In 2022, the Covid-19 pandemic will continue to impact our lives in many ways. The digitization and virtualization of businesses and society will continue to develop at a breakneck pace. However, as we enter a new year, the need for sustainability, ever-increasing data volumes, and increasing computing and network speeds will begin to regain their status as the most important drivers of digital transformation. .
For many individuals and organizations, the most important lesson of the past two years has been that truly transformative change is not as difficult to implement as one might think, if the motivation is there! As a company, we will no doubt continue to harness this newfound openness to flexibility, agility and innovative thinking, as it is no longer just about trying to survive in a changing world, but about s flourish there.
With that in mind, here are my predictions for the specific trends that are likely to have the most impact in 2022. You won’t find thoughts on quantum computing, neural interfaces, or nanotechnology — though they’re certainly in the news. agenda, their impact will only be felt later. Instead, the most important trends in 2022 should focus on the convergence of technology trends, as tools emerge to allow us to combine them in new and amazing ways.
1 | Artificial intelligence everywhere
Before, ‘smart’ just meant ‘connected’: smartphones, TVs and the plethora of other smart devices were basically just the same old toys, but connected to the internet. Today, “smart” increasingly means powered by artificial intelligence (AI) – typically machine learning algorithms – and able to help us in ever more innovative ways. Smart cars use facial recognition algorithms to detect if we are paying attention to the road and alert us if we are tired. Smartphones use AI algorithms to do everything from maintaining call quality to helping take better photos, and of course, they’re filled with apps that use AI to help us do just about anything. Smart toilets are even emerging that can help diagnose gastrointestinal problems by using computer vision to analyze stool samples!
AI has infiltrated the tools we use every day, from ubiquitous voice assistants to language translation, to tools that allow us to extract structured data from photos, scribbles on whiteboards and handwritten notes. It also powers much of the robotic process automation that has helped ease workloads in administrative, logistics, accounting, and HR departments. Whatever your industry or function, chances are you’ll find an AI-powered solution designed to make your life easier.
This broad trend encompasses AI, the Internet of Things (IoT) and new ultra-fast networks such as 5G, which combine to give us capabilities that we did not have just a few years ago. This highlights the fact that, on a longer timescale than the one we are looking at here, the trend that will have the most impact will be convergence. Increasing data volumes, accelerating network and processor speeds, and the “democratization” of data (more on this later) combine to have an impact on society far greater than the sum of their parts.
2 | “Everything as a service” and the “no code” revolution
Another increasingly powerful driver will be the continued democratization of data and technology. In recent years, an entire sector has emerged whose aim is to put the skills and tools needed for technological innovation into the hands of as wide a section of society as possible, regardless of their expertise or background. experience. Cloud computing solutions for storage, networking, and processing greatly mitigate the costs and risks of setting up expensive infrastructure to test new ideas. Hybrid solutions – for cases where public cloud services are not entirely appropriate,
Innovation has been held back in some areas by the skills crisis, which may seem like a problem but has been a driver of the explosion of self-service and do-it-yourself solutions. Not every company needs to hire an army of computer geniuses to build their own “digital brain”. There are out-of-the-box AI solutions for everything from marketing and HR to project management and production process planning and design. In 2022, we will continue to see companies deploying AI and IoT infrastructure without owning a single server or piece of proprietary cognitive code.
No-code interfaces will become more popular, as the lack of programming knowledge, or a detailed understanding of statistics and data structures, will cease to be a barrier to realizing a world-changing idea. OpenAI, a research group founded by Elon Musk and funded by Microsoft, among others, recently unveiled Codex, a programming model capable of generating code from natural and spoken human language. As technologies like this mature – which we’ll start to see in 2022 – and converge with the possibilities offered by cloud infrastructure, our innovation and imagination will be less often held back by a lack of resources or skills. techniques.
3 | Digitization, datafication and virtualization
During the 2020s and 2021s, many of us experienced the virtualization of our offices and workplaces as remote working devices were rapidly implemented. This was just a surge, due to the crisis, of a longer-term trend. In 2022, we will become increasingly familiar with the concept of “metaverse” – persistent digital worlds that exist alongside the physical world in which we live. Inside these metaverses – like the one recently proposed by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg – we will perform many of the functions we are used to performing in the real world, including work, games and life. social. As the scanning rate increases, these metaverses will model and simulate the real world with increasing accuracy, allowing us to have more immersive, more compelling, and ultimately more valuable experiences in the digital realm. While many of us have already experienced somewhat immersive virtual realities through headsets, a slew of new devices hitting the market will soon improve the experience dramatically by providing tactile feedback and even smells. Ericsson, which has provided VR headsets to employees working from home during the pandemic, and which is developing what it calls an “internet of the senses”, predicted that by 2030 virtual experiences will be available and indistinguishable reality. This may be going a little further than what interests us in this article. But, with the release of a new Matrix movie, the year 2022 will no doubt bring us one step closer to entering the Matrix.
4 | Transparency, governance and accountability
For technology to work, we humans need to be able to trust it. We are already (rightly) seeing strong backlash against many current uses of technology as inconvenient, dangerous or irresponsible. AI, in particular, is sometimes described as a “black box,” meaning we can’t see inside to understand how it works. This is often due to its complexity rather than a malicious plan to limit our understanding, but the effect is the same. This means that incidents where AI proves to be detrimental – for example, when Facebook recently appeared to label images of black people as “primates” – are extremely alarming.
The idea of transparent and explainable AI has grown in popularity in recent years, as it has become apparent that certain segments of society are wary of it – rightly so, of course! Governments, too, clearly understand that a regulatory framework is needed, as evidenced by the existence of the proposed EU Artificial Intelligence Act. This bill prohibits authorities from using AI to create social rating systems, as well as from using facial recognition tools in public places. There is also a list of potentially dangerous effects, including “exploitation of vulnerabilities” and “harm to physical or psychological integrity”, which AI solution providers will need to demonstrate that their systems will not cause, before they can be offered for sale. Some argue, however, that it does not go far enough because, in its current state, it does not contain any stipulation that people should be informed when they become the subjects of AI-driven decision-making processes. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he recognizes the need to regulate AI, but a balance needs to be struck so as not to stifle innovation. This balance should become an increasingly important topic of discussion in 2022, as people become aware of the potential positive and negative effects of AI and other technological trends on society. it contains no stipulation that people should be informed when they become the subjects of AI-driven decision-making processes. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he recognizes the need to regulate AI, but a balance needs to be struck so as not to stifle innovation. This balance should become an increasingly important topic of discussion in 2022, as people become aware of the potential positive and negative effects of AI and other technological trends on society. it contains no stipulation that people should be informed when they become the subjects of AI-driven decision-making processes. Google CEO Sundar Pichai said he recognizes the need to regulate AI, but a balance needs to be struck so as not to stifle innovation. This balance should become an increasingly important topic of discussion in 2022, as people become aware of the potential positive and negative effects of AI and other technological trends on society. but that a balance had to be found so as not to stifle innovation. This balance should become an increasingly important topic of discussion in 2022, as people become aware of the potential positive and negative effects of AI and other technological trends on society. but that a balance had to be found so as not to stifle innovation. This balance should become an increasingly important topic of discussion in 2022, as people become aware of the potential positive and negative effects of AI and other technological trends on society.
5 | Sustainable energy solutions
During the pandemic, renewable energy has been the only form of energy whose use has increased. In the United States, the use of renewable energy increased by 40% in the first ten weeks of confinement. Worldwide, non-renewable energy consumption has declined as industries have closed and people have stayed home, leading to an overall reduction in emissions of 8%. It is therefore expected that increasing investments will be devoted to the production of energy from renewable resources in the years to come.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that the production and use of renewable energy increased by 40% in 2020 compared to the previous year and projects that this growth will continue in 2022. In the together, the cost of generating renewable energy from a variety of sources, including onshore and offshore wind, solar and tidal power, has fallen by 7-16%. This development will be of great help to countries and companies trying to meet their emissions targets, for example by becoming carbon neutral or even negative in terms of carbon. Also, new emerging energy sources like biofuels, liquid hydrogen and even nuclear fusion are becoming more viable, even if it will take a little longer than 2022 for the impact of some of them to be fully felt. However, breakthroughs in all of these areas are likely to grab headlines. Helion Energy – a pioneer in fusion power, which replicates the process used to create power in the sun – expects its latest prototype fusion generator to go live sometime in 2022. practical applications should also emerge in the field of “green hydrogen” energy. Unlike established processes for creating energy from hydrogen, which involve using large amounts of “unclean” fossil fuel energy to create electrolysis, separating hydrogen and oxygen without emitting carbon,