Technology in 2022: A Report from the IEEE

Technology in 2022: A Report from the IEEE

This week, the IEEE released their predictions for computing technology in 2022. There’s nothing in there about downloading human consciousness into hardware or AI becoming sentient. However, the predictions are futuristic enough that their would be marked improvement in quality of life if they all came to pass.

The report was drafted by nine technical leaders within the IEEE Computer Society, focusing on surveying the landscapes and progressions of 23 different technology sectors, including: 3D printing, big data and analytics, open intellectual property movement, massively online open courses, security cross-cutting issues, universal memory, 3D integrated circuits, photonics, cloud computing, computational biology and bioinformatics, device and nanotechnology, sustainability, high-performance computing, the Internet of Things, life sciences, machine learning and intelligent systems, natural user interfaces, networking and inter-connectivity, quantum computing, software-defined networks, multicore, and robotics for medical care.

The authors of the study took all of the above listed technologies and evaluated them based on several industry drivers and disruptors in order to determine their innovation trajectories. The report itself is actually a collection of individual reports, each one focusing on one the 23 individual technologies. It’s available to read with free registration and definitely worth browsing through.

So the question is, based on all of these technical predictions, what does it all add up to? An important projection of the IEEE report is, what they refer to as, the “seamless intelligence scenario. Computing devices—from the very small, such as wearable devices and chips embedded under the skin, to the computers inside our mobile devices, laptops, desktops, home servers, TV sets, and refrigerators, to the computing cloud that we reach via the Internet—are interconnected via different communication and networking technologies.” Essentially, together all of these devices will form into an “intelligent mesh”, the authors explain, and will develop into a “communication ecosystem” that interprets and collects data gathered by our touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight. There will even be interfaces with our brainwave activity, pushing this mesh beyond a mere internet of “things.”

Of course, as the report begins:

Predicting the future is hard and risky. Predicting the future in the computer industry is even harder and riskier due to dramatic changes in technology and limitless challenges to innovation. Only a small fraction of innovations truly disrupt the state of the art. Some are not practical or cost-effective, some are ahead of their time, and some simply do not have a market.