What will our world look like in 2022?
Nine technical leaders of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society joined forces to write a technical report, entitled IEEE CS 2022, symbolically surveying 23 potential technologies that could change the landscape of computer science and industry by the year 2022.
The authors had the following goals in mind when they started writing the report:
- Predict the future technologies that will disrupt the state of the art.
- Help researchers understand the future impact of various technologies.
- Help laymen —a general audience— understand where technology is evolving and the implications for human society.
- Help the IEEE Computer Society understand how it should be organized for this future.
23 Technologies in 2022
- Security Cross-Cutting Issues. The growth of large data repositories and emergence of data analytics have combined with intrusions by bad actors, governments, and corporations to open a Pandora’s box of issues. How can we balance security and privacy in this environment?
- Open Intellectual Property Movement. From open source software and standards to open-access publishing, the open IP movement is upon us. What are the implications?
- Sustainability. Can electronic cars, LED lighting, new types of batteries and chips, and increasing use of renewables combat rising energy use and an explosion in the uptake of computing?
- Massively Online Open Courses. MOOCs have the potential to transform the higher-education landscape, siphoning students from traditional universities and altering faculty and student roles. How significant will their impact be?
- Quantum Computing. Constrained only by the laws of physics, quantum computing will potential extend Moore’s Law into the next decade. As commercial quantum computing comes within reach, new breakthroughs are occurring at an accelerating pace.
- Device and Nanotechnology. It is clear that MEMS devices, nanoparticles, and their use in applications are here to stay. Nanotechnology has already been useful in manufacturing sunscreen, tires, and medical devices that can be swallowed.
- 3D Integrated Circuits. The transition from printed circuit boards to 3D-ICs is already underway in the mobile arena, and will eventually spread across the entire spectrum of IT products.
- Universal Memory. Universal memory replacements for DRAM will cause a tectonic shift in architectures and software.
- Multicore. By 2022, multicore will be everywhere, from wearable systems and smartphones to cameras, games, automobiles, cloud servers, and exa-scale supercomputers.
- Photonics. Silicon photonics will be a fundamental technology to address the bandwidth, latency, and energy challenges in the fabric of high-end systems.
Networking and Interconnectivity. Developments at all levels of the network stack will continue to drive research and the Internet economy.
- Software-defined Networks. OpenFlow and SDN will make networks more secure, transparent, flexible, and functional.
- High-performance Computing. While some governments are focused on reaching exascale, some researchers are intent on moving HPC to the cloud.
- Cloud Computing. By 2022, cloud will be more entrenched and more computing workloads run on the cloud.
- The Internet of Things. From clothes that monitor our movements to smart homes and cities, the Internet of Things knows no bounds, except for our concerns about ensuring privacy amid such convenience.
- Natural User Interfaces. The long-held dreams of computers that can interface with us through touch, gesture, and speech are finally coming true, with more radical interfaces on the horizon.
- 3D Printing. 3D printing promises a revolution in fabrication, with many opportunities to produce designs that would have been prohibitively expensive.
- Big Data and Analytics. The growing availability of data and demand for its insights holds great potential to improve many data-driven decisions.
- Machine Learning and Intelligent Systems. Machine learning plays an increasingly important role in our lives, whether it’s ranking search results, recommending products, or building better models of the environment.
- Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition. Unlocking information in pictures and videos has had a major impact on consumers and more significant advances are in the pipeline.
- Life Sciences. Technology has been pivotal in improving human and animal health and addressing threats to the environment.
- Computational Biology and Bioinformatics. Vast amounts of data are enabling the improvement of human health and unraveling of the mysteries of life.
- Medical Robotics. From autonomous delivery of hospital supplies to telemedicine and advanced prostheses, medical robotics has led to many life-saving innovations.