Metaverse, Swarm, Smart Dust, Neuro Symbolic AI.

In a trend book, CEA researchers combine key technological trends that could have profound effects on society and the economy. These groundbreaking technologies were shared at DIMS 2022.

How can the emergence of disruptive technology be identified and predicted? Especially thanks for collecting weak signals. For Timothy Sylvester, head of technical foresight, social trends and weak signals at CEA, a groundbreaking technology is multi-field.

To map this trend, the research center has thus chosen to represent a network. “This allows us to visualize trends in connection with different themes. Like a metro station, the denser a node, the more you can predict the effect of this trend,” said a representative of CEA’s Y.Spot Labs at the DIMS 2022 conference hosted by IMA Explained.

Multiple sector connectivity trends

This mapping therefore makes it possible to distinguish 10 major trends. This includes swarm or swarm technology. Its policy is based on decentralized and integrated piloting of intelligent agents like drones. The technology is inspired by the fauna and aims to respond to complex challenges such as a hunter escaping or overcoming obstacles.

Over the years, swarms have become a thing of the past in the world of robotics. For CEA, the advancement of on-board artificial intelligence is now opening applications in a variety of fields. The swarm is envisioned to be piloting delivery robots in the logistics sector.

The military is also interested in swarm applications, for example managing a fleet of drones. It should be noted that these robots and / or drones may be of a different nature. For example, it is essential to consider these differences in dynamic interactions between autonomous vehicle fleets and other systems.

Another trend right now, hard to hide right now: Metaverse. The definition of metaverse and the technologies it incorporates is that of variable geometry. Timothée Silvestre makes sure that his access is not limited to the use of virtual reality headsets.

In the gaming industry, where Metaverse applications are growing, only 2% of users of platforms like Steam use VR headsets. All terminals, especially PCs and smartphones are thus the gateway to this virtual universe.

Intersects Metaverse, Mirror World, and Real World

Metavers-induced conversions are also expected in e-commerce. The purpose of the Startup Boson Protocol is to “disrupt” online commerce by replacing intermediaries with programmable contracts or smart contracts. For Timothy Sylvester, Metavers gives birth to a new shopping experience.

A consumer, for example, buys a virtual item, such as a pair of shoes owned by an NFT, a non-fungible token. This token can then give its actual equivalent rights. A brand like Nike follows these uses closely, which may be connected to the physical world. The manufacturer acquired RTFKT in December 2021, the manufacturer of virtual shoes.

Metavers and the physical world are not waterproof. They present areas of intersection, including Mirror World or Mirror World, another trend identified by the CEA. Mirror World is a collection of real world data like the Digital Twin. Nvidia, along with BMW, is digitizing factories in particular.


Since 2016, Dassault Systèmes has been participating in the creation of a digital twin in the city of Singapore as part of the Virtual Singapore Smart City project. Mirror World, Metaverse and the real world are so interconnected, CEA speculates. The intersection between the real world and the metavers is the cyber physical asset. Art Metavers is at the junction of Metavers and Mirror World.

Smart dust is probably a more real trend today. DARPA laid its foundations in the 1990s with the concept of autonomous and network-connected mini-sensors. Advances in miniaturization have allowed these miniature computers to move forward. Health presents the potential use of smart dust through neurogreen.

Space Introduction, Autonomous Agriculture and Eco Circular

The Energy Commission also notes the emergence of the concept of space for all, that is, its democratization. Space is no longer the main power and conservation of government agencies. Startups are also developing technology in this sector. The Toulouse Incubator is an example of TechTheMoon.

Disruptive technology, however, is not exclusively based on space conquest. In agriculture, a trend is emerging: autonomous farming. In 2021, John Deere, the first manufacturer of agricultural vehicles, bought the Beer Flag Robotics.

Agriculture is the habitat of other trends such as vertical farming (which uses hydroponics to optimize water consumption) and agro-voltaic, combining agricultural land and energy production. Experiments have shown that some crops, such as vines, benefit from increased yields by installing solar panels by reducing vapor flow during heat waves.

This energy source could be the future energy modular lighting mobility platform. To these trends, Y.Spot Labs adds everything (batteries, light bulbs with batteries, signify, etc.) as services, such as geo-engineering (C02 capture, creating artificial clouds to reduce ground temperature, etc.). Round Economy and Neuro Symbolic AI.

The principle of circular economy can be applied to urbanization, the idea being through a 15-minute city where everything can be achieved in a 15-minute area. The concept also includes urban mining in combination with the recycling of local resources within the city.

Technology in the service of performance and resilience

“It also raises the question of product design, especially in construction with disassembly design. This is the amount of redesigning the design so that future constructions can be dismantled, “explained Timothy Sylvester. Product design skills and their entire life cycle may be based on a combination of future circular economy, digital twin and blockchain.

Finally, Neuro Symbolic AI or Hybrid AI. It responds to a number of problems. The main thing: to cross the boundaries of the connective system, such as the neural network, which consumes a lot of energy and is little or no explanation. The specialty of Neuro Symbolic AI is to combine logic rules and neural networks to deal with complex problems.

However, technology alone will not be enough to solve all the problems faced by different sectors. The CEO called for a change in executive culture, which has been focused on the culture of performance for the past 30 years, according to him.

“A small grain of sand has hampered this global optimization,” he said, referring to the epidemic and its consequences in the supply chain. Optimization takes precedence over elasticity, Timothy Sylvester considers. So new technological trends must think about resilience and be used to improve resilience and not just performance, he urged business innovation leaders.

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