Technology stalwart IBM on Tuesday predicted classrooms getting to know students and doctors using DNA to customize care are among five big changes on the horizon.
IBM said that its annual forecast of five ways
technology will change lives in the coming five years was "driven by a
new era of cognitive systems where machines will learn, reason and
engage with us in a more natural and personalized way."
software evolves to "think" in ways similar to the human brain,
computing power and troves of data kept handy in the Internet "cloud"
will enable machines to power innovations in classrooms, local shops,
doctors' offices, city streets and elsewhere, according to the firm
behind the Watson computer that triumphed on US television game show
"Over time these computers will get smarter and more
customized through interactions with data, devices and people, helping
us take on what may have been seen as unsolvable problems by using all
the information that surrounds us and bringing the right insight or
suggestion to our fingertips right when it's most needed," IBM
Predictions for the coming five years included
"classrooms of the future" equipped with systems that track and analyze
each student's progress to tailor curriculum and help teachers target
"Basically, the classroom learns you," IBM
vice president of innovation Bernie Meyerson told AFP. "It is
surprisingly straight-forward to do."
In another prediction, IBM
sees retail shops large or small blending online and real-world
storefronts with 'Watson-like' technologies and augmented reality.
Also, doctors will tailor treatments using patient DNA, according to Meyerson.
your genetic make-up lets you sort through a huge variety of treatment
options and determine the best course to follow," he said.
don't have to carpet bomb your body to treat cancer," Meyerson
continued. "There is the ability to tailor the attack to improve the
efficacy against cancer cells while leaving healthy cells untouched."
machines tapping into the Internet cloud will also be able to serve as
"digital guardians" protecting people from hackers by recognizing
unusual online behavior, such as shopping binges at dubious websites,
and spying scam email messages or booby-trapped links.
digital guardian will know you are not someone who goes to a poker site
and tops off your account," Meyerson said. "Not only does it shut down
the behavior, but it tracks it back to who is doing it and passes the
information on to authorities."
The final prediction was that
cities will weave social networks, smartphones, sensors, and machine
learning to better manage services and build relationships with
"The city will help you live in it," Meyerson said.
"There is a new generation of leaders coming in who are extremely tech
savvy and making good use of it."