This year was a hit-or-miss year for the technology sector. The cryptocurrency crash was both a severe blow and a wake-up call for investors and authorities. The first images from the James Webb space telescope revealed cosmic events such as star birth and death. The claims that Google LaMDA was becoming sentient, as well as the excitement surrounding the public release of the ChatGPT chatbot powered by artificial intelligence (AI), sparked a lot of interest. Chip fabrication, web3, and the metaverse were also covered in the report. Here are our top five predictions for the technologies that will shape the world in 2022.
5G roll out
Telcos believe that 5G will transform businesses in the same way that 4G did for consumers. The most significant advantage of 5G is a reduction in latency, or the time it takes for data to reach customers, from 20 milliseconds in 4G to around 1 millisecond. Many people, for example, would have enjoyed watching the FIFA World Cup 2022 over 5G networks. The first 5G networks were launched in South Korea and the United States in 2019, and more than 70 other countries have since followed suit. In October, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio launched 5G services in India. According to a report published in October by GSMA Intelligence, 5G has the potential to boost the Indian economy by $455 billion between 2023 and 2040. According to Ericsson’s Mobility report, published in November, India will have 31 million 5G customers by the end of the year. According to IDC analysts, phone manufacturers have already supplied 67 million 5G smartphones, with an additional 80 million expected by the end of the year.
India officially launched the construction of semiconductor plants in December 2021 with its 76,000 crore PLI (production-linked incentive) initiative. The goal is to increase the country’s semiconductor self-sufficiency, reduce import costs, and allow it to compete with countries such as China. If the International Semiconductor Consortium (ISMC) receives approval from the Indian government to establish a wafer fab in India, Intel will participate in the project. In February, Intel announced the acquisition of Tower Semiconductor. ISMC is a collaboration between Tower Semiconductor in Israel and Next Orbit Ventures in Abu Dhabi. A high-tech semiconductor park will be established in Tamil Nadu thanks to a $3.2 billion investment from Singaporean firm IGSS Ventures. Foxconn and Vedanta plan to build a semiconductor fabrication facility, a display fabrication facility, and an assembly and testing facility on more than 1,000 acres in Gujarat’s capital Ahmedabad. The three wafer fab bids totaled $13.6 billion, with the government requesting $5.6 billion in funding.
Despite openly expressing their aversion to cryptocurrencies, several governments around the world rely on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). Although the nation’s digital currency is not expected to be fully operational until early 2023, India’s central bank has already launched a beta version of it. CBDCs, despite the fact that they can be traded like cryptocurrencies, are not based on public blockchains. They are most likely on a private blockchain network governed by governments or central banks, providing banks with a clearer picture of money flow. CBDCs have been established in China, Nigeria, and other countries. According to the People’s Bank of China, digital yuan (Chinese CBDC) transactions in China had reached 100 billion yuan (approximately $14 billion) by the end of August. Furthermore, the United States is planning to issue a CBDC that will be compatible with CBDCs issued by other countries’ central banks. Experts believe CBDCs can help the Indian government achieve financial inclusion because users do not need to have bank accounts. It can speed up cross-border payments by reducing the number of middlemen required to complete transactions, similar to how the banking system does it.
OpenAI, a Microsoft-funded AI research company founded by Elon Musk, made headlines in November when it unveiled ChatGPT, a human-like conversational AI chatbot that gained over a million users in the first week of its release. People have used ChatGPT to write code, novels, articles, and even poetry, as well as to respond to health insurance claims and to use Musk’s own AI against him. Other AI programmes, such as Dall-E, Point-E MidJourney, and LensaAI, can paint, draw, and even turn people’s selfies into (sometimes unlikely) avatars. These tools, however, can also generate malicious code, false images, and false movies. Furthermore, ChatGPT costs roughly $3 million per day to operate, according to Prof. Tim Goldstein of the University of Maryland. As a result, AI technologies must be approachable, responsible, understandable, and environmentally friendly.
In response to Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitious and costly proposal to create a metaverse platform, individuals, celebrities, businesses, banks, and even governments have all launched metaverse-related initiatives. In February, a Tamil Nadu couple hosted a Hogwarts-themed metaverse reception for friends and family. Businesses have also expressed strong interest, whether it is a textile company like Mafatlal Industries opening a metaverse gallery or the Bengaluru international airport making some of its terminals metaverse accessible. TechMahindra, an IT company, also introduced a platform called TechMVerse in February to create metaverse experiences for its enterprise customers. According to a June Mckinsey & Company analysis, the metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion in economic value for both the consumer and business industries by 2030. The survey also revealed that in the first five months of 2022, $120 billion, or more than twice as much as $57 billion, was spent globally on metaverse projects.