ROBOTS GENERATING OFFSPRING: MYTH OR IMMINENT REALITY?

A conference held at the ERA Military Innovation Technopolis earlier this year (https://www.era-tehnopolis.ru/news/world/it-novinki-2022-goda-obsudili-v-tekhnopolise-era/) provided a discussion platform dedicated to cutting-edge scientific developments, including the completely unbelievable. Here are the top 5 recent developments that, according to scientists of Technopolis, will change the world.

XENOBOTS

Xenobots—robots that produce offspring—top the list. They are created by combining different biological tissues. Aggregated tissue is formed manually, and contractile tissue is layered on the body by introducing frog heart progenitor cells (heart muscle) for cell movement.

The result of all these manipulations is a three-dimensional living representation of the model that has the ability to move independently in the aquatic environment for days or even weeks without additional nutrients.

This study provides a better understanding of life itself. On the Gartner Hype Cycle curve, in 2022 this technology will be in the technology trigger phase, and it will take at least 10 years to reach the peak of inflated expectations phase.

6G: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE NEXT GENERATION MOBILE NETWORK

Next up comes the mobile network of the future. While the fifth-generation cellular network in this country so far is a project in making, the ERA Military Innovation Technopolis is already actively discussing 6G.

To get a glimpse into how fast the new generation mobile network is: a 4K movie (with a resolution of 4096х2160) will take about 2 minutes to download in a 5G network. Using 6G it will only take a second. Impressive, huh?

In November 2020, China put an experimental 6G satellite into orbit for testing with a terahertz spectrum. In South Korea, 6G is being actively deployed by Samsung that plans to roll out 6G networks by 2028.

In the U.S., major carriers AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, along with Atis, have led the Next G Alliance industry initiative to help organize and continue 6G research across North America.

Unfortunately, Russia is not at the forefront of 6G research. But developments are underway at the Radio Research & Development Institute (NIIR) and at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology.

ARTIFICIAL MUSCLES FOR ROBOTS OF THE FUTURE

Artificial muscle can be used in medicine as a component of bionic limbs or as an independent implant in robotics in the production of high-precision manipulators, the young scientists of Technopolis noted.

The development of artificial muscles was a breakthrough in solving the problem of creating materials that would be chemically similar to the animal muscle fibres that allow human or animal body movement.

As of now, science has developed several types of artificial muscles, but practical application of each of them has a number of problems, ranging from the cost of materials to their limited use. For example, we already have a hydraulic muscle, which consists of a first connector with a closed end, an elastic rubber tube, and woven strands of high-strength fibres that wind around the tube. It also includes a closed-end connector through which water enters this tube, two ring-shaped clips that are positioned in the middle muscle part, and two cone-shaped fasteners inside the muscle.

THE METAVERSE: A NEW TYPE OF SOCIAL NETWORK OR AN EMPTY FANTASY

The concept of a Social Universe aroused a particular interest among the participants of the conference at the ERA Military Innovation Technopolis.

The increased public interest in cryptocurrency, which is seen as the basis of the new economy, as well as the high demand for virtual reality systems, are probably prerequisites for the creation of metaverses.

The question arises whether the metaverse is a new type of social network. The answer is both yes and no. On the one hand, there are similarities: for example, a profile in a social network corresponds to an avatar in a metaverse. The main difference is in economics. In social networks, purchases are made with real money. Metaverses will use NFT tokens, such as Ethereum cryptocurrency.

At the moment, hundreds of companies and thousands of employees all over the world are creating either metaverses themselves or developing products necessary for their functioning (infrastructure, software and hardware). Enthusiasts are joining forces with them, testing metaverses for durability, offering their ideas and developing various user-generated content.

The first company that managed to show a metaverse—or a thing that comes close to the definition thereof—was Meta with its Horizon Worlds project. On this platform, companies of up to 20 people can get together to travel the virtual worlds, hold business meetings, have friendly gatherings or create digital content without the use of third-party applications. Apart from the limitation of 20 people per server, this project completely lacks any economy, which is an integral part of a metaverse.

According to the CEO of Meta, the first full-fledged metaverse will appear in 5-10 years. Metaverses will facilitate the emergence of markets with a potential annual turnover of at least $2 trillion, as well as the emergence of new professions. It is important to note that the aim of each company is to create something of its own, rather than work on a single metaverse. Will the metaversess turn into a bubble, or will companies find a common solution? We’ll see in a few years.

THE CODE THAT WRITES ITSELF

Experts predict several trends that will become major drivers in the development of artificial intelligence technology in 2022. Among them are speech recognition, AI in information security, autopiloting, creation of works of art with the help of AI technologies, low-code and zero-code in business; AI is also being increasingly implemented into software development processes. These and other tendencies were discussed at the conference “IT Novelties of 2022. Estimates of software products success in the coming year” at the ERA Military Innovation Technopolis.

The lack of qualified developers has now reached unprecedented heights. According to the calculations of analytical agencies, the worldwide shortage is up to 40% in some industries.

Perhaps this problem can be solved by artificial intelligence, which is able to translate various user actions into program code. In the near future, technologies of natural language recognition and modelling can make it possible to use only voice commands or interaction with the interface for writing services and programs. Such tasks will not require high professional skills.

Every year more and more tools emerge that help automate some of the programmer’s routine tasks: test and template code generators, website builders, smart auto-completion and code optimization, etc.

On Aug. 10, 2021, OpenAI unveiled an improved version of the Codex neural network that translates English phrases into program code. A user can write what they want in the form of comments, and an artificial intelligence system trained on a data set stored in public repositories, including terabytes of publicly available code, translates the queries into program code.

It would seem that if we throw voice input to the mix, we would be in a sci-fi movie where humans simply articulate the task and the AI does all the work.

A reasonable question arises: will companies still need programmers as robots seem to get smarter and almost capable of replacing human developers?

Despite the fact that such tools are still far from being perfect and still require constant monitoring by a developer, the progress in this area is evident: from the standard autocomplete function to the generation of whole blocks of ready-made code. Even now such products help speed up the process of code writing.

It can be assumed that in 2022, AI will be more and more actively integrated into the development process. Moreover, as noted in Technopolis, there is no need to fear that such technologies will replace programmers.

Such software will not become a competitor, but rather just another tool in the hands of developers. Working with these tools will be added to the standard list of skills required of job applicants.

It is difficult to predict where the development of technology will take us in 2022 and what events may slow it down.

Despite this, current trends make it possible to predict previously unthinkable developments in this field, which today are considered unrealistic. Anyway, this reality may be closer than it appears. In the end, the future is in our hands.

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