If the pandemic has implanted the technology that allows teleworking and eLearning while giving a powerful boost to electronic commerce, the technology of 2022 will not lag behind the previous year. Blockchain and cryptocurrency are making a solid comeback. Zuckerberg’s metaverse, NFTs or space technology are just some of the ten solutions that will talk about during the coming year.
1. Zuckerberg’s Metaverse
In 2021, the employee Frances Haugen’s leak caused Facebook real embarrassment, revealing that the company knew the mental damage and toxicity it caused and did nothing to prevent it. To defend himself and relaunch his company, Mark Zuckerberg renamed his company, Meta. There was already virtual reality, augmented reality and avatars. Still, the Meta company wants to take it to the next level with the metaverse, a complete virtual universe in which to interact. It remains to see if, with this 2022 technology, it will be able to stand up to the new networks that have emerged in recent years, such as TikTok, Twitch, or recently Substack.
2. The New Cryptocurrencies
The currency of the future still generates many suspicions. However, the emergence of stablecoins (cryptocurrency associated with the value of a ” fiat ” currency -the dollar or the euro-, material goods or even another cryptocurrency) could make 2022 the year of its normalization. Last year we saw the rise of Proshares Bitcoin Strategy, an investment fund linked to the value of the cryptocurrency.
3. Other Blockchain Applications
It is not only the technology that makes cryptocurrency possible. Blockchain has proven to be a powerful tool for traceability (for example, of vaccines) or interaction with public administrations while enabling Smart contracts and even digital works of art with NFTs, as we will see below. Its applications have only just begun.
4. Hybrid Teleworking Formulas
60% to 70% of workers have considered telecommuting a good experience. However, the future of this technology in 2022 seems to be in hybrid models, led by large technology companies such as Google, Microsoft and Apple. Virtual work or video conferencing solutions are living their golden age, with systems such as Teams (Microsoft), Slack, Zoom or Google Meet (Google).
5. The New Space Race
It seemed stagnant a few decades ago, but it is experiencing a new silver age driven by private companies. Personalities like Jeff Bezos, who made his first 11-minute space flight in July 2021 aboard New Shepard, or Elon Musk, who plans to promote space travel in the coming years with his company SpaceX. The founder of Tesla has declared that the key to normalizing space travel lies in being able to reuse rockets instead of using them in a single space trip. Despite the risks and international conflicts that he has already had for his space adventure, in 2022, this and other millionaires will put even more effort into achieving it.
6. The New Generation Of Ransomware
This year, the attacks via ransomware (kidnapping and encryption of files from a company asking for a ransom in exchange for the keys to decrypt them) will increase. At the end of last time, companies like Estrella Damm or Media Markt suffered these attacks and had to stop their production or distribution. In 2022, Artificial Intelligence will be incorporate as one more tool to anticipate obstacles and break through company defences, so cybersecurity techniques will also have to become more sophisticated to repel attacks.
7. The Rise And Fall of NFTs
NFTs, or Non Fungible Tokens, are unique digital assets that cannot be modified or exchanged for others of the same value because no two are alike. They carry a digital certificate of authenticity and use blockchain technology to record their starting value and subsequent transactions. Although millions have paid for digital works made by this technology, it is expect to deflate in 2022. The reasons are that, although they are compare to works of art, they are easier to copy than these and facilitate money laundering. But we will not see the end of this technology in 2022. It will still give a lot to talk about.
8. Artificial Intelligence and Its Regulation
If, until now, AI had emerged as essential technology, we are already beginning to find its limits. For example, the Ask Delphi project, which aimed to make AI learn ethical judgment from humans, ended up showing that it could become racist and misogynistic. The same happened with Microsoft’s Tay AI when it was launched on Twitter years ago. Therefore, in 2022 we will see attempts to endow AI with principles and values, reviewing how it makes algorithmic decisions and controls its learning. AI is behind technologies such as facial recognition and can, for example, make a human being considered suspicious just because of the colour of their skin. Its use becomes dangerous without adequate control.
9. The Year of Substack?
Substack is a technology that allows an author’s followers to transmit content through newsletters. It is a platform that charges a small commission to the newsletter’s authors for each paying user but simultaneously allows them to spread content without advertising. Readers, for their part, can explore the different newsletters and subscribe to one or the other according to their interests. Substack promises to become a successful asynchronous social network due to its monetization model and ability to manage audiences. It could be the revelation of 2022.
10. The Technology Of Climate Change
We are used to hearing about technology as the cause of climate change in the long term, or also as a solution against it, with renewable energies. However, in 2021 technology has already begun to be used to cause short-term climate change. The Chinese agency specialized in climate control spread chemical agents by aeroplanes to cause rain during the 100th-anniversary celebration of the Chinese Communist Party
In short, in 2022, we will continue to talk about blockchain, not only for cryptocurrencies, social networks will live their umpteenth reincarnation, we will deal with teleworking and cybersecurity, and we will find ourselves with the ethical and legal limits of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, manipulation weather, or spacecraft. The technology of 2022 will not only be the vaccine against the latest variant of the coronavirus, but there will be critical technological challenges, and we will have a whole year to discover them.
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