Tuesday, June 5, 2012

What is Google: Solve for X

There are a lot of problems in the world today; Global warming, poverty, Illiteracy, debt crises, these are just a few. Google has decided to give solving these problems a shot and developed the “Solve for X” initiative. This project draws together some of Google’s greatest minds and asks them to creatively tackle some of the most perplexing global issues. The hope is that the “Solve for X” brain trust will come out with revolutionary solutions using current technologies in a way previously unthought-of.

Tackling the biggest global issues

It may not be simple however the individuals behind the project are excited and eager. They think that our technologies are untapped resources and they compare the forward thinking happening in the “Solve for X” project to the groundbreaking thinking that was required to get humans on the moon. Google describes it this way: “This combination of things—a huge problem to solve, a radical solution for solving it and the breakthrough technology to make it happen—is the essence of a moonshot.”

Tackling water scarcity

Last month Mashable.com ran a story on the “Solve for X” project. Mashable cited the account of an individual who participated in a “Solve for X” retreat. He said that they were focused on the issue of water scarcity. What solutions did they come up with on this retreat? One involved forward osmosis with recycled ammonium salts. It’s fine if you don’t understand what that means, luckily the people at “Solve for X” do.

The need for technology brain trusts

Whether or not “Solve for X” creates real solutions for the world’s problems, the concept certainly has value. Technology is commonly developed with a single objective in mind, usually for entertainment. That said, it’s likely there are many ways we’re able to use current technologies that we haven’t considered. With luck ,, “Solve for X” will help us utilize that potential.


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