The technology that will invade our lives in 2023

NEW YORK — Each year I look ahead to what’s new in technology to predict the technology that can have a big impact on your life — and the technology that will most likely be a fad.

But before we get into that, let’s take a quick look back at the year 2022.

Hardware was very “meh”. This year’s iPhone was an even more incremental upgrade than last year’s model, with mostly subtle improvements.

Separately, Meta launched a $1,500 (S$2,009) virtual reality headset that founder Mark Zuckerberg envisioned would change the way people work — though most people use it by the age of two Hours of battery life will probably only be used for gaming.

Social media got very weird. Tesla CEO Elon Musk bought Twitter for $44 billion, decluttering employees and shutting down the accounts of some journalists and techies, prompting droves of Twitter users to seek alternative sites.

And TikTok’s fate is in jeopardy as more than a dozen states have banned the app’s use on government-issued devices, citing national security concerns.

Then towards the end of the year something really remarkable happened. OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research company, released ChatGPT, a chatbot that can generate seemingly intelligent answers to questions.

People who prodded the bot with requests quickly found that it could draft essays, code, and draft business proposals.

All of this is just a small taste of what awaits us next year. We can expect many interesting advances in AI-powered speech processing technology, along with the same trends that have persisted for the past several years, including advances in electric cars and the metaverse.

There may even be a rebirth of social media.

Here are the tech developments that will invade our lives in 2023.

1. New chatty assistants

Early adopters, excited by ChatGPT’s linguistic prowess, were just as quickly stunned by how wrong it can get, especially with simple arithmetic.

Shortcomings aside, we can realistically expect AI companies to bolster these chatbots’ strengths with tools that streamline text writing and reading, say AI experts.

For one thing, it’s very likely that next year you could have a chatbot acting as a research assistant. Imagine you are writing a research paper and you want to add some historical facts about WWII.

You could share a 100-page document with the bot and ask it to summarize the highlights on a specific aspect of the war. The bot then reads the document and generates a summary for you.

“If you want to enrich your writing with a historical fact, you don’t need to search the internet and find it,” said Stanford University professor emeritus Yoav Shoham, who helps create the AI ​​Index, an annual report on the advances in artificial intelligence. “It’s there immediately at the touch of a button.”

That doesn’t mean we’ll see a flood of standalone AI apps in 2023. Rather, a lot of the tools we already use for work will start adding automatic language generation to their apps.

Technology analyst Rowan Curran of research firm Forrester said apps like Microsoft Word and Google Sheets could soon embed AI tools to streamline the way people work.

2. Virtual Reality, also known as Metaverse

For the past decade, tech companies have been promoting virtual reality headsets like the Quest 2, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR for playing games.

Now that technology has evolved to become more powerful and wireless, tech companies are making lofty promises that these headsets will eventually transform our lives much like smartphones transformed us.

Meta, for example, imagines that the metaverse could be a virtual space where we work, collaborate and create.

When unveiling the Quest Pro headset earlier this year, the company envisioned the technology could become a multitasking tool for employees juggling meetings while scrolling through emails and other tasks.

However, the device received lukewarm reviews upon release, and it remains to be seen if Meta can bring his vision for the Metaverse to life.

In 2023 the VR drumbeat will continue. Apple, which has publicly stated it will never use the word “Metaverse,” is widely expected to release its first headset.

Though the company is yet to share any details about the product, Apple CEO Tim Cook has offered hints and expressed excitement about using augmented reality to harness digital data in the physical world.

“You’ll wonder how you lived your life without augmented reality, just like you’re wondering today: how did people like me grow up without the internet?” Mr Cook told students in Naples, Italy, in September.

However, he added that the technology wasn’t going to go deep overnight.

Wireless headsets remain bulky and used indoors, meaning the first iteration of Apple’s headgear, much like many others that preceded it, will most likely be used for gaming.

3. Electric cars beyond Tesla

Tesla continued to dominate EV sales this year, but 2023 could prove to be a game changer for the industry.

Tesla’s stock has plummeted this year, and the brand has taken a hit since Musk took over Twitter.

At the same time, competition in the market is intensifying as EV manufacturers such as Ford Motor, Kia, General Motors, Audi and Rivian ramp up production of their EVs.

Also, in November, Tesla said it would open up its charging connector design to other electric cars. That would allow drivers of other types of cars to charge their batteries at Tesla’s charging stations, which are far more productive than other types of chargers.

In addition, California and New York have decided to ban the sale of gas-powered cars by 2035. This all adds up to a perfect storm for the electric car industry to become much bigger as a brand in 2023.

4. More social media options

Twitter has been in chaos for much of 2022, and that will most likely continue into the year ahead.

In response to the backlash, Mr Musk asked his followers on Twitter this month in a “poll” whether he should step down as head of the company.

A majority, around 10 million users, voted yes, but Mr Musk said he would not step down until he found someone “dumb enough to do the job”.

TikTok is also in hot water after ByteDance, its Chinese parent company, said an internal investigation found employees inappropriately obtained US users’ data, including that of two journalists.

The revelation puts pressure on the Biden administration to consider more extreme restrictions on the app in the US.

Regardless of what happens to Twitter and TikTok, it’s clear that a major shift is afoot in social media.

Many journalists, techies and influencers have migrated to Mastodon, a social network similar to Twitter.

And many younger people have already moved to newer apps like BeReal, where groups of friends stay in touch by taking and sharing selfies at the same time.

It’s unclear which new social media app will be a big deal in 2023. (Mastodon servers are struggling to cope with the surge in users.)

But one thing is for sure: people who are getting burned by Twitter are looking for a safe and fun place to hang out.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.