Five Tech Predictions for 2022 and Beyond

Dr. Werner Vogels, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,
by Dr. Werner Vogels, Vice President and Chief Technology Officer,

We have reached an inflection point. After AWS pioneered cloud technology more than 15 years ago, cloud infrastructure has evolved to a place where we are seeing all parts of the cloud reach practically anywhere on the planet—and even into space. The cloud has allowed what was once science fiction to become science fact. Models and techniques in the artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) realm have gotten better and better—so much so that we see glimpses of new kinds of use cases emerging that we previously only imagined in movies and comics. We are entering a phase where data is abundant, access to it is almost instantaneous, and our ability to make sense of it in new and subtle ways is practically automatic. But this technology is not replacing humans; it is augmenting how we engage with the world. 2022 will be an exciting year for technology, with it pushing all of us, and our planet, forward in the process.

Prediction one: AI supported software development takes hold

Software development is a creative process, but one that has many repetitive tasks. In 2022, ML will begin to play a major role in augmenting software developers’ workstreams, helping them create more secure and reliable code.

Since the advent of the cloud, we’ve seen companies across the world bring new ideas to their customers at scale faster than ever. However, even with this acceleration in product delivery, people still spend a disproportional amount of time in one area of technology: software development.

While there have absolutely been improvements in programming languages, software development toolkits (SDKs), and other tools that enable developers to be more efficient, these have all been minor evolutions. There haven’t been the major leaps forward that we’ve seen in other areas of technology … yet. Over the past few years, we’ve started to see the foundations laid for what will become the future of software development.

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Tools like Amazon DevOps Guru, Amazon CodeGuru, GitHub Copilot, and GPT-3 are the first steps in what I see as the future of development, where ML is used in code development and software operations workstreams to help developers become more effective. In the coming years, I believe that we are going to see an explosion of capabilities in this area.

ML will free developers from the mundane parts of their jobs, such as code reviews and bug fixes —the undifferentiated heavy lifting of their world—and allow them to focus more on creating. The same technology will help us write sophisticated systems faster than ever and in ways that open the door to a new class of developers. Imagine a scenario where a builder describes how they want an app to operate, and then the tools interpret the request through natural language processing and deliver back the fully functional code. On the backend, ML techniques will also check for software bugs and continuously verify that the software is doing what it is supposed to do. This kind of ML-supported software development will be a game-changer by allowing more people across an organization to help define and build software and software-driven products. Longer term, this same approach of ML freeing us up to create more will be used in all kinds of other areas, including media creation. We will see generative AI techniques increasingly create movies, music, and literature. Just as importantly, in a similar way, this technology will also start to play a role in detecting fake content, scams, and fraud. 2022 is the year where AI/ML takes on the heavy lifting in the lives of developers.

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