Technological change has the potential to create shared prosperity and smart solutions to the world’s biggest challenges. At the same time, its exponential pace risks overwhelming existing institutions, leaving us exposed to uncontrolled risks. Geopolitical crises, rising polarization and a looming climate crisis are compounding this danger.
Hyper-connectivity and cyber-resilience
Economic and geopolitical dynamics are pushing globalization into retreat and propelling the fragmentation of cyberspace alongside competing political blocs. However, the structural forces of technological progress are moving towards more connectivity, not less. In the coming year, 15 billion devices will be connected into the Internet of Things (IoT), and this number is expected to double by 2030. A principal driver of this trend will be the rapid expansion of 5G coverage in 2023, which will allow devices to communicate faster and improve their overall performance.
Artificial intelligence everywhere
Towards the end of 2022, OpenAI’s interactive conversational model Chat GPT attracted more than a million users in just five days, and triggered a new debate on the opportunities and risks of artificial intelligence (AI). With AI spending forecast to exceed $500 billion in 2023, there will be rapid advances in adaptive and generative AI.
Adaptive AI can continuously retrain its models to learn and adapt based on new experiences, without needing developers to rebuild it, leading to faster and better outcomes. Generative AI uses neural network models to create something new. Recent releases of text-to-image and text-to-video generators are appealing to consumers, but also raise significant concerns around the spread of disinformation, harmful content, copyright protections and algorithmic biases. Regulators and online watchdogs will be looking at this over the coming year.