IBM – using either a TARDIS, DeLorean, or just a bunch of clever people in a room – has come up with some predictions for the year 2022. The appropriately named “5 in 5” list suggests five monumental technological developments that will take place before the next five years are up, starting at number one with artificial intelligence (AI).
AI is generally considered to be the harbinger of the next scientific renaissance. Right now, we have “dumb AI”, the type that can beat human players at chess or games of GO using complex decision-making logic trees. However, one day, it’s likely humanity will create a “smart AI”, the type that comprehends emotions, can hold true conversations, and is pretty much indistinguishable from a person.
IBM suggests that even before we reach this dramatic point in time, AI will be able to process speech and writing patterns so quickly that it’ll be able to track changes in our mental state. Apps on common smartphones, listening in to our conversations, will be able to calculate when possible degenerative neurological disorders are negatively impacting our cognition.
Within the next five years, IBM predicts that experimental systems already around today will become more refined and accessible, allowing anyone to monitor important speech changes.
IBM also sees a 2022 where AI will allow humans to have superhero vision.
Already, we have lenses and glasses that allow us to see the world in a different light, literally – from infrared to microwave wavelengths. The company suggests that if AI programs augment these lenses, then they could become immediately responsive to their surroundings.
For example, if you’re driving in fog, the AI would recognize this and switch to a wavelength of light that would penetrate it, allowing you to see through it.