2022 Good Tech Awards

In the world of technology, 2022 was a year of great leaps in technology and larger practices.

Some of the most prominent names in the industry were among the victims. Sam Bankman Fried begins the year as the most prominent cryptocurrency celebrity with a net value of more than $20 Billion and ends it as an outcast. He faces criminal fraud charges. Elon Musk is the richest man on the planet, and 2022 sees him as the founder of the electric car company, a name synonymous for success. It ends up being more than $100 billion less, however. Malik is bitter and beleagueredA social media company that seems like it is ruining his life.

Too, the tech industry has been struggling. Tough macroeconomic conditionsHigh inflation and high interest rate are all factors that contribute to high inflation. The decade of hypergrowth in the sector is over. Startups have been killed, tech giants have closed down franchises, laid off workers, investors’ dreams of a new encrypted Internet known simply as “web3”, have faded into the background.

However, focusing on what went wrong could lead to the loss many socially valuable, intelligent and noble technical projects that made progress this year.

These types of projects have been highlighted in my Good Technology Awards column for several years. These are not necessarily technologies that will solve all problems. These are tools I believe in couldHelping to solve difficult societal problems or improving the world. If they are not managed well or used in a harmful way, some of them can lead to disaster.

There was so much to choose from this year. This is what was included in the final cut.

The largest tech breakthrough of the year was, by a large margin the boom in “generative artificial intelligence”The new type of AI application that is trained on large amounts of data and can create new media objects from thin air.

This year, AI image-generators like DALLE 2, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney, and DALLE 2 are available. Users (including me) were impressed with their creationsYou can unleash a Cambrian explosion in new, super-powerful AI tools. ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence that generates text from AI, was created by OpenAI in recent weeks. It became a viral sensationThe worst nightmare for teachers is when they start preparing term papers, original poetry and working snippets code.

Google, which developed much of the underlying technology, deserves some of the credit for the generative AI boom. Google, which has kept most of its AI research private, won’t be the only one to take credit for this year’s generative AI boom. his last displeasureOpenAI and Midjourney as well as Stable Diffusion’s makers, have taken generative AI to the next level.

The full impact of generative artificial intelligence is still unknown. Some argue that these apps will eliminate millions of jobs while others say that they will increase human creativity. But whether you’re an AI optimist or pessimist, developments this year mean we’re no longer debating theoretical costs and benefits — the tools have arrived, and we now have to decide how to use them.

I know that I know. Putting a crypto project on the “Good Technology” list in 2022 feels like putting CDS on the “Brilliant Financial Innovations” list in 2008.

But while the cryptocurrency industry has experienced a sharp decline this year — wiping out trillions of dollars in value and leaving many investors empty-handed — there has been at least one bright spot. Ethereum, the network that became the second most valuable cryptocurrency after Bitcoin in September, was the winner. complete what was known as “the merger” A massive project that takes years of work to transform Ethereum from a power-hungry form of blockchain known as “Proof of Work” to a greener form of blockchain known as “Proof of Stake.”

The switch, which crypto-developers compared to trying switch an airplane engine mid-air, was a smashing hit, reducing the power needed to run Ethereum by more that 99 percent. However, it didn’t increase the price for cryptocurrency Ether, which ended 2017 at nearly 70% lower.

Although 2022 was a terrible year for startups in general, it was a great one for climate tech startups. They have raised billions of money to bring climate-friendly technology to market.

There are too many promising climate tech startups to mention—and, to be honest, I don’t know enough about climate science to tell which ones have the best chance of success—but a few that caught my eye this year were Live Carbon, Twelve and BeeHero.

living carbonInc., a California-based startup that has been around for three years, is using genetic engineering to modify trees and other plants to store and capture more carbon from the atmosphere. These giant genetically modified trees are said to be growing. Bigger and faster than normal treesIt can live in soils that have high levels of minerals, which may make it toxic to other plants.

twelveInc. is based in Berkeley, California and uses an electrochemical process to convert carbon dioxide to industrial products such as sunglasses or jet fuel. company raised $130 million in financingHe has made deals with companies such as Procter & Gamble and Mercedes-Benz this year.

BeeHero, a company that was founded in Israel in 2017, uses technology to address problems facing bees, one of the most important components of our global food supply. Although bees pollinate more than a quarter of all crops, they are dying at an alarming speed, raising concerns about food shortages. To address this, BeeHero has developed a “micro-pollination platform” — essentially a bee-tracking sensor system that allows industrial beekeepers to monitor the health and productivity of their hives in real time. company Series B collection $42 million (Series Bee?) Over the course this year, from investors including General Mills.

This year, nuclear fusion, long considered the “energy holy grail” and a form that produces no emissions, has made significant progress towards becoming a reality.

The year’s biggest merger news came just weeks ago, when scientists were at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California’s National Ignition Facility. Major threshold crossedIt is known as “ignition” and results in a fusion reaction which produces more energy than it takes. Officials, including Jennifer M. Granholm, Energy Secretary, have hailed the breakthrough as a “historic accomplishment.”

Many startups were also holding back on merging. Helion Energy, the first, raised hundreds of millions from prominent investors, including Dustin Moskovitz and Sam Altman. This was to create mass-market fusion technology that is affordable. Helion She says she plansTo generate power with its next nuclear reactor, Polaris by 2024. Commonwealth Fusion Systems, a company that was spun off from MIT, is also using the technology. Set of powerful magnetsIt will operate its prototype fusion machine from Boston and hopes to be operational by 2025.

Experts warnedDespite recent breakthroughs, fusion power may not be widely accessible for many years. However, both the private and public sectors showed signs of a fusion future this year.

2022 is the year Social media is deadIt was also the year that startups began to try to recapture the fun of social media.

One of my favorite apps this year has been locket. It’s a simple idea: a widget that clips to your smartphone’s screen creates a digital photo frame that your closest friends and loved ones can upload photos.

Locket was started by Matt Moss (a young developer) who wanted a way for him to send photos to long-distance partners. This year, millions have used the app. He raised a large funding roundThen there’s the Won an Apple Award for Cultural Impact. Locket doesn’t have any filters, influencers or data collection schemes. It’s just a simple, straightforward way to share photos and messages with loved ones.

Locket was a tool that my wife and I used to share our baby pictures. It didn’t require us to dig through text strings or large photo albums to find them later. It’s not the best tech product that I use most often or the one that I believe will bring the greatest benefit to society. But it’s fun, uncomplicated, and respectful to its users — three qualities more tech products should aspire to.

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