40th Annual Technology Trend List


1. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Deep Learning and Cognitive Computing will increasingly be integrated into Processes, Products and Services

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a broad category of machine intelligence that includes powerful subcategories, such as machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL) and cognitive computingapplications, and it is increasingly being offered as a service, dramatically lowering the cost and increasing the application to every industry. In addition, AI hardware is rapidly shrinking in physical size, soon to the chip level, allowing AI functionality to become increasingly embedded in products, applications, and processes. AI, ML, robotic process automation, Lo-Code/No-Code and other rapid application tools enable hyperautomation systems to identify and automate redundant business processes. Thanks to the as-a-service model, better sensors, and increased machine intelligence with voice communications, intelligent networked robotics will increasingly work with humans in new and productive ways. From demand forecasting, generative AI and real-time audits to AI-enabled decision-making and the use of semiautonomous and fully autonomous vehicles, humans will increasingly rely on AI.

2. Rapid advances in AI will drive Augmented Thinking and Augmented Movement using Exoskeleton Technologies to new levels of application

Augmented technologies are designed to increase humans’ physical and cognitive capabilities. Augmented Thinking technologies will increasingly provide real-time actionable insights and knowledge drawn from AI-enabled data analytics of large data sets to enhance human thinking and problem-solving. Humans and AI will increasingly have a symbiotic relationship in which one needs the other for peak performance. Augmented Movement technologies enhance physical human functionality. A hearing aid is an example of sensory augmentation, an artificial leg is an appendage augmentation, and a powered exoskeleton worn by a 95-pound nurse in Japan so that she can lift a 200-pound patient into a bed is a functional augmentation. GM workers wear powered exoskeletons to lessen arm, hand and joint problems while assembling cars. All of our physical parts and systems, including our genes, can be augmented.

3. Rapid growth in the application of both Semiautonomous Technology and Fully Autonomous Technology will both disrupt and transform numerous industries

Autonomous technologies use AI and a host of networked motors, actuators and sensors to automate functions like driving a car, piloting a ship, flying an aircraft, driving a harvester or operating a forklift, to name only a few. Semiautonomous technologies blend human input with selected autonomous functionality that has predetermined parameters that allow autonomous functions to take control when needed. For example, a human driving a semiautonomous vehicle can control the vehicle, but autonomous functionality will take over to avoid potential accidents as needed. The use of both semiautonomous and fully autonomous technologies goes way beyond vehicles, but that is where most of the investment will continue to flow in the next several years.