There was an article on the worst technology of 2022 from the MIT Technology Review. I was hoping to get some sense of what was really useful or failure-prone technology, but it seems that the article delves into decisions on how to run technology or policy more than the actual technology.
The list is here, with my short comments on those that might apply as actual technology items:
- The FTX meltdown – no
- The fentanyl crisis – no
- a pig heart to human transplant – maybe. A biotech attempt that didn’t work
- the issues with zero covid in China – policy, not tech
- Twitter rules – no
- Ticketmaster system meltdown – this counts
- Meta’s Galactica – definitely among the worst
Many of these seem more about decisions made in how a platform or technology is used, rather than the merits of the system. The FTX thing was less even technology and more a scam using software that likely worked as intended.
For the best technology, I find many lists that delve into gadgets. Those can be fun and certainly might feel like they change how you use technology. From that list, I know that mobiles and headphones can be exciting, but these always feel incremental to me. I actually have preferred seeing how cheap mid-range headphones have become. I do think the rings measuring health instead of a watch-like device is a little innovative. Tablets, laptops, and TVs, meh.
In terms of innovative tech, this is quite a list. Shooting a probe at an asteroid is amazing engineering. A personalized info board, seen differently by many different people is fascinating, though a bit creepy. The DALL-E 2 image generator was certainly incredibly tech, albeit controversial. The 3D-printed ear is amazing as well.
The world of technology for many of us (frameworks, languages, software, hardware) changes so fast. Vendors have shrunk their lifecycles as they move to a DevOps style of working, which creates pressure on us to keep up, or at least be able to learn quickly as versions change. We certainly don’t want to work on the worst technology, and maybe not the best because it changes fast. Instead, we need to pick and choose those items that are relevant to those that hire us to get things done.