When you think of the year's biggest tech stories, you probably think of people like Elon Musk buying Twitter, former crypto developer Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX filing, the UST hack, or dozens of others who lost their lives. People. Thousands of technical workers laid off. It's never been a more optimistic year in the tech world. But, from advances in climate technology to advances in AI technology to the most amazing images of space we've ever dreamed of, there's plenty to celebrate as 2022 draws to a close.
Climate technology supported by the law of inflation
After years of inaction, Congress took action to tackle climate change with a surprising and surprising bill that covers everything from green hydrogen to geothermal heat pumps. Anti-inflation legislation, like the climate legislation that preceded it, did not happen by accident. Sen. Joe Manchin's (D-WV) opposition appears to be a calculated effort to kill the bill, but in reality it may be trying to kill America's competitiveness in some of the most important areas in the 21st century to avoid. The bill provides $369 billion for a variety of climate initiatives, and while that doesn't come close to addressing the scale of the problem, it's a lot better than nothing. And if investor sentiment is anything to go by, it could be the bait needed to attract climate tech.
– Tim de Chant
Generative AI is coming into its own
Of course, creative AI has its problems. But it also has undeniably positive disruptive potential. Since Generative AI emerged this year, with the help of new AI techniques, we have seen their work in art (see Stable Diffusion, DALL-E 2), programming (GitHub Copilot) and the world of writing (see GPT – 3). ) can store, ChatGPT). Art-Line AI can eliminate mundane tasks like drawing backgrounds for portraits, while coding can reduce the amount of repetitive code a programmer needs. The jury is out on whether this is simply a good thing, but judging by social media, generative AI is already enhancing employee workflows.
– Kyle Wiggers
Orbital Internet helps bring the world online
The promise of satellite Internet connection is becoming a reality, although, as always, the technology is not yet distributed equally. But we've seen Starlink connect Antarctica and war-torn Ukraine. If you can do it there (or on a ship, for that matter), you can do it in rural America, natural disaster areas, or remote villages in developing countries. By bypassing their control over data, we can see the emergence of hacked internet connections in countries like China and North Korea. This is an extremely important technology and 2022 is the year it moves from testing to production. And wait until you do it on your phone.
– Devin Coldew
One of the main criticisms of crypto is how much energy it takes. Depending on how the blockchain validates the transaction, buying NFTs can be extremely energy-intensive, and as more people enter the space in 2021, the environmental impact of the crypto industry is becoming a concern. For years, the team behind the Ethereum blockchain has promised a major event called The Merge that will transform Ethereum from an energy-intensive proof-of-work protocol to a more ecosystem-friendly proof-of-play process. In September, this transformation, The Merge, with a capital M, finally succeeded after several years of programming.
We say crypto is fundamentally good. @i am not. But is it good news that the second most popular blockchain has recently become 99% more energy efficient? In every moment.
– Amanda Silberling
A year of historical money in the labor organization
This year seems like a few years ago, but believe it or not, it was this April that the Amazon Labor Union, led by future folk hero Christian Smalls, scored a victory in the first union election held at Amazon in the US. People have pointed this out. Like David and Goliath, and this is not an exaggeration. Amazon has gone to great lengths to protect its state island fulfillment center, such as violating labor laws and hiring anti-union consultants. But against all odds, Amazon will now have to deal with the merger.
In the video game industry, Raven Software's QA testers have won the first historic US game company merger with Activision Blizzard. And a few weeks ago, the gaming giant's second batch of QA testers joined as well. Some Apple stores also won their first US unions this year. Outside of the tech sector, more than 250 Starbucks stores have unionized in the past two years, and unions are growing into unions like Trader Joe's.
And in the world of the gig economy, you'll earn less nationally. The battle to hire gig workers is usually at the state level, but this year the Labor Department proposed a ruling that would make it easier for delivery and app-based drivers to become employees if they can prove they are economically stable. It depends on the company.
– Amanda Silberling and Rebecca Bella
Open source text is increasingly generating AI.
AI models capable of generating text were once the exclusive domain of well-funded labs and corporations (think OpenAI and Alphabet's DeepMind). But in the past year, the open source AI community has taken on the challenge of developing free and licensed alternatives. BigScience, a community-based project that aims to make natural language systems widely available for research, has released Bloom, which is equivalent to OpenAI's GPT-3 capabilities. BigScience recently launched the Petals Project, which allows volunteers to donate their hardware power to handle some text-generating work and tap others to do larger tasks like setting up [email protected] and other distributed computing. This is certainly a welcome turn of events, especially as the pace of text creation continues to accelerate.
– Kyle Wiggers
This summer, JWST delivered its first deep-field images, the culmination of 26 years of hard work. It's hard not to get lost in the stunning pictures of Stefan Quintet or Karina Nebula, but these amazing photos suggest something even more amazing. As Aria Alamalhodai herself said, “These achievements are just the beginning. Scientists still have many questions about exoplanets, the formation of the universe, and more, and now they have a powerful new tool in their arsenal to find answers.
– Amanda Silberling
A real braille tablet
The Dot Pad is a breakthrough in a world of braille displays that have traditionally been bulky, expensive and functionally limited. Dot Pad not only displays multiple lines of text at once, but also displays symbols and images in tactile form by mirroring the screen of a phone or computer screen. It is still on the way to mass production, but the American press for the blind has already licensed the technology and is building its own version; We will test it at CES.
– Devin Coldew
Pressure for Fediverse
Here's a not-so-hot approach. It may not be good when the social media companies that drive the public conversation are for-profit companies that are sold to the public and/or taken private by self-interested billionaires. Mastodon, part of the not-for-profit open source social network Fediverse, has had a big year for the ecosystem of interactive platforms powered by ActivitWeb. Mastodon exploded in popularity after Elon Musk took over Twitter. According to Similarweb, traffic to joinmastodon.org (the Mastodon server directory) increased over 1500% year-over-year in November. In less than two weeks, Mastodon's monthly active users have doubled to over 1 million. It is still unclear whether the release on Mastodon will be temporary or not; There is a lot of friction in the onboarding process, making it difficult for Mastodon to reach a large mainstream audience. But it may not be time for an accessible social media landscape independent of the tech giants.
– Amanda Silberling