While the COVID-19 pandemic continues its firm grip on our economies and societies, it by no means stopped technological advancements.
In fact, the pandemic seems to have stepped it all up: The age of digital transformation is in full swing, with new solutions and improvements popping up every day, accelerating digitization and automation.
A Deloitte survey revealed that in 2020, there was a 58 percent increase in intelligent automation initiatives underway compared with 2019 — and the figures keep climbing. Likewise, the artificial intelligence (AI) software market is growing rapidly, reaching around 126 billion USD by 2025, a jump from only USD 15 billion in 2025.
In whatever ways the pandemic might continue to affect the world, there’s no doubt we’re set to have some innovative years ahead.
Hereafter is a look at the top five technology trends that are changing our lives in 2022 and beyond, deepening automation and digitization in all aspects of our societies.
Sustainability is no longer an afterthought in daily life or any line of business. The urgent need and demand for practices that are kinder to our planet, with lower environmental impact, has facilitated the rise of “cleantech”.
Cleantech refers to various methodologies and technologies that aim to improve environmental sustainability. This includes, but is not limited to, renewable energy sources, innovation in recycling, solutions for energy efficiency, and any other practice to reduce ecological impact.
In 2022 and beyond, the cleantech market is set to keep soaring, enjoying multi-billion-dollar investments, and emerge as a more substantial part of our daily lives.
2. Smart Homes
Over the last decade or so, smart homes, or technological features that make un-digitized homes smarter, helped us enjoy safer, more convenient, and greener lives.
The advancing smart home technologies will mean our daily lives will continue to get digitized and automated. Thus, solutions such as smart locks, cleaning robots, voice-activated devices will become more ubiquitous.
Furthermore, maintenance and care of homes and facilities will also get increasingly smarter and digitized.
3. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
There’s no doubt that AI is one of the quickest evolving and fascinating technologies in the world, the potential of which knows no boundaries.
That said, AI’s super-power will remain to analyze large chunks of data to provide insights for developing strategies and solutions for companies, innovators, or governments.
Metaverse has recently been in the spotlight as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg re-branded the company as Meta, describing it as a “social technology company”.
While the full impacts of the Metaverse on our societies are impossible to predict, futurists hope that it’ll bring people closer, reduce ecological impact, provide many economic, social, educational, and professional benefits to users.
Following years of uncertainty, blockchain finally establishes itself as a recognizable solution to many daily technological challenges. By 2022, industrial spending on blockchain will exceed USD 11.7 billion.
Thus, blockchain technologies have already disrupted significant industries — such as finance, governance, transport, supply chain, healthcare, philanthropy, and many more — and will continue to do so.
The rise of blockchain will mean anything that relies on transactions will be more secure, reliable, and transparent.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future,” Steve Jobs said in a commandment speech at Stanford University in 2005.
All the technologies highlighted here existed before 2022. They won’t arrive at a full maturation in 2022 either.
However, there’s no doubt these trends will continue to evolve, advance, disrupt our lives in ways we might not be able to imagine yet, and help us to connect all the dots.