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LIST: Top 10 leading tech trends for 2022 |


LIST: Top 10 leading tech trends for 2022

Kathleen A. Llemit -
LIST: Top 10 leading tech trends for 2022
Shopping, education, social networking, and healthcare will provide next-level features with the development of XR. 
geralt via Pixabay

MANILA, Philippines — Artificial Intelligence (AI) in medicine and renewable energy, more reliable cloud computing, and silicon photonic chips are seen as the top technological trends for 2022 and beyond. 

The latest tech reports have underscored these major trends that bank on more trusthworthy and secure public cloud networks and high-precision use of data.

The Alibaba Group's global research initiative Damo Academy (DAMO) shared some of these trends that will make life easier in a more virtual and digitized world. These trends are consistent with some of the results of the 2014 IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society report titled "IEEE CS 2022." It surveyed 23 technologies that could affect the vast world of computer science and industries by 2022. 

DAMO analyzed public papers and patent filings and conducted interviews with nearly 100 scientists over the past three years. 

Here are some of those trends DAMO forecasted for 2022 and the next two years:

1. Cloud network-device convergence

The division of functions among these three important features of cloud computing are more clearly defined. The report underlined that the cloud-network-device convergence is the "catalyst" that will drive the emergence of new applications that will fulfill more demanding tasks, such as high-precision industrial simulation, real-time industrial quality inspection, and mixed reality. As a result, it foresees a surge of applications running on top of the new computing system. 

2. AI for Science

The continuous progress of AI greatly impacts the shifting of the two basic paradigms, namely experimental science and theoretical science, in the scientific community. 

DAMO said that AI will not only accelerate the speed of scientific research, but also help discover new scientific laws. 

"In the next three years, we expect that AI will be broadly applied in the research process of applied science and be used as a production tool in some basic sciences," it reported. 

3. Silicon Photonic Chips

Seven years ago, the IEEE report said that silicon photonics will be a fundamental technology that will address the current issues on bandwidth, latency and energy of high-end systems. 

DAMO also sees this technology as the prefered resource for chip development in the years to come.  

"Unlike electronic chips, silicon photonic chips use photons instead of electrons to transmit data. Photons do not directly interact with each other and can travel longer distances, and therefore silicon photonic chips can provide higher computing density and energy efficiency," DAMO reported. It added that the rise of cloud computing and AI drives the rapid development of silicon photonics technology. 

4. AI for renewable energy

Renewable energy harnessed from wind and solar power are proving to be answers to the movement towards sustainable energy. 

There are challenges, however, in harnessing these energy sources such as difficulty in grid integration, low energy utilization rate, and storage of excess energy. 

DAMO said that due to the "unpredictable" natures of renewable energy power generation, integrating renewable energy sources into the power grid "presents challenges that affect the safety and reliability of the grid."

To use AI in these settings can be "pivotal" in improving the efficiency and automation of electric power systems, therefore maximizing resource usage and stability. By doing so, this initiative will be "conducive to achieving carbon neutrality." 

5. High-precision medicine

AI and precision medicinie are expected to boost the integration of expertise and new auxiliary diagnostic technologies. 

"In the next three years, we expect to see people-centric precision medicine become a major trend that will span multiple fields of healthcare, including disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. AI will become synonymous with a highly precise compass that allows us to pinpoint diseases and their treatments," DAMO reported. 

6. Privacy-preserving computation

Privacy  in the Internet has always been a sensitive issue. However, these are seen as concerns that can be addressed with the development of privacy-preserving computation with the use of integrated technologies, such as dedicated chips, cryptographic algorithms, whitebox implementation, and data trusts. 

"In the next three years, we will witness groundbreaking improvements in the performance and interpretability of privacy-preserving computation, and witness the emergence of data trust entities that provide data sharing services based on the technology," the report noted. 

7. Extended Reality (XR)

Shopping, education, social networking, and healthcare will provide next-level features with the development of XR. 

XR glasse, for example, promise to make immersive mixed reality Internet a reality. This technology plants the seed that will sprout into a new industrial ecosystem that encompasses electronic components, devices, operating systems, and applications. 

The next three years will see a new generation of XR glasses that have "an indistinguishable look and feel from ordinary glasses" that will pave the way to the next generation of Internet.

8. Perceptive soft robotics

In relation to the previous forecast, DAMO said that it expects perceptive soft robotics to replace conventional robots in the manufacturing industry as well as satellites and terrestrial systems in the next five years. 

"Unlike conventional robots, perceptive soft robots are robots with physically flexible bodies and enhanced perceptibility towards pressure, vision, and sound. These robots take advantage of state-of-the-art technologies such as flexible electronics, pressure adaptive materials, and AI, which allow them to perform highly specialized and complex tasks and deform to adapt to different physical environments," the DAMO report highlighted. 

These next-generation robots are expected to change the course of manufacturing industry, from the mass-production of standardized products toward specialized, small-batch products.

In addition, the report said that these will replace and pave the way for wider adoption of service robots in daily life in the next five years. 

9. Satellite-terrestrial Integrated Computing

No place on earth remain digitally untapped. 

Terrestrial networks and computing systems provide digital services for densely populated areas, while no service is available in sparsely inhabited areas such as deserts, seas, and space. STC connects high-Earth orbit (HEO) and low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites and terrestrial mobile communications networks. STC also creates a computing system that integrates satellites, satellite networks, terrestrial communications systems, and cloud computing technologies. This way, digital services can be more accessible and inclusive across the globe.

10. Co-evolution of large- and small-scale AI models

As illustrated in above mentioned trends, DAMO noted the future of AI will shift to the co-evolution of large- and small-scale models via clouds, edges, and devices. 

The large-scale pre-training models, also known as the foundation models, are the grounding breakthrough technique from weak AI to general AI, which relatively boosts performance of various applications using conventional deep learning. 

The report said that, however, the merit in the higher performance and the drawback in the power consumption are "not well balanced", thus limiting the exploration of large-scale models. 

The shifting and expected co-evolution of large- and small-scale models is more useful in practice, DAMO noted.

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