Last month, Microsoft released “Future Visions,” an anthology of short stories written by some of today’s top science fiction writers based in part on the writers’ access to Microsoft researchers and their labs. The eBook is available for free from Amazon and other sites.
The company has offered an anthology of a different sort on Friday, which is a collection of predictions from 16 leaders and leading thinkers within our Technology and Research organization.
Microsoft Research NExT corporate vice president Peter Lee believes that the next year would be “a new Golden Age of technological advancement.” Also, the company claims that it would be instructive to get a sense for what lies ahead, not only next year but 10 years from now as well.
Microsoft Research has more than 1,000 scientists and engineers who work across multiple disciplines in research labs around the world, so this list isn’t exhaustive, but hopefully you find it insightful.
2016 represents a milestone of sorts for Microsoft’s research arm. It marks the 25th year since its founding in 1991 by Nathan Myhrvold, who argued in a 21-page document sent to Bill Gates that Microsoft needed “to invest in our future by doing more work in research and technology creation.”
That investment has paid significant dividends, for Microsoft, the industry and society. Perhaps at a time when as MIT President Rafael Reif has argued “we leave a lot of innovation ketchup in the bottle,” the company’s research investment is more important than ever before.
What innovation will emerge from the ketchup bottle in 2016?
Below are 16 perspectives for ’16:
- New Silicon Architectures will enable the faster computers.
- Greatly improved the cloud performance.
- Drawing, annotation and note-taking will go conventional on tablets.
- Effective assistants such as Siri or Cortana will become more personable.
- People will become more aware of the principles behind the data collection.
- Computers will get better at understanding at us.
- Health technology will become far more in advanced.
- Virtual assistants will take off in China.
- We will be able to talk with computers.
- Technology will make it easier to monitor than the environment.
- Computers need to become secure against “quantum computing”.
- Economists will be figured out whether the economic recovery is working.
- Security experts will work out how to protect part of a computer.
- Quantum computing will take big bound forward.
- Low-cost computing will help the internet take off in India.
- Technology will help people remain aware of their own health.