Each year, company showcase some of the biggest breakthroughs coming out of IBM Research’s global labs – five technologies that they believe will fundamentally reshape business and society in the next five years. This innovation is informed by research taking place at IBM Labs, leading edge work taking place with the trends they see in the tech/business landscape.
They presented works of scientists on the biggest event of the year: Think 2018 in Las Vegas. Here’s a summary of the predictions IBM scientists presented this year. Collectively, they portend a powerful evolution in computing that will exceed anything they’ve previously seen:
Within the next five years, IBM predicts that, cryptographic anchors — such as ink dots or tiny computers smaller than a grain of salt — will be embedded in everyday objects and devices. They’ll be used in tandem with blockchain’s distributed ledger technology to ensure an object’s authenticity from its point of origin to when it reaches the hands of the customer. These technologies pave the way for new solutions that tackle food safety, authenticity of manufactured components, genetically modified products, identification of counterfeit objects and provenance of luxury goods.
Completely get rid of the risk of hacking computer systems by hackers in the foreseeable future is unlikely to succeed. However, IBM is working on encryption methods based on lattice theory, which (unlike the methods that are common today) will be resistant to burglary using quantum computers. One of such methods the company has already sent to the experts of the US government for study.
Five years later, IBM believes, small autonomous microscopes, integrated into a single network, will help in real time to monitor the state of water resources – one of the most important and least protected natural treasures of our planet. The researchers of the company are working on a method based on the study of plankton as a natural biological marker of “health” of water bodies. The autonomous microscopes placed there will be able to track the movements and concentration of plankton and transfer these data to the “cloud” for analysis using artificial intelligence algorithms.
The bias of artificial intelligence will become in the coming years, as the development of AI technologies, a significant problem. The quality of AI systems depends directly on the quality of the data on the basis of which their learning takes place. The tendentiousness in the selection of data can lead to biased results. IBM has developed a method to reduce the bias in the data set and ensure that the AI analyzing them will reduce possible distortions to a minimum. In addition, scientists have come up with a way to test machine learning systems, even if the data for their training is not available.
At present, quantum computers have not yet moved beyond the laboratories where they are being developed. But five years from now, IBM predicts, quantum computing will be actively used by many categories of specialists and developers to solve problems that were once considered insoluble. Quantum computers will not only appear in universities, but possibly in schools.
*Words marked with red are links to extra information and video from presentation on “Think 2018”