It has been about a decade since technology giant IBM has been making annual predictions about the future technologies which could have the biggest impact on our lives.
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IBM has released its latest list of five technologies which are most likely to be innovated in the next five years.
According to the company, by 2022, we are set to see huge developments in artificial intelligence (AI), ultra-powerful telescopes, smart sensors, and medical devices – with benefits ranging from healthcare and the environment, to our understanding of Earth and the universe itself.
Take a look at the near future technologies and then check back once 2022 hits to see how accurate scientists predicted.
1. ‘Labs on a chip’ will revolutionise medicine
The shrinking physical size of computer technology is inversely proportional to its power. The new technology will help diagnose lethal diseases like cancer at earlier-than-ever stage, while at home.
“New medical labs on a chip will serve as nanotechnology health detectives – tracing invisible clues in our bodily fluids and letting us know immediately if we have reason to see a doctor,” explains IBM.
Early detection of diseases will make big difference to the rate of success of treatment.
2. Hyperimaging and AI will give us superhero vision
Hyperimager combined with AI will boost your eyesight to beyond human perception. You will be able to see through fog or rain with the help of devices small enough to fit in your pocket. Waves like microwave, millimeter wave and infrared images will also become visible for you.
Experiments are already underway to give relief to color blind people. Prototypes of the devices to help color blind people see the world have started appearing like the EnChroma sunglasses.
3. Macroscopes will help us understand Earth’s complexity in infinite detail
The knowledge of macroscopic objects will be studied in detail which could help understand some complex facts of the world. Google Earth is just the beginning.
IBM predicts that “macroscope” systems are going to combine “all of Earth’s complex data together”. We could analyse the world from new perspectives.
IBM says: “Instrumenting and collecting masses of data from every physical object, big and small, and bringing it together will reveal comprehensive solutions for our food, water and energy needs.”
4. Thanks to AI, our speech will be a window into our mental health
Language is generally used to express ideas, thoughts and emotions, but who knew that one day it could reveal some unsaid facts about a person. With advancement in computer processing power, speech analysis is about to become more insightful.
IBM says, “In five years, what we say and write will be used as indicators of our mental health and physical wellbeing.”
Mental illnesses such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s could be diagnosed sooner with the help of a mobile phone app through AI calculations.
“Patterns in our speech and writing analyzed by cognitive systems will enable doctors and patients to predict and track early-stage developmental disorders, mental illness and degenerative neurological diseases more effectively,” says IBM.
This should be noted that experiments in this regard have already started. A team of the University of Southern California built a program which could detect variations in speech patterns and identify signs of depression.
5. Smart sensors will detect environmental pollution at speed of light
Environmental pollution could be detected and monitored in real time with smart sensors through utilize silicon photonics.
“Together with physical analytics combined with artificial intelligence, these technologies will unlock insights to help us prevent pollution and fully harness the promise of cleaner fuels like natural gas,” says IBM.