IEEE Computer Society looks to the future

IEEE Computer Society looks to the future

What will the technology landscape look like in 2022? Nine technologists led by IEEE Computer Society President Dejan Milojicic have spent much of this year trying to answer that question. The results can be found in the IEEE CS 2022 Report, a living document that surveys 23 future technologies that could change the world by 2022.

Intended to predict the future disruptive technologies, aid researchers in understanding the future impact of various technologies, and help laymen understand where technology is evolving, the report includes sections written by experts in their respective technology fields.

"These technologies, tied into what we call seamless intelligence, present a view of the future," said IEEE Computer Society President Dejan Milojicic, who led creation of the 2022 Report. "Technology is the enabler. What humanity takes out of it really depends on human society."

In the world that is envisioned, multicore will allow us to recharge our smartphones just once a month. The Internet of Things will let us dress in clothes that monitor all our 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 amid the exponential growth of large data repositories will be increasing concerns about balancing convenience and privacy.

Report authors note that the potential for quantum computing is staggering, since it's constrained only by the laws of physics. Universal memory replacements for DRAM will cause a tectonic shift in architectures and software. 3D printing will create a revolution in fabrication, with many opportunities to produce designs that would have been prohibitively expensive.

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

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. 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, device and nanotechnology, 3D integrated circuits, multicore, pho­tonics, universal memory, networking and inter-connectivity, 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.