The evolution of technology has always been geometric and not linear. Just half a century ago, the thought of communicating with someone on the other side of the world face-to-face in real time would have seemed like the stuff of science fiction. Look at us now; live video-conferencing is the unimpressive norm.
Technology has infiltrated every facet of human life and made it easier, better, and more secure. This means keeping an eye on the future will help you figure out what skills you’ll need to get your dream tech job tomorrow and how to get there.
Here are the ten most important tech trends to watch in 2023.
AI is already playing a huge role in our lives. Many of us heavily depend on digital virtual assistants like Siri or Alexa. Smartphones, smart home devices, cars, and drones all implement artificial intelligence in one form or the other. AI is already being used in almost every sector. The finance industry uses it to analyse data and make smart investing decisions. It makes smart weather forecasts and monitors the planet’s climate. All these are still low-level implementations of the vast potential AI has.
The artificial intelligence market is expected to grow from 86.9 billion dollars in 2022 to about 407 billion by 2027. This growth is expected to stem from more wide-scale and high-level implementations of AI in the coming years, starting in 2023. AI could spread its wings; companies may begin to aggressively implement AI in their applications to stay competitive and more sectors would embrace the use of AI to automate their processes.
The health sector can adopt AI to digitize healthcare, making it a data-driven sector. AI could use the data collected from each patient’s medical records to deliver a precise and personalized diagnosis to detect diseases early. AI would redefine transportation with the advent of AI-powered autonomous cars. Tesla, an electric car manufacturing company, has announced that they expect to have self-driving cars rolled out by May 2023. Meta is adopting AI for content creation – its new project, Make-A-Video, an AI system that generates video from text, is expected to launch by 2023.
These trends show that AI could undoubtedly be one of the leading technologies of the future. What this means, particularly for people looking to get into tech, is that a lot of jobs are going to open up looking for skilled programmers and data engineers to build these AI platforms and train AI models. This is a good time to get ahead by learning these skills as the demand for them will surge even more in the future.
Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
Virtual reality technologies create an immersive digital environment that people can access and explore. This virtual reality world is often accessed by donning a headset device like HTC Vive or Meta Quest. Augmented reality enhances the real physical world by overlaying virtual images and characters onto the real-world scene.
Although their approaches differ, these two technologies seek to bridge the gap between the virtual and physical worlds. This gap is continually diminished as advancement in virtual and augmented reality technologies makes them more affordable and accessible to a larger number of people.
Even in the premium range, virtual reality headsets are expected to become cheaper and have better optics, screens and processors. Leading virtual reality headset makers, Sony and Meta, are expected to launch their next-generation headsets, Meta Quest 3 and Sony PlayStation VR 2, in 2023. Apple is also expected to positively disrupt the VR/AR market with their game-changing mixed reality headset expected to launch in January 2023. They also have a lightweight augmented reality headset – Apple Glass, in development and are expected to disrupt further and expand the market.
Experts have predicted that the total VR headset shipment would reach 20 million units in 2023. This means the number of VR adopters could rise, and the technology would increasingly become commonplace. Exciting times, isn’t it?
Experts have found it hard to give a coherent definition of what the metaverse is. And this is because the metaverse is a loosely used term that encompasses everything from an immersive 3D virtual internet to complete digital replication of life as we know it. Companies like Meta and Nvidia are leading the pack in research and investment towards building the metaverse. Since its rebranding from Facebook, Meta has heavily invested towards building its social version of the metaverse, spending 10 billion dollars on it in 2021.
Although we are still waiting to deploy any version of the metaverse, as there are still a lot of digital infrastructures to be built, with more companies investing heavily towards this venture, we expect significant advancements and breakthroughs in 2023.
The internet has always been the backbone of most of our technological advancements. The fifth generation (5G) mobile network is poised to be a game-changer, providing unprecedented network speeds that make access to the internet ultra-fast and seamless. This is a giant stride in the evolution of mobile networks, an exponential improvement over previous generations. The previous 2G, 3G and 4G generations have enabled us to surf the net and consume media content efficiently; 5G is expected to revolutionize how we think of and use the internet completely. It would enable the proliferation and efficient utilization of new technologies like AR/VR, cloud-based computing, IoT and AI technologies.
So far, about 70 countries have already rolled out 5G infrastructure, and there are currently an estimated 1 billion 5G users worldwide. And this is just less than four years since the initial rollout. This is just the start though. The total number of users is expected to reach 3 billion before 2025.
5G is expected to be one of the defining technologies of 2023 and beyond, as it impacts all other aspects of technological innovation. It would positively impact automation and AI, education and remote learning, telemedicine, virtual and augmented reality, personal and professional communications, and many other sectors.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Just like the name implies, the internet of things refers to a bunch of interconnected ‘things’. Put more succinctly, it refers to an ecosystem of smart devices connected to the internet. Consider how you can connect your smartphone with your PC or your TV with your tablet and control one with the other. Now imagine that on a much larger scale, where anything and everything is embedded with sensors and chips, all interconnected and transmitting and exchanging data via the internet. You can control any of these ‘things’ from a central hub. That is IoT, and that is the future.
In 2023, it is expected that the IoT ecosystem will continue to expand, with experts estimating that about 43 billion devices could be connected to the internet by then. All these devices generate data and then share it, making it accessible across all nodes in the ecosystem. This vast data exchange would lead to further technological advancement across all sectors.
The world today is data-driven. We are generating unprecedented amounts of data – 64.2 zettabytes as of 2020. And if you are wondering how big a zettabyte is – it equals a billion terabytes – no doubt that is a lot of data, which is created and shared across the internet and stored in the cloud. Thus, this data is vulnerable to attacks by hackers and malicious actors. To combat these threats, cybersecurity has had to evolve over the years to keep pace with evolving technologies and more sophisticated threats.
Cybersecurity jobs are growing three times faster than any other tech job. As a result, there has been an increasing demand by companies and organizations for cybersecurity professionals. This demand growth is expected to continue well into 2023. Job roles available in the cybersecurity field include forensic analyst, security architect, penetration tester etc. These are very lucrative roles as there’s a limited supply of skilled professionals relative to the increasing demand. Building up cybersecurity skills would be a solid investment for the future.
Quantum computing is an emerging technology that seeks to harness the laws of quantum physics to design computers that can solve complex problems.
Traditional computers store and process data in bits – a series of 0s and 1s. This means a bit can either be 0 or 1. Quantum theory allows subatomic particles to exist in more than one state. Thus quantum bits (qubits) – the basis of quantum computing – can exist as either 0s or 1s or both simultaneously. This phenomenon makes quantum computers far more powerful than any normal computer.
At the present, companies are all striving to develop quantum computing at scale. We expect to see progress on that front in 2023. Fujitsu has already announced its first 64-bit quantum computer and is set to make them available for researchers in 2023. Companies like Google and IBM also have departments dedicated to developing and building quantum computing hardware.
Web3 is the third generation of the world wide web. The first generation, Web 1.0, was the raw creation of Tim Berners-Lee. It consisted of sites displaying static read-only content on their web pages. There was no dynamism or interactivity on these web pages; thus, it was dubbed the read-only web. It lasted between 1990-2004 before Web 2.0 came around.
Web 2.0 is the default world wide web that many of us are familiar with. It ushered in the era of social networking websites due to their interactive nature. It allowed users to read the content of webpages, interact with it and even create their content. This is dubbed the read-write era.
Web 3.0 is the decentralised future of the world wide web. It is poised to solve the major privacy and centralisation problem plaguing web 2.0. Web 2.0 is the centralised web, meaning a few central entities control the large swath of data being created daily. Web 2.0 required us to trust these entities with our data. Web 3 eliminates this need for trust.
Web 3 is the read-write-own era. It seeks to give power back to the users through trustless, permissionless and self-governing technologies. It uses decentralised technologies like the blockchain, cryptocurrencies, DeFi (Decentralised Finance) and DAOs (Decentralised Autonomous Organizations) to achieve this.
There has been a lot of scepticism about blockchain technologies, especially with the recent troubles of cryptocurrencies, but there is no denying the certainty of a decentralised future. The demand for blockchain engineers and programmers is rising as the coming years are guaranteed to usher us into a truly decentralised era. Web 3 is just beginning to garner steam, but individuals and developers are already beginning to develop decentralised apps and social networks for the blockchain space.
One of the biggest issues we face today is the existential threat of climate disaster. We urgently need to scale back on our carbon emissions and achieve net zero emissions as soon as possible to avert this looming climate crisis. To do this, investment had gone into sourcing cleaner and greener alternatives for existing carbon-intensive infrastructure.
2023 is expected to be a year when people continue to embrace cleaner and sustainable technologies. The sales and use of electric cars are expected to increase, the use of solar and wind energy as electricity generators is expected to become more wide-scale, and people are expected to recycle more and also hold their favourite brands accountable and transparent about their carbon footprint. The future needs to be green; our planet does not stand a chance otherwise. 2023 could see us advance further into this green future.
3D printing refers to making a three-dimensional object from a digital file. At its most basic, it looks like printing a miniature car prototype from a machine the same way you’d print a Microsoft word file. At its futuristic height, it could look like a Star trek-styled replicator where you could instantly order anything, and the machine would assemble and ‘print’ it out for you. This would sure be exciting, but we are not quite there yet. At the moment, 3D printing is mainly used by companies and industries to make rapid prototypes and product models.
The total market size of 3D printing as of 2021 was estimated at 11.1 billion dollars. This figure is expected to reach 36 billion dollars by 2028. This rise is expected to result from an expanded global 3D printer market and the implementation of 3D printing for more use cases.
Even though new and emerging technologies are all around us, these tech trends offer good job opportunities now and in the near future.
Knowing about these trends is the first step towards taking advantage of them. The next step is positioning yourself and your career trajectory. To do this, you’ll need to build up the necessary tech skills and have someone knowledgeable and experienced in the tech industry over the years to help you navigate these trends.
Fortunately for you, this is a one-stop shop for everything tech. Book a session with our career consultant today to take that step towards positioning yourself for the coming trends and opportunities.