From Science Alert’s David Nield: Technology giant IBM is known for of making bold predictions about the future, and it’s just announced its latest “5 in 5” list, highlighting the five innovations that they think will have the biggest impact on our lives over the next five years.
According to the company, in only a few years, we’re set to see huge developments in artificial intelligence (AI), ultra-powerful telescopes, smart sensors, and medical devices – with benefits ranging from healthcare and the environment, to our understanding of Earth and the Universe itself.
Of course, all these predictions are based on technology and research developments that are happening right now – there’s no way of knowing what else might crop up in the next five years.
But take a look at this vision of the near future, and you might want to check back in once 2022 hits, just to see if the scientists got it right.
1. Thanks to AI, our speech will be a window into our mental health
You can tell a lot about someone based on how they talk – whether they’re bored, flustered, distracted, or miserable.
As humans, we’ve evolved to pick up these cues, but rapid advancements being made in computer processing power means speech analysis is about to become a whole lot more insightful.
IBM predicts that in five years, “What we say and write will be used as indicators of our mental health and physical wellbeing.”
For example, mental illness and diseases such as Parkinson’s could be spotted sooner with a mobile phone app, thanks to AI calculations being done in the cloud, and the earlier we spot these conditions, the better placed we are to treat them.
It might sound like a stretch to link speech cues to symptoms of disease, but experimental systems such as this are already appearing.