Technology to watch: 5 key trends for 2023 Technology is changing the world at an unprecedented pace, creating new opportunities and challenges for businesses, governments, and society. But what are the most important technology trends that will shape the next year and beyond? And how can we prepare for them and leverage them for positive impact?
In this article, we will summarize some of the key findings from various reports and experts, including the World Economic Forum and Forbes, which identify and analyze the top five technology trends to watch for in 2023. We will also provide some insights on how these trends will affect various industries and sectors, and what implications they will have for the future.
1. Green tech at a tipping point
Green tech is the use of technology to reduce the environmental impact of human activities, such as energy production, transportation, manufacturing, and consumption. Green tech includes renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind power; clean energy technologies, such as green hydrogen and nuclear fusion; energy efficiency and conservation measures; carbon capture and storage; and circular economy practices.
According to various sources, green tech is at a tipping point in 2023, as it becomes cheaper, more scalable, and more accessible than ever before. The switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy will help economies save $12 trillion globally by 20501. Green hydrogen, a new clean-burning source of energy that can be produced from water and renewable electricity, will enable long-distance transport and storage of green energy1. Nuclear fusion, which could provide near-limitless, safe and clean energy by mimicking the process that powers the sun, will make significant progress following the recent proof of concept that it can generate more energy than is required to start the fusion reaction1.
Green tech will not only help mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also create new jobs, markets, and opportunities for innovation and growth. However, green tech also faces some challenges and uncertainties, such as regulatory barriers, infrastructure gaps, social acceptance, and geopolitical tensions.
2. Hyper-connectivity and cyber-resilience
Hyper-connectivity is the state of being connected to everything and everyone through digital networks that enable seamless communication and data exchange among people, devices, and machines. Hyper-connectivity is powered by technologies such as 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, satellite internet, edge computing, blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), cloud computing, and more.
According to various sources, hyper-connectivity will unlock significant economic value and social benefits in 2023. Implementing faster connections in mobility, healthcare,
manufacturing, and retail could increase global GDP by $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion by 20301. By 2025, there will be more than 41 billion connected devices worldwide, generating massive amounts of data and insights2. VR and AR will create immersive and interactive experiences for entertainment, education, and work3.
However, hyper-connectivity also brings new risks and challenges, such as cyberattacks, data breaches, privacy violations, and digital divide. Cybercrime is expected to cost the world $10.5 trillion by 2025, up from $3 trillion in 2015. Therefore, cyber-resilience, which is the ability to prevent, detect, respond to, and recover from cyber incidents, will become more critical and complex in 2023. Cyber-resilience will require technologies such as encryption, authentication, verification, and blockchain, as well as policies, regulations, standards, and best practices.
3. Quantum computing R&D
Quantum computing is the use of quantum mechanical phenomena such as superposition and entanglement to perform computations that are exponentially faster than classical computers. Quantum computers can potentially solve problems that are intractable for classical computers, such as factoring large numbers or finding optimal solutions for traveling salesman problems.
According to various sources, quantum computing R&D will accelerate in 2023, as more governments, companies, universities, and research institutes invest in developing and testing quantum hardware and software. The global quantum computing market is expected to grow from $472 million in 2021 to $1.7 billion by 2026. China, the US, and the EU are leading the race for quantum supremacy, which is the ability to demonstrate a quantum computer that can perform a task that no classical computer can.
Quantum computing will have significant implications for various fields and industries, such as cryptography, chemistry, physics, biology, medicine, finance, logistics, and AI. However, quantum computing also faces some technical and practical challenges, such as scalability, error correction, interoperability,
and ethical issues.
4. Gene editing
Gene editing is the manipulation of DNA sequences in living cells to alter or improve their functions and characteristics. Gene editing can be used for various purposes, such as curing diseases, enhancing traits, creating new organisms, and modifying ecosystems.
According to various sources, gene editing will advance rapidly in 2023, as more breakthroughs and applications emerge in biotechnology and medicine. The global gene editing market is expected to grow from $3.19 billion in 2017 to $10.68 billion by 2025. Gene editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9, which can precisely and efficiently edit DNA, will enable new discoveries and innovations in fields such as agriculture, biofuels, animal health, and human health.
Gene editing will have significant implications for society and the environment, such as improving food security, fighting diseases, enhancing biodiversity, and creating new bio-based products. However, gene editing also poses some risks and challenges, such as ethical dilemmas, unintended consequences, biosafety issues, and regulatory uncertainties.
5. Artificial intelligence
Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, such as learning, reasoning, decision making, and problem solving. AI can be applied to various domains and tasks, such as natural language processing, computer vision, speech recognition, recommendation systems, robotics, and more.
According to various sources, AI will become more humanized and ubiquitous in 2023, as it learns from more data and interacts with more devices and platforms. The global AI market is expected to grow from $62.35 billion in 2020 to $997.77 billion by 2028. AI technologies such as deep learning, natural language generation, computer vision, and reinforcement learning will enable new capabilities and applications in various industries and sectors.
AI will have significant impacts on the economy and society, such as increasing productivity, efficiency,and innovation, as well as creating new challenges, such as ethical dilemmas, social biases, and human-machine interactions.
These are some of the technology trends to watch for in 2023. They will have profound impacts on the world and the future, creating both opportunities and risks. Therefore, it is important for leaders and stakeholders to understand, anticipate, and shape these trends, and to collaborate and cooperate across sectors and regions to ensure that technology serves humanity and the planet.