2022 has been a year filled with great advancements and achievements but didn’t come without its hardships. The global pandemic may have been less challenging this year, thanks in part to the shift towards more resilient and hybrid work models, but it has still been a difficult year for families and businesses around the world. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine has had significant global economic impacts, including increased inflation and reduced spending from businesses. Despite these challenges, investments–especially in digital transformation–are top of mind for business leaders in order to increase efficiency. As the COVID-19 pandemic slowly fades away, many people and businesses have started taking advantage of the reduced restrictions; the Valorem Reply team has been able to participate in more in-person events and speaking engagements as well.
In January 2022, our Metaverse expert Rene Schulte was invited to participate in a TV interview on Arirang TV's program "2022: Year of the Virtual Renaissance." The show covered topics such as AI, the Metaverse with Spatial Computing, VR, AR, and featured perspectives from various experts. Arirang TV broadcasts to 101 countries and reaches 150 million households through its English-language station. The show aired on January 14, 2022 at 8 PM KST. It is available to watch here and offers a valuable overview of these topics from various expert perspectives
Many exciting advancements were made in the field of AI in 2022, particularly in the development of generative AI models. Despite a small dip in the hype surrounding the Metaverse, there has been a trend towards a more open and interoperable Metaverse, with initiatives like the Metaverse Standards Forum gaining traction. Overall, it has been a promising year for technology and innovation.
The articles I wrote for our blog earlier this year covered a wide range of tech trends, including those discussed in the Top 10 Emerging Tech Trends 2022, which I wrote in January 2022 based on market research data from Forrester, Gartner, and our own internal research. This post here provides a brief overview of all the articles and includes links to each one for further reading.
In February, I covered Digital Humans for the Metaverse and Beyond where we discussed the concept of virtual presence and decentralized identity in relation to the Metaverse, and we argued that these technologies are not only relevant for knowledge workers, but also for frontline workers. Additionally, we covered the use of avatars in spatial computing, and the potential for haptic feedback to enhance user immersion and improve memorization in Virtual Reality training. Since then, we have also created a full report titled The Meaning of Virtual Presence in the Metaverse which is providing an in-depth look at the key elements: digital embodiment, avatars, Decentralized Identity (DID), asset & creator economy, security, and more.
The March post covered the concept of smart spaces for IoT and beyond and their potential to make organizations more efficient by leveraging diverse data sources for better analytics and utilization. We also mentioned the potential for smart spaces to be used in relation to the Metaverse, robotics, and frontline workers and provided examples of how they could be implemented in industries such as manufacturing, retail, healthcare, utilities, and automotive.
In April, we discussed the rise of mobile robots and offered examples of our own work in the field of robotics, including the robotic Metaverse and the potential impact of automation on employment. We argued that the rise of robotics presents opportunities for workers to upskill and take on new roles in fields.
In Spring of 2022 we also announced our new show, Meta Minutes. This video podcast focuses on the Metaverse and aims to make complex topics related to the Metaverse approachable for everyone, regardless of background. We invite expert guests and condense these topics into short, easy-to-consume segments that can be watched in 15-30 minutes. This year we produced seasons 1 and 2 with 20 episodes in total featuring many well-known experts and we are looking forward to continuing the conversations in 2023. You can find a list of all episodes here.
In June we kicked-off the second #SummerOfAI series with the post The Rise of Intelligent Edge Devices with AI Acceleration where we looked at the various benefits of edge computing and its impact on AI, IoT, and other related fields based on market research. Edge computing allows for AI workloads to be moved from the cloud to the edge, providing improved response times and bandwidth savings, eliminating the need for significant bandwidth or privacy concerns associated with streaming into a cloud data center. The rise of dedicated AI accelerator chips like NPUs, TPUs, and VPUs is also driving the use of edge computing and we shared some recent devices and services announced.
We continued the #SummerOfAI with AI for Everyone and the Potential of AI Developers focusing on the importance of citizen data scientists and how anyone can even become a pro programmer with the help of an AI developer assistant.
Generative AI was the big topic of 2022 and in the Generative AI and the Rise of Synthetic Data article, we discussed the importance of generative AI and synthetic data generation. We explained that generative AI models can learn from training data to generate new and original output, which has many potential applications in various industries. Additionally, we noted that data generation is not only useful for artistic creations, but also has potential for many other industries, such as life sciences, healthcare, manufacturing, and more. Finally, we discussed AI-augmented development and the potential for AI to assist in synthesizing code. GPT-3 and now ChatGPT can create new content like poems, calculations, app source code, marketing copy, and summarized texts. In fact, this blog post here might or might not have partially leveraged ChatGPT to get summaries of this year’s blog posts. For visual content, DALL·E 2, Stable Diffusion and more can be used to generate new images just from a text prompt and the next iterations are already on the horizon that can create even animations or 3D models from simple text input. Neural Radiance fields NeRF is another exciting advancement in the field of AI and 3D. NeRFs achieve state-of-the-art results for synthesizing novel views of complex scenes by optimizing an underlying continuous volumetric scene function using a sparse set of input views. NeRFs basically only need a few photos or a short video clip to create highly realistic views of a scene from a variety of angles, finally resulting in a 3D capture of a real-world object. The video below shows this technology in-action where we simply used a smartphone video which was run through a NeRF AI system that exported a 3D model which we then rendered in real-time on the HoloLens 2 with Azure Remote Rendering.
We have been interested in the topic of security and encryption for a while and have discussed it in relation to AI security and quantum security in the past. In the September 2022 blog post, we focused on homomorphic encryption, a technology that allows computations and analytics to be performed directly on encrypted data without the need to decrypt it first. This is a great benefit in today’s world when external data processors are dealing with customer data under the highest privacy standards.
We came back to the topic of the Metaverse in October with a focus on the Enterprise Metaverse – Going Beyond Immersive Meetings after we discussed the potential uses for the Metaverse in the enterprise world. The emergence of the Industrial and Real-World Metaverse allows for the creation of a Digital Twin of our world that can be shared across platforms and devices. At Meta Connect and Microsoft Ignite conferences, the topic of the Metaverse has continued to be a focus with announcements such as the Meta Quest Pro and the Microsoft x Meta partnership, particularly in the context of professional and enterprise use cases. We also had our own on-demand Ignite session talking about the Metaverse: Feel the Metaverse with Spatial Computing and the Metaverse.
In the past few years, we have seen Machine Learning (ML) become a fundamental tool for data analysis and enabling businesses to benefit from data-driven insights. However, classical ML models often suffer from generalization issues and ML becomes more complex and expensive to train, requiring large amounts of data. Quantum Computing has emerged as a transformative technology that can solve computationally expensive problems in a reasonable time that even large supercomputers and advanced hardware cannot solve. The November post introduced Quantum Machine Learning, discussed why it could be a game changer and how it is already providing business value today.
We also started the new season of our approachable Quantum Computing video podcast called QuBites. Season 6 kicks off with an inspiring episode featuring a talented young guest that is still attending high school but is already engaged sharing her Quantum Computing knowledge.
As we near the end of 2022, we reflect on the challenges that the year has brought, but also on the exciting new opportunities and innovations that have come from it. At Valorem Reply, we remain committed to supporting our clients in achieving their digital goals and are excited to continue our journey together in the new year.
If you're looking to get a head start on your 2023 digital initiatives, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our team of experts are here to help you achieve your goals quickly and efficiently. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a time to speak with one of our experts.
As the year comes to a close, we hope that you are able to enjoy the holiday season with your loved ones and take some time to relax and recharge. From all of us at Valorem Reply's Research & Incubation team, we wish you happy holidays. 💖