With every passing year, it’s both exciting and important to keep abreast of technology trends – and regular readers of my blog will know how much I value technology and innovation.
My recent reading has shown that the trend is still towards digitalization in every industry, but also there’s a strong move towards AI and robotics.
An article like this could never cover all the trends, so I’ve chosen a few which I think are the most important.
This year will see artificial intelligence (AI) becoming more widespread in organisations.
The growth of AI will be partly due to the new generation of no-code/low-code AI tools and platforms, which help almost anyone create AI-driven applications with ease.
The barriers to AI, until now, have included investment in infrastructure and recruiting and training skilled workers. Lo-code and no-code certainly alleviate these cost concerns.
No-code AI involves simple drag-and-drop interfaces, enabling businesses to create more intelligent products and services.
One area where AI is growing apace is in the retail sector. I believe that this year we will witness a surge in contactless, autonomous shopping and delivery – with AI making it easier to pay for and receive goods and services.
In retail, more retailers will start using AI to manage and automate complex inventory management. Pundits suggest convenience trends like buy-online-pickup-at-curbside (BOPAC), buy-online-pickup-in-store (BOPIS), and buy-online-return-in-store (BORIS) will become standard in 2023.
Those working in retail will begin to see an increasing role for AI, with clever apps augmenting their roles, and making life easier. AI will also enable cutting edge autonomous delivery initiatives which retailers are keen to trial and roll out.
No examination of 2023 tech trends can ignore the metaverse. I think the strongest growth area in the AR & VR world will be seen in the rise of virtual, immersive meetings. Both Microsoft and Nvidia are developing metaverse platforms for digital project collaboration. Car manufacturer Toyota is building metaverse offices to bring together its disparate 300,000-plus global workforce, while consultancy Accenture’s ‘Nth Floor’ virtual campus has been around since 2020.
Avatars – digital representations of ourselves in the metaverse – will also improve, with leaps being made in in AI-enabled autonomous avatars that can act as our representatives even when we’re not logged into the metaverse.
And chatbots – virtual online assistants – are becoming more human-like in their responses – something of a relief to many of us who struggle to get any sense out of automated response services! I think in 2023 it will be increasingly hard to decipher whether you are chatting online with a human or an AI-driven responder.
Award-winning, record-breaking Kuki is perhaps at the apex of current chatbots. The always-on AI chatbot has engaged in 25 million human chats, sent more than one billion messages, and perhaps, most interesting of all, has won five Turing competitions – which try to ascertain whether a respondent is human or artificial.
It’s perhaps worth noting – to underline how advanced AI systems are now becoming – that there’s a contest run by the Alan Turing Institute to develop AI systems capable of making autonomous scientific discoveries at a level comparable, and possibly superior, to the best human scientists by 2050.
As someone who’s interested in the long-term real-world potential of NFTs, it’s gratifying to see that the trend is towards more practical uses of these tokens this year. You can expect to see more practical use cases like NFT concert tickets, potentially giving access to backstage experiences and memorabilia. NFTs may well become ‘keys’ we can use to interact with digital products and services we buy, and represent secure contracts we enter into with others.
Meanwhile blockchain technology will progress in 2023, as we see organisations develop more decentralised products and services, and implementation costs are lowering.
At present, most companies are using the cloud for storage — but when data storage is decentralized then encrypted using blockchain, information not only becomes safer, but we’ll see an increase in innovative ways to access and analyse it.
Cryptocurrencies have had a tumultuous year, but the pundits say Bitcoin will rise again this year, and it’s worth keeping an eye on new regulations in this technology-driven sector. After the crash of so many currencies in 2022, I think we will see increased, tighter regulatory stances from several nations, keen to avoid the level of failures witnessed last year.
To conclude, this year looks set to be thrilling in terms of technological developments and emerging new trends – all of which collide to make our lives ever better.