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Every year, IBM Research, the research arm of the largest US IT company IBM, makes public its forecasts of the five major technological developments over the next five years that will have a major impact on society and the economy.
IBM’s research laboratories around the world are tracking cutting-edge technologies and are in danger of guessing the future. For this year, their five-year projections, which were presented at the “Think 2018” event in Las Vegas, are summarized as follows:
1. Microscopic encryption computers, smaller than salt grains, will be integrated into everyday objects and devices. They will be used together with blockchain technology (used in crypto-coins like bitcoin) to ensure the authenticity of an object throughout its “journey”, from the beginning of its production until it reaches the hands of consumers. Among other things, this combination of technologies will provide new solutions for food safety, product quality assurance (that is, not imitation), identification of mutant and luxury products.
2. New cryptographic technologies will be developed even more advanced than quantum encryption, such as the so-called “grid encryption” developed by IBM itself, which, in its words, can not be “broken” by any computer, not even from a quantum one. Thus, the work of hackers will become very difficult.
3. Small autonomous artificial intelligence robotic microscopes will patrol the Earth’s oceans in five years and will constantly monitor pollution in real time. The plankton condition will be a key biomarker for the health of the seas, and the new “intelligent” systems will monitor these biological “sensors” to draw conclusions on the state of the oceans. The same robots will be used in case of oil spills or other emergencies of marine pollution.
4. As Algorithms and Artificial Intelligence Systems will experience explosive growth, new tools will be developed to ensure that this mechanical intelligence is credible, fair, and without racist, ideological or other prejudices.
5. Quantum computers will be widely used over a five-year period to solve problems that are currently unresolved. They will be ubiquitous in the halls of the universities, even some high schools.
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