As more attentive readers may notice, I have taken a very wide view of what constitutes a world problem.

  1. Traffic Congestion – Driverless cars and buses, with an algorithm to determine optimal use. Next Steps: Look into regulatory issues, and machine learning work in the area
  2. Too much time spent on social media – An app that automatically limits you to a certain amount of time, across devices and sites. Next steps: Write the app and backend
  3. Too much noise on social media: An app that tracks interactions, and unfollows people that you have not interacted with in a long time. Next Step: Write the app
  4. Homelessness – 3D Printing houses, quickly. Next Steps: Research the current state of the technology, as well as building regulations in problem areas
  5. Endangered Species – Cloning. Next Steps: Look into the current state of the research, as well as the regulations around it
  6. Forgetting people’s names – AR Glasses. Next Step: Figure out how to make the cheaply
  7. Cruelty to food animals – Lab grown meat. Next Step: Contact the researchers, and find out what is in their way.
  8. Corruption – A block-chain based app that will allow anonymous reporting, possibly with evidence. Next Steps: Look into anonymous messaging to use as a basis
  9. Lack of blood donors – Develop a blood substitute. Next step: Find out which companies are working on this
  10. Phobias – Use VR to help sanitise people to the source of the phobia. Next Step: Talk to some psychologists about the best approach to this
  11. Hard to know what to wear in the mornings, since the weather changes – Clothes that inflate for extra insulation, and provide heating based on the temperature. Next Step: Look into flexible, smooth heaters and temperature sensors
  12. Missing your stop on a train. – An app that signals you when are 1-2 minutes away. Next Steps: Find an up-to-date source for train timetables, and write the app
  13. Finding a parking space – An app in the car that tracks when you leave, signaling available space to new cars. Next Step: Figure out how to track this, and create a proof of concept
  14. Too much time sitting – A standing desk that does not allow more than one hour of sitting at a time. Next Steps: Make a list of standing desk manufacturers. Make a proof of concept (use Arduino)
  15. Trash in the streets – Autonomous trash-collecting robots. Next Step: Talk to some people working in robotics
  16. Risk of meteorite impact – Launch swarms of small, interlinked, solar-powered drones to map out the asteroid belt, and to provide early warning. Next Step: Find out how to cheaply get small items into space
  17. Lack of medication for pregnant and lactating women – Better software models of medical interactions to identify actual risks. Next Step: Check how the current models work
  18. Clamshell packaging – Design packaging that has a latch that will open at checkout. Next Step: Look into making a tiny magnetic lock
  19. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria – Tailored viruses to attack the resistant line. Next Steps: Talk to somebody that understand microbiology better than me
  20. Difficulty communicating across languages – Real time translation. Next Steps: Look into current implementations of the technology