes. The availability of high resolution displays that can be seen at a few cm without spotting any pixel, …

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The Future of Jobs: Bacteria programmers

In the previous post on Future of Jobs I discussed the possibility to program Smart Dust. What about programming living cells? Researchers have made significant progress in the understanding of genes and have become capable of altering the condones sequences. The use of CRISPR has become commonplace in several labs and this is …

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Your brain is bright!

One would tend to interpret those words as a figure of speech. Yet, it seems that in the future one can literally mean that.  Optogenetics has been around for a few years now providing researchers with a new tool to affect the behaviour of neurones using light. Now a team at …

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