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Ten Tech Trends For 2023 – Forbes

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This past year, global attention has been focused on geo-strategic issues, such as the devastating war in Ukraine, which has dislocated many and caused immense suffering. Attention has also been focused on the recovery from the COVID pandemic, which was the overriding concern over the past three years. And finally, the economic destruction wrought by rapidly ramped interest rates which have targeted all sectors of the economy, particularly technology. But despite all this negativity, the business of building the future continues. There has been progress across major axes of computing, from visualization to AI and new types of processors (quantum). In space, with a record number of launches in 2022. In biotech and aviation.
So what does 2023 hold in store for us? To what might we look forward?
AI goes mainstream as LLMs 10X larger than GPT-3 are launched: ChatGPT has already alarmed, enthused, and confused the world with its often-times human-like dialogue, code generation, poetry, and myriad other capabilities. This trend will just continue to grow stronger in 2023. The Chinese WuDao 2.0 system and a potential GPT-4 or similar US-based system are expected to be released next year. These Large Language Models (LLMs) will be more potent than the current GPT-3, which has 175 billion parameters. They will be able to handle even more complex language tasks along with “multi-modality,” i.e., data of any type, whether text, images, or audio. ChatGPT already represents a massive leap over Siri and Alexa; there is simply no comparison in capabilities. We can expect the power of even more intelligent AI systems, well-versed in many subjects, to be available to every cell phone user worldwide within the next 24 months.
IBM’s Condor Quantum Computer with 1000 qubits: Quantum computers are becoming increasingly powerful, and 2023 is likely to see the launch of IBM’s Condor quantum computer, featuring more than 1000 qubits. This is a significant increase from state-of-the-art quantum computers, which have around 400 qubits. Due to this scale-up in the number of usable qubits, the Condor will be able to perform more complex calculations and simulations. As a result, we are finally getting into territory where quantum computing might become practical and could start revolutionizing fields such as drug development, finance, and cybersecurity.
Self-hosting and decentralized IT systems: In 2023, we expect the release of more user-friendly self-hosting and decentralized IT systems, making it easier for businesses and individuals to take back control of the cloud. Decentralized systems offer greater security and privacy than traditional centralized systems and are becoming increasingly popular. For example, Twitter going private led to increased interest in the decentralized social networking software Mastodon. As distrust in centralized cloud services grows for treating user data in mysterious ways, expect much more of this in the future.
Rise of the other EV manufacturers: While Tesla has been the dominant player in the electric vehicle (EV) market, 2023 is likely to see the rise of other EV manufacturers, who will offer a full range of conventional options such as high-end interiors and advanced technology. These companies, such as Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Rivian, and Lucid Motors, are expected to take some market share away from Tesla and provide more options for EV buyers. According to a report by August Free Press, global EV sales are expected to reach 8.6 million in 2023, up from 3.2 million in 2020.
The first tourist goes around the moon: In 2023, SpaceX plans to conduct a crewed lunar flyby with Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa, who will be the first tourist to go around the moon. This mission, which will use SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft, will be a significant milestone for the company and paves the way for more lunar tourism. The 2023 calendar for space activity in the US and China is intense. One step at a time, we might finally be building the technology and developing the scale to become a space-faring civilization.
In 2023, we will continue to lay the foundation for a future filled with autonomous exploration and … [+] discovery.
China launches its first telescope: 2023 is likely to see the launch of China’s first space telescope, the Chinese Survey Space Telescope (CSST), which will be able to study distant galaxies and nearly 40% of the visible sky during its 10-year lifespan. The telescope, placed in orbit around the Earth, will have a field of view 200 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope, will be able to observe very faint objects and will conduct spectroscopic and photometric surveys simultaneously.
The Russia-Ukraine war ends: The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is likely to end in 2023, as both sides tire of the war and pay a high price in terms of men and equipment. According to the United Nations, the conflict has displaced more than 12 million people, and fatality estimates range from 8,300 to 33,430 killed. Of course, any cease-fire achieved in 2023 may be temporary, and the conflict could erupt again in the future, but for now, both sides appear to be quite tired and have spent too much in terms of men and materiel. This is a devastating war that cannot end too soon.
Progress in the Metaverse vision: In 2023, we expect to see progress in the development of the Metaverse. The Metaverse is where high-fidelity, connected digital experiences with rich social and commercial interactions between AI and humans will become possible. While the eventual Metaverse that materializes may differ from Meta’s or Mark Zuckerberg’s idea, through 2023, hardware and software progress will continue and possibly even combine with enterprise trends around serious gaming, training, and other simulation use cases.
Hypersonic aircraft tests: The first hypersonic aircraft tests will likely take place this year, as both the US and China have been working for years on maturing hypersonic technology. The US company Hermeus, which concluded engine testing in November 2022, is planning hypersonic tests soon. And at the Zhuhai Air Show, China unveiled new hypersonic drones. Hypersonic – or Mach 5+ – speed will become increasingly important in the coming decade, with applications in offensive missiles, manned and unmanned aircraft, and defensive systems.
Return to the office: After the COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to switch to a remote work model, 2023 is likely to see a return to the office for most businesses, including technology companies. Elon Musk of Tesla, SpaceX and Twitter, David Solomon of Goldman Sachs, Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, Tim Cook of Apple, and many other leaders have publicly pushed back against remote work culture. While remote work has some benefits, it also has significant drawbacks, for example robbing new employees and young people just joining the workforce of sustained, in-person mentoring. As humans, we seek out rich, personal experiences and value them more, literally and figuratively. We are willing to pay more to see a sports event in person, listen to a concert in person, and place a premium on being there with our friends and family for special occasions and celebrations. If in-person doesn’t mean much to most of us, why do we put a premium on all these human experiences? During the pandemic, in many cases, employee-employer relationships degenerated into transactional exchanges which were “out of sight, out of mind,” creating jaded employees and dissatisfied employers. Consequently, many companies are expected to mandate that their employees spend most of their time in the office. A survey conducted by salary.com found that only 5% of executives remain supportive of an entirely work-from-home workforce.
2023 is going to be an exciting year for technological progress. There has been considerable debate in AI circles about whether scaling large models is sufficient to reach human-level intelligence. We are now within years of building models that might be that large. In 2023 we can expect to see models many times the size of GPT-3. Many of the questions we’ve been looking for answers to – for hundreds and even thousands of years – whether about space or the nature of consciousness – might be answered in the months and years ahead.


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