Leaders from McKinsey Technology Council, academia and industry, highlight AI, metaverse, crypto, and quantum computing as some of the key business priorities in 2022, according to a recent report.
Predicting the trends that will headline business agendas this year as well as the ones that fly under business’ radars, but need more attention, the leaders claim that investments in digital are expected to continue as the world manages continued impacts of the Covid disruption.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
Businesses are expected to continue to invest in AI and ML through a process known machine learning operations (MLOps), whereby they can create an operating system that streamlines the production and maintenance of machine learning models.
According to Rodney Zemmel, senior partner at McKinsey & Company, “MLOps provides the opportunity to create an operating system of people and technology that can make the process of creating each new application easier, helping to enable the whole business.”
Michael Chui, partner at McKinsey Global Institute believes that MLOps will allow businesses to deploy AI more cost effectively and at scale, as a point of competitive advantage.
Self-supervised learning is also named as an area of focus.
“This data-centric AI revolution will reduce our dependence on data and enable applications where data labeling is expensive or infeasible,” said Animashree Anandkumar, director of machine learning research, NVIDIA and Bren professor of computing and mathematical sciences, California Institute of Technology.
Metaverse and crypto
The leaders predict that the metaverse will continue to see investments as organizations seek to drive meaningful impact.
According to Nicolaus Henke, senior advisor and senior partner emeritus, McKinsey & Company,”. Impact will be realized through deep verticals in very sharply defined domains, such as engineering more sustainable products, using the metaverse to vastly improve and accelerate the education of nurses and doctors, or automating clinical trials.”
Lareina Yee, senior partner at McKinsey & Company also believes the metaverse will dominate business agendas, alongside automation, process virtualisation, robotics and digital twins.
“The metaverse has already reached the top of the search charts over the past year. As curiosity grows, we will see more experiments and use cases, especially in the gaming, entertainment, and retail sectors,” she said.
Crypto is also raised as a headliner, as businesses seek to understand what crypto and blockchain means for their business.
According to Michael Chui, partner, McKinsey Global Institute, businesses will need to “determine for which use cases a crypto solution is actually superior to the alternatives and will generate significant demand.”
Emerging technologies including quantum computing was shared across the group as a key agenda item.
According to Alan Baratz, president and CEO at D-Wave Systems, while new technologies have their risks, starting early can mean huge rewards.
“In any given industry — from manufacturing and logistics to bioscience and pharmaceuticals — quantum computing can expedite operational efficiency, increase revenue, and give businesses an edge over competitors,” he said.
Baratz believes that the only way to tackle complex problems is through new technology such as quantum computing.
Julie Love, partner and product leader for quantum computing at Microsoft also believes progress will continue for quantum computing this year.
“Quant computing holds the promise to deliver efficient solutions to some of society’s most complex challenges. For example, it could help address climate change by enabling the design of a new catalyst for carbon fixation,” said Love.
“While significant advancements are needed to realize practical, industrial-scale impact, enterprises can get started today in the cloud or with partnerships to understand quantum’s application areas. There are also opportunities for disruptive innovation from harvesting ideas from quantum thinking and innovation.”