Adrien Book
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22 Predictions for 2022

Jan 05, 2022

I made tech predictions in 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018. They're often wrong (for good reasons), but they're fun, and have led to some interesting debates. Below are the ones for 2022.

  1. Space Race 2.0 leads to unprecedented innovation: We will continue to see billionaires avoid seeing a psychologist by sending increasingly large phallic objects into space. This will lead the way for a new technological revolution that will trickle down to customers.

  2. NFT “Art” continues to disappoint: NFT Art is just a fad and will continue to be a disappointment in 2022. This is not to say that parts of the underlying technology (namely, blockchain) are not interesting. They are and will lead to grand innovations.

  3. Cryptocurrencies grows up: We’re seeing stablecoins becoming alternative stores of value that even the European Parliament is willing to write about. We’re also hearing rumblings about many things that have been discussed for nearly a decade but never truly materialized.

  4. Spotify creates AI-generated music: Spotify will create its own artists, songs and bands. Real ones, at first, but I believe it’d be too good to pass on the opportunity to have algorithmically created music, specifically tailored to match every listener’s taste.

  5. Nike or Apple buy Peloton: COVID brought Peloton fame and fortune. Dead children and predators brought it to its knees. The stock is in free fall (-75% this year), and no dead cat bounce will save it. It will be purchased by a better managed company in 2022.

  6. Big money goes into AR / VR hardware: Whatever the Metaverse ends up looking like, it will not be built on code. It will be built on AR / VR sensors, cameras, and headsets. In 2022, the big Metaverse winners will be the hardware makers.

  7. Cameras are installed in AirPods: Apple is trusted and knows hardware better than anyone — much better than Facebook, whose core business is selling adverts to your conspiracy-minded aunt. As such, one is much more likely to win the Metaverse wars than the other.

  8. The keyboard begins to die: The keyboard is a relic of a time long gone. I will miss the soothing sound of keys being battered at in coffee shops, trains and offices. In 2022, that sound will begin to fade.

  9. Block or Salesforce buy Twitter: Dorsey never really liked Twitter. It’s obvious he’d rather use it than run it. And because of this decade-long mismanagement, the company is not making nearly as much money as the space it occupies in the popular discourse warrants.

  10. Synthetic biology becomes commercial: In 2022, companies will start commercializing renewable chemicals, materials / fabrics / fibers, alternative plastics, fertilizer, “alternative pharma”, biofuels & Oils, Protein and feed… all made using synthetic biology science.

  11. Algae Tech continues to fascinate: In 2022, we will realize the technology used to improve algae production is key in overcoming challenges and limitations that conventional industries will face in the years ahead.

  12. Computer vision is everywhere: The YOLO models refer to some of the best real-time object detection and labeling models. Its latest iteration will allow us to detect and label videos 140 times per second. For context, previous models struggled to get to 10 frames per second.

  13. Deepfake videos topple an S&P500 CEO: Better computer vision means better deepfakes. The latter is becoming way too easy to make by the public. As such, it’s only a matter of time before a video emerges of a CEO doing something ungodly to a pig.

  14. Folding phones are cool again: Premium phones are a bigger while not being necessarily better for large parts of the population (does everyone REALLY need to zoom X15?). Proposing a slightly less powerful tool that still fits in a pocket is a trade-off many will consider.

  15. Self-Driving causes Mayhem: The laws aren’t ready. The people aren’t ready. The streets aren’t ready. In 2022, we’ll launch cars in environments that are not ready for them, causing a lot of unnecessary suffering.

  16. Smart cars get hacked by smart chargers: In 2022, hackers will show that it’s possible to get control of parts of a smart car by going through smart chargers. This will be patched, but it will make big waves, further slowing down the adoption of this much-needed innovation.

  17. COVID’s third-degree impacts change the Tech world: staying at home is a first-degree impact of the COVID crises. Delivery growth is a second-degree impact. A third-degree impact would be our kitchens getting smaller. So now we have more space for sports equipment... It’s a silly example but highlights well that the next innovation never comes from the most expected place. In 2022, we will once more be reminded of this.

  18. Mental health-tech becomes bigger than Ed-Tech: In 2022, the number of people seeing a psychologist will skyrocket, leading to an improvement of society over the long term.

  19. Sleep Tech startups become unicorns: The cost of bad sleep to the economy is $411B a year in the US alone. If a company manages to reduce that number by 20%, while taking a mere 1% cut, they'd be making a bit less than 900 million a year, easily warranting a unicorn status.

  20. Circularity Tech becomes bigger than web 3.0: Building closed-loop systems to minimize the creation of waste and pollution is how we regain control of the world. In 2022, governments and consumers alike will join hand in creating tools and systems to do more… with less.

  21. Tech wrestles with ethical question: In 2022, Big Tech will continue to wrestle with important questions. “Should we treat our employees like humans?”, “Is inciting genocide OK?”... The answers seem obvious, but maybe that’s just me.

  22. Hope: In 2022, Tech will continue to help reduce infant mortality and wealth inequalities between the poorest and wealthiest nations. Great medical advances will be made, education will be further democratized, and green technologies will emerge as a long-term force for good.

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