• techQualia Team

AI in Review: Milestones of 2021, trends of 2022

Where we are; where we're going

With each passing year, technology becomes more deeply entrenched in our everyday lives. The role played by artificial intelligence (AI) cannot be overstated - from the public to the private sphere, AI and its applications have become part and parcel of almost every aspect of modern life. In this article, we’ll give you a rundown of the 6 most significant AI milestones in 2021. We also take you through some of the forecasted trends for AI in 2022 that we’re most excited about.

We spoke to Synapse Analytics’ COO and co-founder, Galal elBeshbishy, about the upcoming trends and their importance in the advancement of scalable and usable tech. Explaining why Konan - Synapse’s MLOps platform - is instrumental in AI adoption, elBeshbishy asserted “MLOps is the lynchpin of almost all AI ventures. It is crucial in allowing organisations to understand when to re-train models, monitor data pipelines, and detect data errors in production.”

Alexa Steinbrück / Better Images of AI / Explainable AI / CC-BY 4.0

Milestones of 2021

This year has been full of trailblazers and path-breaking AI innovations. From MLOps, to fighting the pandemic, and all the way to offering artificial friendship and companionship. Below are some of our picks.

Before Facebook’s rebranding into Meta, the company created SEER (an acronym for “Self-SupeERvised”), an artificial intelligence-based image recognition model that could teach itself to recognize images without requiring prior training on a labeled dataset.

Anton Grabolle / Better Images of AI / Human-AI collaboration / CC-BY 4.0

Tech giant Google’s subsidiaries also saw many incredible feats. The launch of Isomorphic Labs - a subsidiary of Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc. - which uses AI to accelerate drug discovery and find clues for diseases. The venture is led by DeepMind CEO, Demis Hassabis, and has potentially groundbreaking ramifications. Google also introduced Vertex AI, a managed Machine Learning (ML) platform with machine learning operations (MLOps) tools for deploying and maintaining AI models. Finally, Google developed a modular library to bring 3D deep learning capabilities to TensorFlow 2 and Keras.

Microsoft had its fair share of accomplishments too. Earlier this year, Microsoft developed a large scale, pre-trained model for symbolic music understanding called MusicBERT (MIDI format). Finally, in what has been rendered the ultimate crowd-pleaser, Microsoft and OpenAI’s Github Copilot was launched. It is an AI-based tool that programmers can use in their editors to write better code.

Trends of 2022

If 2021 is anything to go by, 2022’s tech developments will likely continue to push the boundaries of possibility. Here’s a breakdown of the top 8 trends experts anticipate will take the spotlight in tech next year:

1. MLOps

MLOps in production monitoring is a key component of MLOps, and one we can expect to grow in use in 2022. MLOps ensures models are up to date, predictions are as accurate as possible, and helps produce long-term, high-impact value.

2. AI in cybersecurity

In a report published this month, cyberattacks were identified as one of the most significant threats faced by businesses and governments in 2021. Just this year, Arab Bank launched a fintech, cybersecurity, and AI accelerator in Egypt, focused on investing in startups working within these fields. In 2022, AI systems in cybersecurity will get better at analysing network patterns in cyberattacks, identifying them, and preventing them before they occur.

3. Autonomous vehicles

AI plays a fundamental role in (quite literally) driving the success of autonomous vehicles, and it is expected to finally jumpstart the highly anticipated driverless car revolution in 2022. Reports forecast that the role played by deep learning technologies and neural networks in autonomous vehicles will value the industry at almost $11k million by 2025. Companies like Tesla have made bold claims that their self-driving cars will be ready for full deployment next year, but it might be a while longer before we see them in Egyptian streets.

4. AI augmented workforce

Fears surrounding machines taking over our jobs have overshadowed the immense value embedded within the technologies increasingly available at our fingertips. Rather than replacing us, AI enables machines to augment our workflows and productivity; take for example the use of AI in marketing, and how it has helped enable and streamline the direct personalisation of marketed content to consumers.

5. Bigger and better language modelling

The end of 2020 saw the release of the world’s largest and most comprehensive language model, GPT-3. The model, which was developed by OpenAI, generates around 4.5 billion words per day, and is being used by thousands of developers around the world to train and develop software. 2022 will see the anticipated release of OpenAI’s next iteration of GPT-3 which is expected to include more sophisticated language modelling tools that will enable machines to process more and more complex language.

6. Low code and no-code AI

Over the past few years, we have seen an increase in the number of AI solutions and platforms that are made to be more accessible and implementable. Synapse’s Konan streamlines the deployment of AI for companies and entities by catering the product to each business’ unique needs - all under one unified platform. In 2022, we can expect an increase in these types of simplified AI interfaces and solutions that can work with minimal human interference.

7. Creative AI

In 2020, the Guardian published an op-ed article written entirely by GPT-3’s language model. The field of ‘automated journalism’ has taken off in recent years, where AI is being utilised to sort through volumes of data, identify meaningful elements, and generate news articles without human intervention. Over the next few years, AI can be expected to play an increased role in routine, creative tasks - from writing news headlines, to creating logos and designing visuals.

8. AI and the metaverse

Facebook’s foyer into the world of virtual reality and the metaverse has created an increased level of interest surrounding the future of digital environments. In 2022, we can expect strides to be made in the fields of augmented and virtual reality as the world braces for a shift towards this new existential plane. AI will play a crucial role in helping create online environments in the metaverse, and will aid in our interaction with these worlds.