By Dr. Shreekant “Ticky” Thakkar, Chief Researcher at Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) and Professor Mérouane Debbah, Chief Researcher, AI & Telecoms Systems and Acting Chief Researcher, Digital Security Research Center (DSRC) at TII
As we look towards the next decade, technology is set to shape our lives in unprecedented ways, from AI to telecoms to the rise of human-hybrid robots. We will take living in smart cities and drone deliveries for granted, while holograms and tele-transportation will be commonplace. “By 2025, more than 50 billion devices will be connected to the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” McKinsey predicts. Robots, automation, 3D printing, and more will generate around 79.4 zettabytes of data per year. The benefit of all change must make lives better for all humanity and the planet.
So, what according to the experts are the technology trends that will matter the most to corporations and countries in the coming year?
Dr. Shreekant “Ticky” Thakkar, Chief Researcher at Abu Dhabi’s Technology Innovation Institute (TII) says the technology development horizons will expand to include greater integration of programming platforms, the rise of cobots, and human-hybrid robots, as well as flexible automation.
His list of tech trends to watch out for in 2022 and beyond are:
- Zero Trust Architecture and Implementation (the keenness to secure everything – from networks to hardware components to software and communication)
- Autonomous and Autonomic Systems which are a must for scaling future enterprises, cities, countries, transportation, defence, and digital transformation.
- Rising Tide of Open-Source Hardware and Software (RISC-V, Linux and its variants, PX4, etc) that will lead to the true democratization of hardware and software.
- The Rise of Cloud Computing with distributed systems: Edge, Fog Computing (decision making will be distributed – Edge and Fog making decisions that are time-critical while cloud learns trends.
- Secure Mesh Connectivity will be the only way to scale network connectivity in large smart city operations, manufacturing, etc.
- New Computation Paradigms (quantum everything) are set to emerge for specific use cases. With Intel driving Si-based Quantum computing, there is a greater possibility that this will be widely scaled up if successful.
- Pervasive Computing will Emerge as we move to Digital Everything. A person’s identity needs to be protected online through ensuring anonymity.
- Computing will then be like the air interwoven into all fabrics of life.
- Universal Anonymous Identity will become a reality.
- Data-Centric Computation will emerge with the uptick in distributed autonomous systems – the system will raise queries on specific data vs broadcast data.
Professor Mérouane Debbah, Chief Researcher, AI & Telecoms Systems and Acting Chief Researcher, Digital Security Research Center (DSRC) at TII, sees a closer convergence of communication and computing with a shift from the connectivity of things towards the connectivity of intelligence. He said that the following were the key trends the world will witness in 2022 and beyond in the field of AI and Telecom:
- AI-Based Solvers: We will see greater use of AI as an optimizer for various related fields of science.
- AI Powered on the Edge: AI will move from the cloud to the end-user to preserve privacy, latency and coverage constraints
- AI-based Self-Organized Networks: Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement learning algorithms will become a big trend.
- Convergence of AI and HPC: This will lead to new types of Exascale Foundational Models with billions of parameters.
- Massive Federated Learning: Distributed AI algorithms enabling the capability of leveraging collective intelligence from a massive number of individual intelligences.
- Energy Efficient AI: The need to build new types of learning algorithms.
- Hybrid AI Approaches: Convergence of data-driven and model-driven approaches to leverage the benefits of both worlds.
- Hybrid Digital/Analog Computing Platforms for AI: New types of AI Chips to unlock transformative AI.
- Beyond Von Neuman Computing Architectures: Near memory processing and In-memory processing data can significantly diminish the data movement problem of data-intensive applications. Deep reasoning beyond learning algorithms which exploit topological structures in the data rather than correlation-based techniques.
- From Consumer Internet to Industrial Internet: An increasing number of machines and devices will become connected.
- Digital Twins: The integration of digital twins in mobile networks systems will support development and operations.
- Hyper-Reality: AR/VR will change every industry with the convergence of the physical and virtual world.
- Holograms and Tele-Transportation: Senses will be moving from one geographical point to another one.
- The Rise of Photonics in Wireless: Growing use of silicon photonics to process and transmit at the speed of light.
- Semantic Communications: Building communication protocols that consider the meaning of the information rather than considering the classical information theoretical point of view of information.
- Native AI Networks: Development and design of communications network protocols that support AI
- 6G Wireless Networks: Development of next-generation cellular systems for Tbps wireless using a broader range of frequencies up to Thz.
- Wireless Sensing: The use of wave frequencies to reconstruct the environment with more accurate localization techniques.
- Intelligent Environments: The use of new metamaterials to control the environment based on Large Intelligent Surfaces.
TII’s trends reflect those of more established industry entities. Experts on the Forbes Technology Council, for instance, believed AI would be more extensively used by hackers to attack companies. They also highlighted that from streaming to shopping, the biggest tech trend to anticipate in 2022 is the explosion of search and discovery strategies.
What were the trends Gartner found most valuable for 2022? Data fabric that provides flexible, resilient integration of data sources across platforms and business users. Second, cybersecurity mesh, a defence strategy that secures each device with its perimeter. Third, it cited privacy-enhancing computation.
Dr. Thakkar concludes by saying the upcoming technological trends and the democratization of technology and resources must ultimately help the world to find impactful solutions to climate change, food supply, the economic challenges of our time and include all humanity – rather than just the developed countries.