IBM publishes annual predictions spanning the next five years in tech

By on December 19, 2012, 5:00 PM

IBM has published their annual “5 in 5” which consists of five predictions about how technology innovations will change the way we live, work and play over the course of the next five years. The world’s largest industrial research organization first launched the yearly event back in 2006.

This year, IBM’s 5 in 5 focuses on the five basic human senses. Starting with sight, researchers believe that computers of the future will be able to look at imagines and determine the type of scene that is being displayed and more importantly, pick out distinctive features. For example, a computer could understand what’s going on in a photo without the need for image tags.

Today’s computers and even smartphones are already pretty decent at voice recognition but we’ve only scratched the surface, according to IBM. Future systems may be able to understand things like baby talk or analyze our mood based on the tone of our voice.

This is where things start to get a bit futuristic: taste. The company predicts that within five years, computers will develop a sense of taste. This could be used to determine, for example, what ingredients in food give it a pleasant taste. Such data could help chefs perfect the pairing of food and wine or even give them pointers on how to create more nutritious food that doesn’t taste like a piece of wet cardboard.

Computers with a sense of smell could be used to detect gases that humans aren’t able to detect with the nose – think along the lines of a carbon monoxide detector. Things like breathalyzers already do a good job of detecting blood alcohol content levels but in the future, we could use similar machines to detect things like cancer or a kidney disease. Other practical uses include using computers to sniff out drugs or explosives at airport security checkpoints, something that K-9 units already do a pretty good job of today.

Touch is already a big part of technology today. It allows us to feel vibrations in video games and gives us haptic feedback when typing text messages but again, that’s only the beginning. IBM thinks that future implementations could allow us to feel fabric from a piece of clothing or even perform remote medical procedures such as surgery.

Which of these future technologies do you feel is the most likely to become a reality and which would be the most beneficial to humans in general?




User Comments: 11

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TechGamer TechGamer said:

Within five years god only knows how good the Computers will become unless we all die in the 21st but not to the case were looking every year at a 20% increase in speed and efficiency at some point by 5 years we mite actualy come to a mainstream six core or 8 core intel cpu which im hella waiting for them to go mainstream but gaming is still getting used to quad core cpus so I doubt theyll be comming soon but I can wait ;D and lastly save money thats always

3 people like this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

They better create something to at least start improving on the human nature.

So far the technology has been acting only against it, like retardation through social networks, or growing fat at your PC desk. Introduction of virtual reality, like Google glasses is only to make people even dumber and lazier. They call it a convenience, but there is nothing convenient in degrading basic human functions, social or physical.

LinkedKube LinkedKube, TechSpot Project Baby, said:

Right...

psycros psycros said:

Within five years god only knows how good the Computers will become unless we all die in the 21st but not to the case were looking every year at a 20% increase in speed and efficiency at some point by 5 years we mite actualy come to a mainstream six core or 8 core intel cpu which im hella waiting for them to go mainstream but gaming is still getting used to quad core cpus so I doubt theyll be comming soon but I can wait ;D and lastly save money thats always

Umm..you might wanna check up on technology a little more often. 6 and 8 core CPUs are already mainstream. High-end tablets will probably have chips like these next year.

Also, never say "hella" outside the bay area. Actually, not even there. It makes you sound retarded.

Guest said:

Don't expect too much.

current "technology" is just another spin on rubbish we've had since the dawn of man.

you might get a change of form factor but nothing exciting.

nothing really new has been created or developed post the moon landing so ummm BIG YAWN.

TechGamer TechGamer said:

Umm..you might wanna check up on technology a little more often. 6 and 8 core CPUs are already mainstream. High-end tablets will probably have chips like these next year.

Also, never say "hella" outside the bay area. Actually, not even there. It makes you sound retarded.

u probably missed the point im no amd fan in cpus so I dont really count those and I dont have money for a thousand Bucks cpu so if ur maybe rich bro thats ur happyness but I dont have money to waste + I dont really count Mobiles or tablets in my gaming as my main role gaming is on the pc is and will always stick there

Gamesinner said:

We were supposed to have flying cars by now. I'm not impressed.

Guest said:

It sounds like we are building our replacements.

Tanstar said:

If computers learn to understand baby talk . . . won't fewer babies actually learn English? The touch abilities sound far beyond 5 yrs from now. That would make actual VR (holo-deck) pretty obtainable. The smell and taste ideas sound like a very small difference from what we have now.

Eratica said:

It sounds like we are building our replacements.

You're not wrong. Wouldn't it be great if tech companies focused on what society needed, really NEEDED, long term rather than just creating the next level of technology just because they can, creating the demand by sophisticated marketing and chasing profits. When machines are better at doing everything we do than we are, and this has got to be the ultimate consequence of exponential development, what then? Forget asking 'would I want to live in this world?', you may not have the choice.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

The worlds largest industrial research organization first launched the yearly event back in 2006.
Nice, now how exactly did all those previous prediction pan out?

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