Since 2006 at about this time IBM comes out with five predictions, dubbed 5-in-5, about how technology will affect the world within five years. Each year the predictions look at how technology innovations will change the way people work, live, and play within the next five years. They are based on market and social trends combined with ideas from the thousands of biologists, engineers, mathematicians and medical physicians in IBM research labs around the world.
Anything that suggests change also means opportunities. IT consultants should thrive on change. This is your cue to step up and offer ideas, strategy, and execution.
Last year the 5-in-5 predictions focused on how systems would augment human senses. It looked at sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste. For example, a machine that experiences flavor could determine the precise chemical structure of food and why people like it. Or, computers might smell for chemicals in urban environments to monitor pollution or analyze the soil.
IBM’s 5-in-5 predictions for 2013 go in a different direction. This year the researchers looked at how innovations in computing allow us to interact with the meaning that lies in data. The researchers, taking a distinctly benign view, suggest that systems will emerge that treat us as individuals, adapt to us, and look out for our interests. Others less optimistically inclined, of course, might see this as the tyranny of Big Brother.
Here is this year’s 5-in-5: