Five tech predictions every business needs to watch in 2023

By Pete Hanlon, below, Chief Technology Officer, Moneypenny

Last year I predicted that computers will better understand us, and during 2022 the field of conversational AI has moved on significantly. AIs such as GPT-3 from OpenAI and LaMDA 2 from Google, have shown us that comprehension of language and the ability to utilise general knowledge during a conversation have improved materially. This leap was best demonstrated by Sundar Pichai (CEO of Google) during a presentation at Google IO where he held a comprehensive conversation with LaMDA 2, a general-purpose AI. The scenario was a little contrived with the AI being told it was the planet Pluto, but the conversation between them was amazing to witness, answering questions such as ‘tell me what I would see if I visited Pluto’ and ‘have you had any visitors?’ The AI’s use of language and its general understanding of what was being discussed was deeply impressive.

With this in mind, here are my tech predictions for 2023…

#1 Computers Will Be More Creative

2022 saw the release of state-of-the-art image-based AIs such as DALL-E 2 from OpenAI, Imagen from Google and Stable Diffusers from Huggingface. These state-of-the-art AIs can generate photo realistic images from a simple text prompt. For example, the prompt ‘Darth Vader riding a bicycle in the style of Claude Monet’ will create exactly that, an image of Darth Vader on a bike as if it was painted by Claude Monet. Now you might be thinking, I could find that on Google image search, but it’s worth pointing out that the AI isn’t searching the internet for existing images and pasting them together. Instead, it’s creating a completely new image based on its general understanding of what Darth Vader and a bicycle look like, and Claude Monet’s painting style. So, the AI is creating something completely new – a unique image.

In 2023 the field will move to the next level, going from generating static images, to 3D models and video generation based on just a text description. I also predict that AI-based music generation will move forward massively. While there have been systems able to do this for some time, I think 2023 will be a year where we see AI-based music generation improve to the point where you may enjoy listening to it.

#2 Lawyers Will Benefit From AI

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Having the ability to generate images, videos, and music by simply telling an AI what to do gives everyone the tools to be creative. Producing music for marketing campaigns, designing a logo, and creating a meme, or images for PowerPoint presentations, become quick and relatively trivial tasks. However, the technology is evolving quickly and there are big question marks over Intellectual Property and the ownership of the created content. The common response now is that AI art can’t be copywritten, which is fine if the content isn’t being used commercially. But it could be a problem if used to create imagery for a movie or a marketing campaign. And although an AI image can’t be copywritten, if you create an exact copy of the Mona Lisa using an AI and you use it commercially, you could be liable.

#3 AI Will Become Even More Explainable

As AI systems and Deep Learning models become ever more complex, it becomes increasingly challenging to explain how systems make predictions. Deep learning models are often trained on billions of data items. However, if we want to understand why a complex model gave a particular prediction, it’s almost impossible to do in a way that is understandable to humans.

To trust AIs that drive our cars and help run our lives, we need to be able to understand the processes they went through to make a prediction. This is a big area of research by all the large tech companies and many research groups, and I expect this to be a field of research that will improve significantly.

#4 Digital Transformation Will Accelerate

The world is changing rapidly, and all businesses should understand what those changes mean for them. Technologies such as artificial intelligence, the internet of things, virtual and augmented reality, cloud computing, blockchain, and super-fast network protocols like 5G, are commonplace now. It’s more important than ever that businesses understand how they can embrace state-of-the-art technologies as part of their BAU (business as usual), helping them to automate tasks, make better decisions and align their products and services more closely with customer needs.

#5 Outsourcing Will Increase

The pandemic has taught us to focus on what we do best and to bring in experts when we need specific solutions. Businesses that adopt this model can grow, innovate and pivot faster, which makes them more competitive in the constantly changing and evolving business environment in which we all operate. Business Process Outsourcing is a trend that will continue to grow.

Technology is not a field that stands still. There are always advances and groundbreaking achievements; that’s what makes it such a phenomenal industry to work in. Business needs to embrace this, get excited by the potential and harness its power to thrive in 2023 and beyond.

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