We live in an age where technology is evolving at a rapid rate, which means that the latest trends shift several times a year. For example, going back a couple of years, smartphones and advanced apps used to be hot topics of conversation. Now, mobile apps are just another natural part of life. If technology trends shift so much, how can we tell what the future looks like? The only possible way to achieve this is by looking at the computer science trends in the present. Some of the trends discussed within this article are new, and others are rolling over from 2021. Alongside the shifting trends, the computer science job market shifts, since popular jobs change in line with current trends. Continue reading if you wish to understand 2022’s computer science landscape.
Big Data Continues
Data collection is phenomenal; an estimated 59 trillion GB+ of data is collected daily. To put it into perspective, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, the highest space-taking game on the PS5, uses 225GB. Now that you’ve let that settle in, you can start thinking about the fact that all of that data needs to be stored – this is what big data deals with. Computer scientists constantly look for ways to take the gargantuan amount of data and keep it in ways that are quickly and easily accessible. To get this task done, big data bleeds into cloud computing for some of its infrastructure.
Almost every aspect of our lives relies on big data. Businesses utilize big data to provide us with a better service. Governments turn to big data to evolve their process; a great example of this is the multi-government data gathering and sharing that took place to complete the vaccine programs. To achieve big data, the world relies on computer scientists for advancements. So, you can complete a Master’s degree in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and start using your tech ability for good.
Cloud computing has been making waves over the last couple of years, and the events of 2020-21 only sped up large-scale adoption. Cloud computing allows services to be provided smoothly without the need for end-users to download files. For example, when you build a website, you don’t need to host files yourself. Before cloud computing, if you required more space for a website, you would need to purchase separate computers to run it from. Now, all you need to do is purchase the space online, and your hosting provider will do the storing for you.
Given the ease of use and scalability offered by cloud computing, its usage has been widely adopted. Businesses are able to use cloud-based services to save time and money. Individuals looking to set up eCommerce stores can make use of cloud computing to launch their stores without the need for costly warehouses and personnel. At the moment, a staggering 95% of all data that runs through data centers is for cloud computing services.
Natural Language Processing
Natural Language Processing (NLP) works hand-in-hand with AI to allow computers the ability to understand what humans are saying. When you use your go-to assistant (Siri, Alexa, and Google), NLP is what allows your words to be understood. Although many see smart assistants as a luxury or unnecessary process, we live in a world where people expect searches to be carried out super fast. If people can have those results faster than typing questions and reading answers, they are going to invest in the tech. NLP has filled an enormous gap in the market and will continue to be developed in the future.
Computer vision is a revolutionary branch of AI that gives computers the ability to draw useful information from digital images and videos. Once the computer has analyzed the information, you will receive information and suggestions. Simply put, computer vision gifts computers with sight. Computer vision is used in many different sectors, including automotive, manufacturing, and utilities.
One of the most basic examples of computer vision can be seen on your smartphone. When you use your camera to take pictures of QR codes, computer vision is responsible for analysis and sending you the correct place. This is a commonplace method of presenting menus and ordering throughout hospitality in a post-pandemic world. Further, if you’ve got Google Lens, you can take pictures of your surroundings and find shoppable results pulled straight from Google; you don’t need to ask where your friend got that gorgeous dress from anymore.
Internet of Things
In 2022, everything comes with “smart” additions, including washing machines, light bulbs, and TVs. All of these products can be linked up to a central hub where they communicate with each other. The tech behind this is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). Believe it or not, there are more than 12.3 billion devices classified as IoT. These devices are created with the vision that technology can improve the user experience. By linking devices to a “smart hub,” users can view all IoT devices in their homes. Then, they can use their smartphones to turn devices off or on, which can help save on utilities.
In infrastructure, IoT is used to help cities manage traffic grids and get deliveries from A to B. Although IoT is commonly associated with the home and “smart cities,” the technology has great applications within the medical community. Smart devices are used to provide data in real-time, which can be analysed to make doctors aware of issues in advance. In 2022, the IoT will continue to grow, with even more applications being added.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
In the drive to make computers smarter and more autonomous, computer scientists will continue to focus on machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). ML is the technology that enables computers to think on their own and learn. Although this may sound like some iRobot level tech, ML surrounds us in small doses every day and has been around since the 1950s. When you are streaming movies and see recommendations based on your interests, ML is responsible for this.
AI can come in many shapes and sizes, and you’ve certainly come across it before. The programming responsible for your favourite video games likely uses AI. Alternatively, AI can be so complex that it can give human-like thinking to computers. Around your home, you will see AI being used in digital assistants, including Siri, Alexa, and Google.
Currently, computers today are powerful and can process information in bits that can only read 0 or 1. Quantum computing, however, aims to increase this power by allowing computers to read qubits (quantum bits). Without getting into too much technical detail, quantum computing will allow 0 and 1 to be read simultaneously. Through the study of quantum computing, supercomputers are able to process much more data at a fraction of the operating cost.
In the real world, and most obvious to the average person, quantum computing will increase the ability of AI and ML. However, in the larger infrastructure, quantum computing will be used to increase cybersecurity, accurately predict the weather, create more powerful batteries, and develop highly advanced drugs. Although there is a long way to go before quantum computers are the dominant system, the future advantages are obvious.
If you need to put the speed difference into perspective, 200 million chess moves can be analysed per second by the fastest supercomputers. Through the move to quantum computing, 1 trillion moves could be analyzed every second. This means that the processing speed has increased by 5000. Again, despite the clear advantages, it must be noted that quantum computers are still in very early development.
Virtual reality (VR) isn’t ground-breaking technology in 2022. In fact, according to statistics, there were over 57 million VR users in the US alone. However, it’s still being advanced, and new ways to use it are coming to light. At the moment, VR is fairly chunky, and the graphics aren’t anything to write home about. For the most part, VR is being utilised for gaming purposes, and Sony has just announced the second generation of PSVR.
Despite being used predominantly for gaming purposes, VR is being applied to other areas of life. For example, the healthcare industry is researching the benefits of using VR to support mental health treatments. So far, there have been reports of VR being pivotal to the success of depression, claustrophobia, and alcohol addiction treatments. As well as healthcare, VR was used throughout the pandemic to encourage children to engage with home learning and remain focused.
Advances coming out of computer science are shaping the way we live. However, with new tech comes increases in issues surrounding cybersecurity. Data is stored remotely, and cybercriminals are constantly searching for ways to breach and exploit. According to Security Magazine, there are 39 successful hacks every single second. With statistics like this, there is no surprise that computer science is still focusing on cybersecurity.
Methods of fighting cybercriminals and finding new ways to secure data include cryptography. In this storage method, data is heavily encrypted, and access can only be had by the use of keys, which are only known by those granted access to the data. In recent progress, cryptologists have created an asymmetric system that works on public keys and private keys. Public keys are used to send messages, and private keys are used to open them. This means that any messages that are intercepted can not be read.
Medical Tech and Bioinformatics
Technology and computers are also breaking ground within the medical sector and are supporting scientists to make breakthrough discoveries. ML and AI are both actively used in the study of DNA and are being used to find underlying causes for diseases as well as their treatment; this process is referred to as bioinformatics.
Computer science is meeting the medical world in other areas as well. Robotics is being built and programmed to carry out intricate operations; computer vision is being used to analyse medical images, including X-rays; doctors are using smart tech to update and access medical records in real-time. Technology is responsible for saving many lives and, more recently, has paved the way for ground-breaking vaccination programs against Covid-19.
We may not have robots flying out in an Iron Man-esque fashion, but robotics is still playing essential roles in our lives. For example, within healthcare, robotics is being used to assist with surgeries. Drones are being deployed to aid in the delivery of care packages. In factories, many people were made redundant when robots took over the assembly line. Now, in-depth knowledge of robotics is needed to maintain a production line.
We are a long way off from futuristic robots from the movies. However, the next phase of robotic development looks to implant computer vision and NLP so that they will interact with the world around them naturally. As a result of the global pandemic, computer scientists began focusing on cleaning robotics to fill the gap in worker shortages. It is suggested that development in this area will continue throughout 2022. By 2030, it is estimated that the robotics industry will be worth a staggering $260 billion.
The Most Popular Computer Science Job
Although the computer science landscape has shifted from mobile apps being ground-breaking technology, the most well-paid and popular job in the field is app development. The most likely reason for this is that previous classes of computer scientists will have had a heavy focus surrounding app development. Now, these graduated scientists are applying and securing jobs within mobile app development. As the decade continues, there will likely be a shift in the job landscape to echo one of the trends above.
Tech advancements are happening at an increasingly rapid rate, which means computer science trends are in a constant state of flux. For the most part, the trends are cross-discipline and combine artificial intelligence and machine learning. Through AI and ML, computers will eventually be able to communicate with their surroundings smoothly. Naturally, cybersecurity will continue to be a focus for computer scientists.