Microsoft researchers predict the future for 2017 and 2027

Kit McDonald

The new year is looming closer, so Microsoft Research is putting in their predictions for the next one to ten years, specifically in the case of their women researchers in computer science.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a surplus of 1 million computing jobs without the educated manpower to run them in 2020. Furthermore, only 12% of computer science degrees are awarded to women that finish university. Seventeen women of Microsoft Research predict that the future is only going to get more interesting.

In 2017, these women expect the path of technology to continue slowly on. While some fields working on increasing speech and language technology to translate in real time, others find the understanding of deep learning and enhanced algorithms to pave the way to improved artificial intelligence. This is the same AI that they are working to develop in Project Malmo in Minecraft, a game that is nearly a blank canvas when it comes to AI experimentation.

Other predictions for 2017 are:

  • A focus of assistive technologies for people with visual disabilities
  • Advanced medical protection and new homomorphic encryption schemes applied to banking.
  • A decline in hardware prices that wish usher in more augmented and virtual reality development
  • Better understanding of biological science towards modifying, designing, and reprogramming cellular behavior
  • Internet of Things being focused on agriculture to help farmers monitor, analyze, and diagnose farm health.

So what could be coming in ten years according to these women of computer science? By 2027, many of these women expect major advancements in the area of machine learning and artificial intelligence that will build a better society. In fact, Mary L. Gray estimates that 30% of adults will use an “AI powered labor force” to deliver AI driven goods or services whether consumers know it or not.

Furthermore, other things we might see in 2027 include:

  • The replacement of the search box with spoken queries, sounds, images, or videos based on current content, location, or activities.
  • Entirely new industries and applications from agriculture and medicine, materials and computing working towards “the era of living software”.
  • Quantum computer breaking through low-strength traditional cryptographic systems
  • Children with disabilities will learn how to code and eventually apply their experiences to technology.
  • With the help of IoT, farmers will see healthy yields regardless of climate, drought, and disaster.
  • More intelligent devices, higher quality VR and AR.

The problem with predictions is that we have to wait and see if they come to pass. Until then, we’d like to hear your predictions for the next year of technology. Let us know in the comments below.