CES 2023 brings the technology that will mark the year to Las Vegas 0:54
The late management guru Peter Drucker once said that "trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights, looking out the back windshield."
When it comes to anticipating new technological trends, the changes happen so fast that the rear window could be steamed up.
In 2022, NFTs went from being the flavor of the month to yesterday's leftovers;
cryptocurrencies had a long cold winter;
and nuclear fusion took its first steps from the realm of science fiction to become real science.
But for those who follow the latest developments in innovation, it is possible to see patterns of where societies are headed and to foresee what technologies will get them there.
What is nuclear fusion and what you should know about this scientific advance
In early 2023, CNN asked four experts to predict which technologies will shape our lives this year: Here's what they said.
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become a part of our everyday lives, found in everything from e-commerce to social media algorithms.
Ayesha Khanna, co-founder and CEO of Addo, an AI and data solutions company, predicts an explosion of AI-generated images and music by 2023. She adds that while it won't replace humans, "AI will become the newest team of humans in many jobs, contributing ideas and drafts.
What is ChatGPT, the Artificial Intelligence chatbot that is a trend in networks
Bernard Marr, futurist and author of books such as "Future Skills" and "Business Trends in Practice", also anticipates that this year "one of the focuses of AI will be the boost to workers, as new tools become available that allow templates to take full advantage of AI."
However, Khanna cautions that more work will need to be done to ensure that generative AI copilots, like GitHub's Copilot, a tool designed to help developers code, are accurate and unbiased, especially in industries like healthcare, where there might be serious consequences if an AI assistant recommends the wrong treatment to a doctor.
Despite the fact that Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, lost billions of dollars in its efforts for the metaverse, the idea of spending time in virtual worlds online is increasingly becoming part of the public consciousness, and interest will pick up in 2023, according to Khanna.
"Retail and entertainment companies will increasingly launch pilots on how to build customer engagement and loyalty across the various metaverses, especially gaming platforms like Roblox," he says.
Walmart enters the Metaverse with two immersive experiences
"Metaverse natives who have grown up gaming and socializing in alternate digital realities will drive companies to host concerts, fashion weeks, travel and edutainment activities in 2023."
Marr adds that more small companies will join the larger organizations that have already established "outposts" on metaverse platforms.
"The metaverse will also become more mobile and accessible through devices like headsets and smart viewers, and companies will need to consider how they can take advantage of these opportunities to create immersive and efficient experiences," he says.
See how the New Year was celebrated in the metaverse 3:41
"The entire field of sustainability, underpinned by technologies, will play a monumental role in 2023," says Abishur Prakash, co-founder and geopolitical futurologist at the Center for Innovating the Future (CIF) in Toronto, and author of "The World is Vertical." : How Technology is Remaking Globalization".
"Clean energy projects, such as those bringing solar-generated electricity from Africa to Europe, will advance in 2023, adding a new dimension to the global energy war."
Cynthia Selin, an associate professor at Arizona State University's School for the Future of Innovation in Society and School of Sustainability, believes that by 2023, as we continue to build more capacity for renewables, energy storage in the short and long term, such as batteries and hydrogen, will be key.
"Continued investment and favorable political conditions (...) mean that clean hydrogen (including hydrogen made from renewables) could see sustained growth, development of the necessary infrastructure and increased cost competitiveness," he says.
"In terms of consumer-facing developments around hydrogen, in 2023 the most likely area of focus will be long-haul trucking."
Hyundai "XCIENT Fuel Cell" hydrogen truck.
Credit: Julian Rettig/picture-alliance/dpa/AP
Selin believes that carbon capture and storage, which involves removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it, will grow in importance.
"Direct airborne capture may continue to gain attention alongside natural removal mechanisms such as reforestation," he says.
"New demonstration projects are springing up around the world along with supporting policies, increasing our ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
Semiconductors and self-sufficiency
Prakash predicts that Russia's war in Ukraine will usher in a new era of geopolitics and globalization.
"The quest for self-sufficiency, a catalyst for vertical globalization, will accelerate in 2023, affecting all aspects of technology," he says.
"Automakers in China are buying their own ships to export their vehicles to the world," she adds, noting Apple's plans to move production out of China.
Semiconductors would be the new target in the technological dispute between China and the US.
Another trend to watch will be the fight over the semiconductors that power our smartphones, computers, cars, and household appliances.
According to Prakash, semiconductors will turn world affairs upside down in 2023 and become an area of competition between the US and China.
Credit: Adobe Stock
Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of connected sensors and infrastructure that can collect data on anything from home heating to traffic jams on city streets.
Selin believes that the IoT will continue to transform the energy sector in 2023. "Smart thermostats to monitor energy consumption and regulate temperatures help reduce energy consumption and costs. More and more devices that use smart sensors and intelligence are coming to market data-driven to inform energy choices and drive energy efficiency.
Marr predicts that 2023 will see an increase in IoT products and services related to health and wellness, "with devices such as smartwatches offering sophisticated sensors to monitor various health indicators."
Selin adds that the focus will also need to be "enabling more complex interactions between machines by developing global standards and protocols that devices can use to communicate with each other, as well as improving IoT security to prevent attacks."