Highlight Recap TECH 2022

We are in December 2022 and it is the right time to look back. That’s why we wanted to compile a series of technological innovations that have occurred this year and deserve to be remembered.

1. The first AI to win an art competition

It happened in the United States, and has reopened the debate on authorship, intellectual property or the attribution of works of art to artificial intelligence.

Jason Allen won first prize in a Colorado State Fair fine art contest using artwork generated by Midjourney AI software.

According to the state fair’s website, he won in the digital art category with a work titled Théâtre D’opéra Spatial. The image, which Allen printed on canvas for submission, depicts a dreamlike and detailed spatial opera, with elements such as a baroque staircase, a circular window and a beautiful sunny natural landscape.

For his part, the winner acknowledged that he knew it would be controversial, but that they were discrediting the human element in his AI-generated art. The author explained that his input in the form of prompts to the software was essential in modeling the keys to the winning painting.

“I had to generate images with MJ, make passes with Photoshop and enhance with Gigapixel,” he said. In his view, critics judge art by method and he argues that work should be evaluated in the same way, although he believes that in the near future there will be a category of art created by artificial intelligence. Amid the controversy, he points out that the victory only fuels his mission.

2. Artificial Wood 

In May, MIT announced that a group of researchers had succeeded in growing a wood-like material in the laboratory. The experiment was born out of the increasingly urgent need to find a substitute for wood and thus protect forests from excessive logging.

In addition, this way of obtaining wood can be combined with a 3D printer to create the shape directly from whatever is desired. There is no need to process it as you would a tree. This saves the costs of felling, transporting and processing, a matter of three months. At the moment it is only a demonstration, it has a lot of potential, but they have to continue researching. 

3. Mini Robot

It is currently the world’s smallest remote-controlled robot, with a size of half a millimeter and a design similar to that of a crab.

Again, these are experimental creations for now, but for possible future applications, they say it could repair small structures or even be used to clean arteries in the event of internal hemorrhages. Due to the size it can not have circuits, the movement is achieved by heating the legs with a laser thanks to the material with which it is made, when heated it has a form and when it cools it has another. By the way the tweezers are useless, they made it in the shape of a crab because it is prettier and funnier.

4. STAR robot

The STAR robot has operated on an intestinal anastomosis and is capable of planning, adapting and executing a surgical plan in real time on the soft tissue of a pig. Robots in the service of telemedicine allow increasingly complex tasks to be performed with less human intervention.

According to experts, this is a finding that demonstrates that one of the most complex and delicate tasks in surgery can be automated. Reconnecting two ends of an intestine is a major breakthrough.

However, you have to see it for what it really is. When they say “totally alone” they mean minimal, minimal but important human intervention. The robot does what they consider to be the simplest part of the operation. The advantages of advances in these areas allow humans to handle more relevant tasks, leaving the purely operational ones to these computer programs.

5. Tourist trips outside the Earth

2021 was a year of testing and consolidation for space tourism and in 2022 the offer for people – not astronauts – of a trip off Earth is already a reality.

Three companies have led the way in this increasingly in-demand industry: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. All three companies have succeeded in putting non-astronauts into orbit, marking the beginning of an industry that will only grow in the coming years.

6. Medical achievements

A U.S. biotech company has successfully transplanted a 3D-printed ear onto a patient. The company responsible for the innovation, 3DBio Therapeutics, based in Queens, USA, printed the ear with the patient’s own cells.

The implant is surrounded by an imprinted biodegradable shell to provide initial support, but is absorbed by the patient’s body over time. After some time, the implanted ear is supposed to mature, develop the natural look and feel, including elasticity, of a normal ear and is a mirror replica of the patient’s healthy ear. The entire impression process took less than 10 minutes.

The next big step in this field is to do the same but with an organ. An organ printed with your own cells to guarantee that there will be no rejection is the best thing that will happen to the world of transplantation.

7. DART mission

In late September NASA confirmed the success of the first-ever planetary Defense broadcast.

The mission was conceived as a test of a strategy to defend the Earth against objects that might threaten the planet. Dart’s success shows that the idea will work, provided it was launched early enough and the target was not too large.

“This result is an important step toward understanding the full effect of DART’s impact with its target asteroid,” explained Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “As new data come in daily, astronomers will be able to better assess whether and how a mission like DART could be used in the future to help protect Earth from a collision with an asteroid, if we ever discover one headed our way.”

8. Second country to accept Bitcoin

The Central African Republic (CAR) joins El Salvador as the second country to accept bitcoin as legal tender. The big difference is that they have not made major purchases in bitcoin. Possibly because of its scarce resources, as it is currently considered one of the poorest countries in the world.

The country’s National Assembly has unanimously approved the law “governing cryptocurrencies in the Central African Republic” and the president, Faustin Archange Touadéra, has promulgated the norm, informed in a statement the chief of staff of the Presidency, Obed Namsio. The CAR is “the first country in Africa to adopt Bitcoin as a reference currency,” Namsio stressed on this “historic decision” that places the African nation “on the map of the bravest and most visionary countries in the world.” “The adoption of Bitcoin as an official currency represents a decisive step towards opening up new opportunities for our country,” added the Chief of Staff.

9. Tech Trends 2022

Deloitte’s Tech Trends 2022 report outlines trends that are likely to affect businesses in the next 18 to 24 months, including new opportunities in automation, blockchain, data sharing and other areas.

One trend is Cyber AI as a real defense. As organizations struggle with security breaches, cyber AI can be a force multiplier, enabling security teams to not only respond faster than cyber attackers can move, but also anticipate these moves and act in advance.

Blockchain for business is also highlighted. Focusing on uses in accounting, creation and management of tangible and digital assets. Ease of data sharing, vertical cloud and automation at scale are other trends that the multinational technology company predicts will have a major impact in 2023. 

10. The Metaverse and the future of eCommerce: extended reality, cryptocurrencies and NFTs

This year, new developments were expected in the technological field, especially with regard to social networks. After Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement to create a metaverse, we all wondered how this new virtual and digital world proposed by Meta would move forward. 

The reality is that the metaverse remains distant and confusing for many of us. However, despite Meta’s losses, they are still betting on this virtual world and will continue their progress in 2023. Let’s think that, right now, Extended Reality technologies are at the same adoption point as the Internet in 1995 (at least VR). But, at least, we already know many of the pieces that will be part of the Metaverse, such as Virtual and Extended Reality, cryptocurrencies or NFT. Now we just need to put them together and develop digital projects that live up to the possibilities.