IBM 5 in 5 predictions are known to be quite grounded asthey are usually based on IBM’s own R&D work-in-progress. If they arepredicting it, it is very likely that they are going to invent it. Famousinventions and developments by IBM include: the Automated teller machine (ATM),Dynamic random access memory (DRAM), the electronic keypunch, the financialswap, the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the magnetic stripe card, therelational database, RISC, the SABRE airline reservation system, SQL, theUniversal Product Code (UPC) bar code, and the virtual machine. According tothis IBM “5 in 5”, visualization technologies will stand-out in real lifeapplications by 2022 on both macro and micro levels to maintain the safety andwell-being of the human race.
First: WithAI, our words will be a window into our mental health
IBM envisions a possible future where speech detectionsystems in smartphones can provide early warning of developmental disorders,mental illness and degenerative neurological diseases or provide clinicianswith a tool for monitoring the progress of ongoing treatment plans. This willbe possible using cognitive computers that will analyze a patient’s speech orwritten words to look for tell-tale indicators found in language, includingmeaning, syntax and intonation.
Second: Hyperimaging and AIwill give us superhero vision
IBM anticipates that new imaging devices using hyperimagingtechnology and AI will help us see broadly beyond the domain of visible lightby combining multiple bands of the electromagnetic spectrum to reveal valuableinsights or potential dangers that would otherwise be unknown or hidden fromview. Most importantly, these devices will be portable, affordable andaccessible, so superhero vision can be part of our everyday experiences.
Third: Macroscopes will helpus understand Earth’s complexity in infinite detail
IBM predicted that macroscope technology will transform manyindustries while revealing new insights about some of the most fundamentalproblems we face, such as the availability of food, water and energy. Byaggregating, organizing and analyzing data on climate, soil conditions, waterresources and their relationship to irrigation practices, for example, a newgeneration of farmers will have insights that help them determine the rightcrop choices, where to plant them and how to produce optimal yields whileconserving precious water supplies.
Fourth: Medical “labs on a chip” will serve as healthdetectives for tracing disease at the nanoscale
IBM foretells us that new medical labs on a chip will serveas nanotechnology health detectives – tracing invisible clues in our bodilyfluids and letting us know immediately if we have reason to see a doctor. Thegoal is to shrink down to a single silicon chip all of the processes necessaryto analyze a disease that would normally be carried out in a full-scalebiochemistry lab. Lab-on-a-chip technology could be combined with real-timehealth data from other IoT-enabled devices, like sleep monitors and smartwatches, and analyzed by AI systems for insights.
Fifth: Smart sensors willdetect environmental pollution at the speed of light
IBM expects that new affordable sensing technologies will bedeployed near natural gas extraction wells, around storage facilities, andalong distribution pipelines to enable the industry to pinpoint invisible leaksin real-time by means of networks of IoT sensors that are wirelessly connectedto the cloud. This will provide continuous monitoring of the vast natural gasinfrastructure, allowing leaks to be found in a matter of minutes instead ofweeks, reducing pollution and waste and the likelihood of catastrophic events.
It seems that some industries will soon undergo majorbusiness transformations to keep up with the new technologies arising in the secondwave of digital disruption to bring the world better healthcare equipment andzettabytes of data about our endangered planet earth.
- The Power of Thinking Big: IBM Research’s “5 in 5"