Recommended Reading: What Will Our World Look Like in 2022?

Predicting the future is hard and risky. Predicting the future in the computer industry is even harder and riskier due to dramatic changes in technology and limitless challenges to innovation. Only a small fraction of innovations truly disrupt the state of the art. Some are not practical or cost-effective, some are ahead of their time, and some simply do not have a market. There are numerous examples of superior technologies that were never adopted because others arrived on time or fared better n the market. Therefore this document is only an attempt to better understand where technologies are going. The book Innovators Dilemma and its sequels best describe the process of innovation and disruption.

Nine technical leaders of the 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. In particular, this report focuses on:

  1. Security cross-cutting issues
  2. The open intellectual property movement
  3. Sustainability
  4. Massively online open courses
  5. Quantum computing
  6. Devices and nanotechnology
  7. 3D integrated circuits
  8. Universal memory
  9. Multicore
  10. Photonics
  11. Networking and inter-connectivity
  12. Software-defined networks
  13. High-performance computing (HPC)
  14. Cloud computing
  15. The Internet of Things
  16. Natural user interfaces
  17. 3D printing
  18. Big data and analytics
  19. Machine learning and intelligent systems
  20. Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  21. Life sciences
  22. Computational biology and bioinformatics
  23. Medical Robotics

You can find the comprehensive report here.

Day Dreaming About Voice Web

IBM Next Five in Five” is a list of innovations that have the potential to change the way people work, live and play over the next five years.

New technology will change how people create, build and interact with information and e-commerce websites – using speech instead of text. We know this can happen because the technology is available, but we also know it can happen because it must. In places like India, where the spoken word is more prominent than the written word in education, government and culture, “talking” to the Web is leapfrogging all other interfaces, and the mobile phone is outpacing the PC.

Here is the list from the IBM’s article.

  • Energy saving solar technology will be built into asphalt, paint and windows
  • You will have a crystal ball for your health
  • You will talk to the Web . . . and the Web will talk back
  • You will have your own digital shopping assistants
  • Forgetting will become a distant memory

One of my favorite hobbies is to pick one or more of these and try to figure out what we need to get there. It is a good way to dream about the near future and try to see where the gaps are and do some intermediate predictions.

Here are some random, incomplete thoughts for the Voice Web. There are several starting points depending on where you interests lie.

  • It has to be a layer on Web 1.0 and 2.0 (since a lot of useful content is already there).
  • Web 2.0 layer may be a better starting point since some of the underlying technologies – rest based APIs, social interfaces, mashup tools  are already available.
  • Some of the semantic technologies may help in providing some contextual structure and meta data over existing content. This may be an alternate starting point (using Freebase/dbpedia/Open Calais).
  • Voice recognition is one starting point. Many of the mobile providers already have something in this space but they are not perfect yet. Voice commands on our cell phones have limited context. There can be a bunch of innovations there.
  • Voice output is another starting point. This is an easier problem than voice recognition if the input (web content) and output (voice) are of the same language. This is another good starting point.
  • If the voice input and output are different languages (instructions originally written in English translated to a Tamil farmer, for example), we have some more chances of innovation. I am not talking about the babelfish style translation but a couple of steps above that.
  • From a device point of view, hands free operation of the cell phone may work better. These require innovation in both audio input and output technologies and miniaturization.
  • Obviously integrating search into this equation is one of the steps. There are some early attempts at doing this from Google. Not sure how well they work. But here are a few more opportunites. Layering voice search over meta search.

I can go on. But you get the drift. One cool way to capture all this (and the collective intelligence) is through some kind of voice annotated mind map (which in itself is another innovation waiting to happen). Your thoughts?

The Best of 2007 and Predictions/Trends 2008

I think it is the time of the year when people come up with the Best of <Current Year-1> and the Trends/Predictions <Current Year>. I like reading those. I gather them for a few weeks (as they arrive in my email and blog readers) and keep updating this blog entry.

Seventy Best Lifehacks of 2007

(lifehacks is one my favorite blogs). This provide Happy reading into several days of the new year.

  • Networking and Communication,
  • Writing and Studying
  • Productivity, Creativity and Motivation
  • Leadership, Work and Money
  • Body and Mind
  • Software and Technology
  • Family, Home and Life
  • Success

PC World – The 25 most Innovative Products of 2007

Includes iPhone, Microsoft popfly and Facebook API.

Google Zeitgeist 2007

In compiling the 2007 Year-End Zeitgeist, we studied the aggregation of billions of search queries people conducted on Google. We should note that no individual searcher’s information was made available to us. Except where noted, all of these search terms are most popular for Google.com in the U.S.

Fastest raising – iphone, badoo, facebook, dailymotion, webkinz …

ExtremeTech’s 10 best technology trends of 2007

Gaming, storage, displays and more.

SD Times – Best Blogs of 2007

Businesses and individuals use blogs to disseminate information and share their perspectives. Whether it’s a conscious decision or not, people are frequently turning to blogs for information as part of their personal media mix.

US Tech Trends for 2008

Mobile video conferencing, virtual currencies, Semantic Web, location based mobile services and interactive TV.

Predictions for Google Next Year

Includes Knols, YouTube, Android.

12 Predictions for Enterprise Web 2.0 in 2008