Game-changers: the most transformative technologies of 2022

A new report by CB Insights highlights nine new technologies that are becoming increasingly influential in 2022 and have the power to change the working world as we know it

What are the game-changing technologies that are on the brink of transforming life as we know it, and who are the start-ups that are leading the pack in developing these technologies?

A new report by CB Insights suggests some answers. It sets out nine game-changers: commercial quantum sensors, brain-computer interfaces, AI auditors, lab-grown diamonds, personal data ownership, cell coding, neuromorphic computing, decentralised commerce and password-less authentication.

Many of these technologies are primarily being leveraged in the biotech industry, working to improve medical imaging and scientific insight, but some also have implications for the working world.

Brain and technology in tandem

Brain-computer interfaces offer the medical field enormous possibilities, enabling people to control the technology around them using just their thoughts without needing incredibly invasive operations.

But while this technology is currently confined to the clinical sphere, it does pose the question – what will the world look like when we can control technology with only our minds? And how will this affect the workforce?

There are undoubted efficiency gains that can be made by streamlining workers’ connections with their technology, but if brain-computer interfaces are the future of the workplace there are questions to be answered around workers’ rights to their own thoughts and these rights can be protected if employers have access to their brain waves.

Additionally, neuromorphic computing is another major development for the future of technology at work. The creation of computers that mimic the functioning of a human brain with ‘synapses’ and ‘neurons’ could lead to computers that have increased processing power whilst using considerably less energy.

If the computers of the future follow this model, they could be more efficient, more sustainable and make it easier to integrate AI into the workplace.

Blockchain and new marketplace

Another field which might lead to huge shifts in power is in blockchain with start-ups utilising distributed ledger technology to return data into the hands of consumers and create decentralised marketplaces.

Significant criticism has been made about the ways in which the tech industry harvests and stores data behind the backs of consumers, leaving their data unprotected and vulnerable to misuse. A shift towards decentralised marketplaces and individuals using blockchain to retain control over their data could result in a radical swing in power towards the consumer that the commercial world will be forced to respond to.

Step-ups in security

Security is also a key theme for the future of technology, with better security for AI integration and a move towards a password-less future on the horizon.

Poor quality or reused passwords are recognised as a key area of vulnerability for the security of many companies. The development of invisible multifactor authentication (MFA) software could eradicate passwords by using biometrics and one-time passwords or phone apps to log employees onto their organisation’s system without needing a password, significantly reducing the likelihood of a cyber-attack.

Furthermore, as more companies integrate AI into their day-to-day work, they are looking for ways to secure their AI systems and protect them from data bias and corruption. Start-ups are developing systems to help audit AI and help identify issues of bias or vulnerabilities towards cyber-attacks. These systems are likely to become increasingly common in businesses and will help tackle important issues of unseen bias in artificial intelligence.

These technology developments are significant for the future of work. How regulators and companies develop policy to manage the integration of these technologies will determine the scale of their effects on the workers of the future. Access the CB Insights report, Game-Changers Tech 2022, here.

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