Daily Management Review

Five new technologies that will change the world


The IBM research unit, IBM Research, publishes an annual report called "5 in 5", which describes five technologies that are expected to change our world in the next five years. This time, the specialists of the company's laboratories named technologies related to artificial intelligence, cryptography and quantum computing.

Wonderlane via flickr
Wonderlane via flickr
Each year, IBM laboratories select five technologies that are believed to change society and business over the next five years. All of them were presented in the latest report "5 in 5". 

Blockchain and cryptographic anchors

The first technologies, marked by IBM Research this year, are blockchain and cryptographic anchors. In the near future, they will help to start successfully combating counterfeit products, the damage to the world economy from which annually amounts to more than $ 600 billion. The idea is to use distributed registries to track the entire production chain of goods. Each of the goods will be marked with special blockchain-based microchips that use cryptographic anchors. These are microcomputers the size of a grain of salt or an ink drop that will be attached directly to each product. Thus, it will be possible to track the time and place of loading/unloading of goods, and with the help of sensors to record and collect data on the conditions in which products and goods were stored. In addition, the chips will reveal the manufacturer, which will eliminate the problem of counterfeiting in the market.

Quantum computers

In the coming years, quantum computers will no longer be associated with science fiction and something from the distant future, IBM experts say. "In the next five years, quantum computing will be actively used by new categories of professionals and developers to solve problems that were considered insoluble until now. A quantum computer will become a routine in university audiences and will even appear in some secondary schools," the corporation’s report said

Cryptographic encryption

The next breakthrough is related to the two technologies listed above - cryptography and the proliferation of quantum computers. Quantum computers are a new era in the world of digital computing. Their capabilities at times exceed what our ordinary computers are capable of. This, of course, opens up new opportunities for mankind to explore. At the same time, however, it creates some problems, one of which is the problem of data security. The fact is that all modern methods of data encryption will automatically become obsolete with the proliferation of quantum computers that can quickly crack any current protection. The solution to this problem should be lattice-based cryptography. It hides data within complex algebraic structures, which prevents hacking not only of today's computers, but also of future quantum machines.

AI technologies

Finally, two more technologies from this year's IBM Research list are related to artificial intelligence. The first of these is autonomous AI robotic microscopes. "Combined into a single network and distributed throughout the world, these microscopes will monitor in real time the most important and most endangered resource of the Earth - water... Microscopes with AI can be placed in reservoirs to track the movement of plankton in 3D, in its natural habitat and use this information to anticipate its behavior and monitor its health. This can help in situations such as oil spills and in the discharge of toxic agents from the ground, and also prevent threats such as the formation of red tides," the IBM said.

In addition, the company believes, an unbiased artificial intelligence will receive a powerful development in the near future. It's about the quality of the selection of databases, which are studied by artificial intelligence. The choice should not be biased, otherwise the results of learning AI will cease to be objective.

source: ibm.com