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IEEE UK and Ireland SSIT Webinar | Technology Predictions: Art, Science, and Fashion Dejan S. Milojicic (IEEE Computer Society)

This guest lecture is organised by Southeastern Michigan Section Computer Chapter and co-hosted by UK and Ireland SSIT Chapter and North Jersey Section SSIT Chapter.

Guest Lecture Focus

Predicting the future is never easy, it always entails a degree of uncertainty, if not luck. Predicting technology trends is even harder as it requires both technical and business acumen, e.g., whether the technology will be developed, productised, and ultimately adopted on the market. It is almost an art to distil between a fashion and a true scientific trend. At the same time, the public likes to read predictions and many individuals and organisations regularly write technology predictions, such as Gartner, MIT, Forbes and many others regularly produce predictions.

IEEE Computer Society started its technology predictions informally in early 2010 and formally via annual press releases in 2014, followed by their respective scorecards in 2016. We realised that our audience appreciates self-evaluation, hence we introduced scorecards at the end of the period of prediction. Our predictions reached substantial audience, e.g., in 2018, it was picked up by 300 media outlets (84.6M audience), which is entirely different from classical publishing. We considered predictions as a new type of publication, a lightweight, short publication (approximately a paragraph per prediction). These predictions also triggered other media outreach, such as blogs, interviews, panel sessions, and this special issue of IEEE Computer magazine.

Over the years we became better in press releases and social media announcing our report, to the extent that it became visible at the IEEE Board of Directors, and found its way to the report of the IEEE Executive Director. One notable side-product that grew out of our predictions was the 2022 report that comprehensively predicted 23 technologies 7 years ahead. This report had a sister report written by Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), Taiwan on technology predictions specific to Asia. These technology predictions surpassed all our expectations in terms of impact, and we plan to continue for as long as audience has interest.

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