5 Moonshot Ideas Brainstormed by 4 High Schoolers in 15 Minutes

Defining a Moonshot

A moonshot is an idea that is impossible today, but plausible and potentially implementable a few years down the road. It’s an idea that people are willing to take a chance on. However, there is a difference between a regular idea and a moonshot. While regular ideas often solve a problem by fixing it, moonshots try and think outside of the box — they often are more sustainable and preventative as well. It’s the difference between a bandaid and stem cells.

BCIs x Therapy x AI Chatbots

58% of Gen Z is depressed and 91% have said they have experienced at least one physical or emotional symptom because of stress, feeling depressed or sad. Use artificial intelligence x brain computer interfaces to create an interactive, chatbot experience that provides you guidance based on the EEG machine reading. An EEG is a test that detects abnormalities in your brain waves, or in the electrical activity of your brain. During the procedure, electrodes consisting of small metal discs with thin wires are pasted onto your scalp. The electrodes detect tiny electrical charges that result from the activity of your brain cells. **People will place the cap on and sync up to their computer or phone to interact with a chat-bot on a software. At that time, they will get to have a real-time conversation with someone on the other side of the computer and gain therapy through a more interactive, less daunting way.

Quantum Computing x Blockchain

Quantum supremacy using the known algorithm (Grover’s algorithm) is currently not enough to break the quantum safe hash function SHA-256, which means that there is no efficient known algorithm, classical or quantum, which can invert it. Hash-based signature schemes like the Lamport signature are believed to be quantum-resistant, faster, and less complex than ECDSA. Unfortunately, this scheme suffers from size issues. The size of Lamport public key and signature together is 231 times (106 bytes vs. 24KB) more than the ECDSA public key and signature. So, the use of the Lamport Signature scheme will need 231x more storage than ECDSA, which is unfortunately too large to be practical at this time. Basically, although blockchain has just barely stood the test of quantum attacks (both preimage and collision), as quantum supremacy grows these solutions will become obsolete. “just barely” refers to the fact that this resistance is too large to be practical. Additionally, quantum resistant blockchain, specifically at Ethereum, has yet to be implemented. Making blockchains that run on a qubit model. Basically, instead of blockchain-based institutions having to constantly upgrade to keep up with the looming threat of quantum supremacy, this solution offers a quantum based platform that initially focuses on 2 uses of blockchain: cryptocurrency and supply security. This is because these are the two biggest fields that would be directly and immediately impacted upon the advent of quantum supremacy. We propose a conceptual design for a quantum blockchain. Our method involves encoding the blockchain into a temporal GHZ (Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger) state of photons that do not simultaneously coexist. It is shown that the entanglement in time, as opposed to an entanglement in space, provides the crucial quantum advantage. All the subcomponents of this system have already been shown to be experimentally realized. Furthermore, our encoding procedure can be interpreted as nonclassically influencing the past. Quantum supremacy is estimated to be out of its infancy by 2025. Our solution, at this point will be immediately plausible, but working with this on a prototype and miniaturized level will be possible before this.

AI x Judicial Sentencing

An artificial intelligence system that uses big data from previous court cases and sentences to provide an impartial and unbiased form of judicial sentencing for convicted citizens. This idea was killed as we found that the data we would used would be biased, giving a biased output as well.

Blockchain x Public Health x AI

An estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes annually,15 making alcohol the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States. An #NHLBI-funded study put a price tag on American’s bad eating habits: $50 billion a year in health care costs, attributable to cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. The research, reported in the journal PLoS Medicineexternal link, sought to zero in on the national health care costs of unhealthy diet habits, which are known to account for up to 45% of all cardiometabolic deaths. Store quantity of all products sold within a community (through partnerships with stores) in a blockchain, and use AI to analyze unhealthy consumption rates for community leaders. Blockchain applications must overcome some challenges to become AI-ready. Transactions and queries on the blockchain are slow while AI applications require fast access to data and are very compute intensive. Scaling for very large datasets, as AI applications require, is also a problem. But we’re seeing solutions emerge to these problems. For instance, some projects use blockchain to store and update the digital signatures of data while storing the actual data in off-chain storages. Another project named BigchainDB converges the advantages of traditional distributed databases and blockchain to provide a fast and scalable solution.

Blockchain x DNA Sequencing

Billions of people and every nation in the world are vulnerable to a cybersecurity attack at any moment, of any day. But imagine if your data was encrypted using genomes? As a new person is added, this adds a block to the blockchain. One block of bitcoin right now is 1 megabyte. The 2.9 billion base pairs of the haploid human genome correspond to a maximum of about 725 megabytes of data, since every base pair can be coded by 2 bits. Since individual genomes vary by less than 1% from each other, they can be losslessly compressed to roughly 4 megabytes. By replacing it for a block weight limit, blocks now have a theoretical limit of 4 megabytes and a more realistic limit of 2 megabytes. This is theoretically plausible, as it doesn’t necessarily need blockchain, also the broader idea of using biometric data. This idea was also killed, as we couldn’t find a plausible economic model.

Why Moonshot Thinking is Essential

Some of these ideas these four high school students have already killed. But that proves the point: moonshot thinking frees us from the constraints of today. Without it, we wouldn’t have the mobile phone, or even the telephone in the first place. It means that there are people in the world who ignored the skeptics, and who believed in the power of tomorrow. Without moonshots, we don’t get progress.

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