IBM Predicts the Next 5 Years of Computing


Computers will hear what matters.

Sounds can be incredible informative in important situations, and five years from now, computers should be able to aid individuals in translating or recognizing sounds in an environment. We already have voice-to-text and foreign language applications, but what if those tools could be combined in discovering the meaning behind assorted crying frequencies of baby. There is baby sign language to assist in the communication between toddlers and adults before their vocal vocabulary has developed, but before those cognitive and motor skills are developed, parents are still in the dark about a child’s needs. Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to a crying infant and the baby monitor displays your child is hungry, so that need can be fulfilled quickly and efficiently.


Digital taste buds will help you eat smarter.

How a computer can taste is definitely one of the more far-fetched sounding theories of the lot, but if you break down taste into a set of chemical reactions a tongue recognizes, then a cognitive computer system should be able to do the same thing with the right programming. Then, after taking into account allergies, a computer could pick out and put together a list of foods a person would enjoy for every meal.


Computers will have a sense of smell.

In the same sense as taste, smell can be broken down into a series of chemicals translated by the brain to recognize the scents below our noses. We have sensors in our homes that identify CO2 levels in a home, so transform that feature to bacteria on fruit stands or people to warn about impending sickness thus smothering the smoke before the fire. The smell of ripe fruit could cause an alert to the farmers that their crop is ready for reaping. A database of smells could surpass that human memory and ease the burden of remembrance.

5 years may seem like a short time for such courageous assumptions and innovations to take place but the rate of technological improvements is increasing seemingly by the month, so it might not be ludicrous to imagine a world with cognitively computing super phones and computers. Do you agree or look forward to such revolutionary changes in technology? Let us know your thoughts or ideas in the comments.