IEEE Predicts Top Technologies for 2022

Machine learning, computational biology, bioinformatics, nanotechnology and the Internet of things are on IEEE's list of top technologies for 2022.

Internet of Things

Curious about what the technology landscape will look like in 2022? The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), which represents more than 400,000 engineers, has come up with a report that looks to the future and predicts what the hot technologies of 2022 will be.

Indeed, nine technologists led by IEEE Computer Society President Dejan Milojicic spent a large part of this year pondering this question. The results can be found in the IEEE CS 2022 Report, which looks at 23 future technologies that could change the world by 2022. The report can be found here.

"These technologies, tied into what we call seamless intelligence, present a view of the future," said IEEE’s Milojicic, in a statement. "Technology is the enabler. What humanity takes out of it really depends on human society."

The following contributed to sections of the report: Mohammed AlQuraishi, Harvard Medical School; Angela Burgess, IEEE Computer Society; David Forsyth, Cornell University; Hiroyasu Iwata, Waseda University; Rick McGeer, Communications and Design Group, SAP America; and John Walz, retired from Lucent/AT&T.

IEEE said the intent of the report is to predict the future disruptive technologies, aid researchers in understanding the future impact of various technologies and help laymen understand where technology is evolving.

Some of the predictions include that multicore will allow users to recharge their smartphones only once a month. The Internet of things will enable people to dress in clothes that monitor all their activities. Nanotechnology will enable lives to be saved by digestible cameras and machines made from particles 50,000 times as small as a human hair. And with the exponential growth of big data there will be increasing concerns about balancing convenience and privacy.

The report also recognizes the importance of quantum computing and indicates that universal memory replacements for DRAM will cause a tectonic shift in architectures and software. In addition, 3D printing will create a revolution in fabrication, with many opportunities to produce designs that would have been prohibitively expensive, the study showed.

According to the report, machine learning will play an increasingly important role in the lives of people--whether it is ranking search results, recommending products or building better models of the environment. And medical robotics will lead to new lifesaving innovations, from autonomous delivery of hospital supplies to telemedicine and advanced prostheses.

Meanwhile, with energy consumption increasing along with the world's population, electric cars, LEDs, smart grids, smart cities, dark silicon, new battery technology, and new ways of cooling data centers are some areas where advances in sustainability are expected. Silicon photonics will address bandwidth, latency and energy challenges, and developments at all levels of the network stack will continue to drive research and the Internet economy, the report said. And in the area of software-defined networks, OpenFlow and SDN will make networks more secure, transparent, flexible and functional.

The Open Intellectual Property movement, according to the report, will influence everything from academic publishing and educational models to software, standards, and programming languages. Massively Online Open Courses (MOOCs) also threaten to change the role of faculty, students, and teaching assistants as more institutions embrace the new learning platforms.

The 2022 Report covers security, cross-cutting issues, open intellectual prop­erty movement, sustainability, massively online open courses, quantum computing, device and nanotechnology, 3D integrated circuits, multicore, pho­tonics, universal memory, networking and interconnectivity, software-defined networks, high-performance computing, cloud computing, the Internet of things, natural user interfac­es, 3D printing, big data and analytics, machine learning and intelligent systems, computer vision and pattern recognition, life sciences, computational biology and bioinformatics, and robotics for medical care.

The report's authors include Hasan Alkhatib of SSN Services LLC; Paolo Faraboschi of HP Labs, Spain; Eita Frachtenberg of Facebook; Hironori Kasahara of Waseda University; Danny Lange of Microsoft; Phil Laplante of Pennsylvania State University; Arif Merchant of Google; Dejan Milojicic of HP Labs, Palo Alto, and Karsten Schwan of Georgia Tech.