Thoughtworks, a global technology consulting company that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, has launched Looking Glass, a guide to the key technology-driven changes that will shape businesses in 2022 and beyond.

Based on Thoughtworks' unique approach to provide organizations with cutting-edge innovations before new technologies are adopted en masse, this report brings information to leaders in different industries about how their businesses can grow.

"Artificial Intelligence-powered technologies are becoming more and more popular and are touching more and more areas of our lives. Their impact must also be analyzed from an ethical perspective. It will be extremely important for organizations to develop balanced and productive partnerships between employees and their use of Artificial Intelligence in order to make the most of emerging technologies. Understanding how AI systems work is the key to perceiving and mitigating unwanted consequences. There is a lot of talk about the Metaverse, which can play a very important and beneficial role for society. However, it is important to bear in mind that this type of technology changes the user experience. People represent themselves differently in virtual worlds, which can have moral and ethical implications.", declares Serban Tir, General Manager, Thoughtworks Romania.

The Thoughtworks report, Looking Glass, includes no fewer than 100 individual technological trends, embedded in five major chapters, that can be used individually or combined to create additional perspectives or generate new lines of research and thought.

The five big chapters from the Looking Glass report are:

  1. Partnering with AI: Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are on an upward trend in all industries. They are adopted and used quickly both in the automation of operational processes and to improve strategic decision-making processes.
  2. Evolving the human-machine experience: Metaverse promises consumers and companies infinite opportunities to work, live, play and learn in this new environment of expanded reality (XR) technology. On the journey to this new universe, the physical and digital worlds will unite in a way that will open up new possibilities for business.
  3. Realizing the potential of platforms: The development of platforms is one of the essential factors in the strategy of modern business, but also a field full of ambiguities. There is more and more emphasis on solving the uncertainties around platforms, but also on connecting them to much clearer objectives.
  4. Expanding impact of hostile tech: "Hostile" technology is commonly associated with criminal activities such as ransomware, entering a system to steal data, or creating computer viruses. The full picture is, however, lost. The landscape is evolving in a way that the definition of hostile technology should be expanded to include legal acts, even widely accepted, that ultimately threaten the well-being of society.
  5. Accelerating towards sustainability: As consumers, governments and investors demand greater environmental responsibility from companies, sustainability has shifted from being optional to a business imperative.

"The five chapters that talk about the technologies of the present and the future also include a series of case studies, in which the solutions implemented by Thoughtworks around the world are exposed. For example, our colleagues in Finland have delivered a truly innovative project that has gained industry recognition . They worked with Mackmyra, a Swedish distillery, to launch the first whiskey created with the help of artificial intelligence. Machine Learning has been used to make hundreds of different recipes. The solution was not designed to replace the human factor, but to help employees explore the full range of possibilities. The whiskey was generated by AI, but refined by humans. Intelligens, the first AI whiskey in the world, has received numerous awards, both from the American Distilling Institute's Gold Label and Best International Malt Whisky, as well as the famous ADC Silver Cube trophy for product design", said Serban Tir, General Manager, Thoughtworks Romania.

The Looking Glass report is updated annually to keep up with the constant changes in technology priorities and business applications. The latest guide by Thoughtworks can be accessed here.