Top 10 Tech Trends in 2021

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The human brain and an external device talking to each other? Artificial Intelligence (AI) as an integral component of medicine and vaccine research and development? Agriculture powered by data intelligence?

Reading these may look like they are technological advancements in a distant and futuristic generation.

But no. They are just three of the top 10 trends in the tech industry that, would you believe, is not happening in 20 years, but in 2021.

This is according to Alibaba’s DAMO Academy or Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook. The academy is dedicated to exploring the unknown through scientific and technological research and innovation, in pursuit of the betterment of humanity.

DAMO’s forecast on tech trends this year:

The application of third-generation semiconductor materials, represented by GaN & SiC, will expand to new industries

New semiconductor materials will spring up in areas such as new energy vehicles and data centers.

Quantum error correction & practical utility of quantum computing will be the top priority of the “post-quantum-supremacy” era

Quantum computing will tackle critical problems through collaborative innovation.

Breakthroughs in carbon-based materials will stimulate growth of flexible electronics

Breakthroughs allow flexible electronics to deliver stable performance even after mechanical deformations such as bending, folding and stretching.

AI accelerates the R&D of medicines and vaccines

Compound screening, disease model generation and lead compound discovery are some areas that AI technology excels in.

Brain-computer interface technology allows us to go beyond the limits of the human body

Brain-computer interface forms a direct communication pathway between the brain and an external device, helping patients to overcome physical limitations.

Data processing will become autonomous & self-evolving

Costs for computing, processing, storage, and O&M will be reduced.

Cloud-native technologies will reshape IT systems

Chips, development platforms, applications, and even computers will be cloud-native, reducing computing costs and improving technology efficiency.

Agriculture will be powered by data intelligence

Agricultural practitioners can monitor crops, implement precision breeding, and allocate environmental resources on demand.

Industrial intelligence leaps from single-point to industry-wide implementation.

It will make an impact on a large scale, applying to the supply chain, production, logistics and sales.

Intelligent operations centers will be a must for cities in the future.

As AIoT becomes mature and widely applied and spatial computing technologies are improved, operations centers will be more intelligent.

“Technology has played a critical role in fighting against the pandemic since early last year, and it will continue to reshape our society and industries through innovative production models and intelligent services,” said Jeff Zhang, Head of Alibaba DAMO Academy and President of Alibaba Cloud Intelligence“We hope to work with the academia and industry players to accelerate the exploration of frontier research, in the hope that we can make technologies more accessible by various businesses, and together we can rise up to the challenges imposed by the pandemic and accelerate the pace of a digital economy.”

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