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From Groundbreaking To Game-Changing: 12 Tech Headlines Of 2023

Tech in 2023 reshaped to a great extent what we used to know as our reality, and experts fear that AI could lead to the extinction of humanity.


 

Let’s be honest, the technological advancement and innovations we saw in 2023 were almost inconceivable. 

The unprecedented transformations we witnessed, showed that the landscape has evolved from ground-breaking developments to game-changing revolutions.

Perhaps, it must be for this reason that Cambridge chose its word for the year, to be – Hallucinate. It is not out of place to assert that many of our technological encounters in 2023 felt like a dream for some and a nightmare for others.

From easy to use Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools, to contactless commerce, even down to the maturing metaverse; it is clear that tech reshaped to a great extent what we used to know as our reality.

Within the year we monitored the trends and reported the happenings within the tech space, and here now; we reveal our 12 major tech headlines that shaped the narrative for 2023.

1. OpenAI Launches Business Version Of ChatGPT

The chatbot developed by OpenAI was launched on November 30, 2022. By January 2023, it had become the fastest-growing consumer software application in history, gaining over 100 million users and contributing to the growth of OpenAI’s valuation to $29 billion.

With this success recorded, OpenAI went on to unveil a business version of its chatbot, featuring unlimited higher-speed GPT-4 access, longer context windows for processing longer inputs, advanced data analysis capabilities and customization options.

2. Sam Altman Fired And Hired!!

The firing of Sam Altman the CEO of OpenAI in November, was a major talking point but the story took a greater twist when Microsoft put out a statement noting that it would hire Altman.

Microsoft also said it was willing to hire any other OpenAI employees who wanted to follow Altman out the door and this turned out to be almost all staff of OpenAI.

Knowing what this meant for their operations, OpenAI was forced to rethink its action and wasted no time in rehiring the CEO.

3. US Takes On Google In Landmark Antitrust Trial

In what was termed a landmark case, US government went up against Google over the dominance of the company’s world-dominating search engine.

According to the accused US government, Google has been paying out $10 billion a year to Apple and other firms in order to safeguard its monopoly over online search, a set of exclusive contracts that leave rivals no chance to compete.

4. Apple Unveils Vision Pro, Its $3,500 Headset

Mid-2023, Apple unveiled its first-ever mixed reality headset, challenging Facebook-owner Meta in a market that has yet to tempt users beyond videogamers and tech geeks.

5. Chinese Tech Giant Alibaba Names Next CEO

Still in June, Chinese tech giant Alibaba announced that it will replace chairman and CEO Daniel Zhang with current executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai as chairman and Eddie Wu as CEO in September.

Zhang said in a statement it was “the right time” for him to step down as the firm looks to implement a full spin-off of its advanced cloud computing unit.

6. TikTok Chief Faces US Congress As Lawmakers Mull Ban

TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew fought for the survival of the hugely popular video-sharing app in the United States, as he faced skeptical Washington lawmakers over the company’s alleged ties to the Chinese government.

The 40-year-old Singaporean addressed the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee and endured hours of serious grilling by both Republicans and Democrats who feared that Beijing could subvert the site for spying or to promote propaganda.

7. Meta Hit With Record €1.2bn Fine Over EU Data Rules

Facebook owner Meta was fined a record 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) for transferring EU user data to the United States in breach of a previous court ruling.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which acts on behalf of the European Union, said the European Data Protection Board (EDPB) had ordered it to collect “an administrative fine in the amount of 1.2 billion euros”.

8.Microsoft Buys Activision Blizzard for $69bn

Microsoft in October completed its $69bn (£57bn) deal to buy Activision Blizzard, the maker of games including Call of Duty and World of Warcraft.

This development took place after the UK’s competition watchdog cleared the acquisition which was earlier blocked following arguments that the deal would harm competition in cloud gaming.

9. FTX Founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, Found Guilty Of Fraud

The former Chief Executive Officer (CE0) of FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty of fraud and money laundering following a month-long trial in New York.

Bankman-Fried, 31, was convicted on a seven-count charge by a 12 man jury in Manhattan Federal Court, despite pleading not guilty to two-counts of fraud and five counts of conspiracy.

10.  Amazon Cuts 27000 Jobs

At least 27000 jobs were cut by Amazon in 2023.

First in January, Amazon announced it will cut more than 18,000 jobs from its workforce, citing “the uncertain economy” and the fact that the online retail giant had “hired rapidly” during the pandemic.

CEO Andy Jassy in March again said he was cutting additional 9,000 more jobs from Amazon’s workforce.

“Given the uncertain economy… and the uncertainty that exists in the near future, we have chosen to be more streamlined in our costs and headcount,” Jassy said in a memo to staff.

11. Binance To Pay $4.3bn Fines In US, Founder Steps Down

The world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange Binance was asked to pay fines totaling $4.3 billion, even as its chief, Changpeng Zhao stepped down in November.

Zhao pleaded guilty to violating U.S anti-money-laundering requirements, in a deal that might preserve the company’s ability to continue operating, according to court documents.

12. AI Poses Threat Of Extinction, Says Tech Leaders

In May, hundreds of artificial intelligence scientists and tech executives signed a one-sentence letter which stated that AI poses an existential threat to humanity.

According to the open letter, “Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war”.

It was very surprising to realize that Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, as well as executives from Google’s AI arm DeepMind and Microsoft
were among those who supported and signed the short statement from the Center for AI Safety.

Projections

In conclusion, 2023 was a great year for generative Artificial Intelligence but the world yet to see the full power of this tool and 2024 presents an opportunity AI to find its way deeper into all our daily operations, as more individuals will come to a better knowledge of how this simulations can suit their lives.

With the lines between physical and digital operations being continually blurred, experts say we can only expect that 2024 might be the year in which Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) would officially break the boundaries of what we know as existence and norms of operations, especially within the work place.

From more electric vehicles being manufactured and put into use, to sophisticated military drones, it promises to be a very exciting yet somewhat scary future. If put to appropriate use, tech will definitely change our world in ways we can never imagine.