Abortion pills via telemedicine and artificial intelligence painting pictures are among breakthrough technologies in 2023, according to MIT Technology Review. Abortion ceased to be a constitutional right in the US last year but healthcare providers and startups have turned to telehealth.
Every year, MIT Technology Review reporters and editors nominate technologies they think will change the world.
The five top that are predicted to be the breakthrough technologies of 2023:
- AI that makes images — This is the year of the AI artists. Software models developed by Google, OpenAI, and others can now generate stunning artworks based on just a few text prompts. Type in a short description of pretty much anything, and you get a picture of what you asked for in seconds. Nothing will be the same again.
- A chip design that changes everything — The chip industry is undergoing a profound shift. Manufacturers have long licensed chip designs from a few big firms. Now, a popular open standard called RISC-V is upending those power dynamics by making it easier for anyone to create a chip. Many startups are exploring the possibilities.
- Mass-market military drones — Military drones were once out of reach for smaller nations due to their expense and strict export controls. But advances in consumer componentry and communications technology have helped drone manufacturers build complex war machines at much lower prices. The Turkish Bayraktar TB2 and other cheap drones have changed the nature of drone warfare.
- Abortion pills via telemedicine — Abortion ceased to be a constitutional right in the US in 2022, and state bans now prevent many people from accessing them. So healthcare providers and startups have turned to telehealth to prescribe and deliver pills that allow people to safely induce abortions at home.
- Organs on demand — Every day, an average of 17 people in the US alone die awaiting an organ transplant. These people could be saved—and many others helped—by a potentially limitless supply of healthy organs. Scientists are genetically engineering pigs whose organs could be transplanted into humans and 3D-printing lungs using a patient’s own cells.
The abortion pill has become a headache for social media after the US Supreme Court in a ruling stopped access to abortion from being a constitutional right. Directly after the Court’s ruling last year, women offered fellow sisters to help them get access to the pills. Various tests showed that for instance Meta and its Instagram took down offers without delay.
A Meta’s spokesperson indirectly confirmed the policy of taking down any offer to provide pills. Directly after the Court’s ruling, the spokesperson tweeted:
“Content that attempts to buy, sell, trade, gift, request or donate pharmaceuticals is not allowed. Content that discusses the affordability and accessibility of prescription medication is allowed. We’ve discovered some instances of incorrect enforcement and are correcting these.”
Explainers on how to obtain abortion pills in the mail boomed across social platforms. US media intelligence firm Zignal Lab reported a spike in mentioning of the pills on social media and in broadcasts.