2023: A year of transformation, reality checks in tech

The year 2024 may also be a year of broken dreams and new possibilities in technology. 

The year 2023 started with people embracing a new horizon full of promises of a great future with emerging technologies like self-driving cars, quantum computing, AR, VR, deployment of 5G and finally, the non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs.

It was a year that started with lots of anticipation and hope. However, it took twelve months for everyone to exercise caution and doubt.

The year 2024 may also be a year of broken dreams and new possibilities in technology. 

Let’s start with self-driving cars, a technology that promised to lead us to the future and ended up crashing (quite literally). 

The year 2023 has shown us that autonomous vehicles are clearly not ready for use in streets where other motorists and pedestrians present unique problems that the AVs are unequipped to solve. 

For the leader in autonomous driving, Tesla, the year started with a video showing its self-driving feature not being able to identify snow and ended with one of its former employees in Norway talking about the company’s ethically questionable practices in regard to its driver assistance software packages in an interview with BBC. 

“It affects all of us because we are essentially experiments on public roads. So even if you don’t have a Tesla, your children still walk on the footpath,” Lukasz Krupski, a former Tesla employee said.

AI under regulations

AI continued its relentless march forward, becoming more sophisticated and pervasive. 

However, 2023 was also a year when ethical considerations and regulatory frameworks began to catch up with technological advancements. 

Questions about privacy, bias, and accountability in AI systems led to increased scrutiny and the development of guidelines and standards to ensure responsible use.

Both the US and the European Union (EU) have made significant progress in regulating AI. The EU says the regulation is to “ensure better conditions for the development and use of this innovative technology.” 

EU Parliament, on its website, says, “AI systems should be overseen by people rather than by automation to prevent harmful outcomes.”


Quantum computing, another technology expected to improve in 2023, saw some growth with more players entering the field. 

And academia, industry, and government also formed more collaborations.

“In the upcoming year, I anticipate quantum computing will continue to present a growing concern for companies. But more importantly, next year businesses must evaluate their data and determine what information is of real value to start transitioning into post-quantum cryptography as soon as possible,” said Toni Pesonen, head of IT and Cyber Security at IQM Quantum Computers, which is a leading European quantum hardware company.

He, however, also said it is “unlikely” that we will see any significant breakthroughs in the field of quantum cybersecurity in the coming year, particularly with regard to code-breaking.

However, we can expect to see more proof-of-concept use cases being published and a wider adoption of quantum computing in various industries, Pesonen added. 

Rise and fall of NFTs

NFTs are unique digital assets that are verified using blockchain technology. They are used to certify ownership and authenticity and can be sold and traded.

Imagine you are an artist in a digital world where everything you create can be easily copied and shared. The art you create basically ends up being used by others, sometimes without any sort of acknowledgement. 

In these cases, NFTs act like a digital signature, unique like a fingerprint. No matter where that art of yours goes, you always stay as its owner and can be sold the ownership whenever you want to. 

As 2023 unfolded, NFT trading volume initially surged in the first quarter, driven by incentives and airdrops from platforms like Blur. 

This peak was, however, short-lived, with trading volume dropping significantly by the end of February. Even high-value NFTs like the Bored Ape Yacht Club were not immune to this downturn. 

This downturn was mostly attributed to market oversaturation. The market was basically flooded with NFTs, leading to diminishing scarcity and uniqueness. The concerns regarding regulation and utility also played some role. 

Overall, the tech industry experienced a transformative year marked by both advancements and reality checks in 2023. The challenges faced in quantum computing and the evolving landscape of AI highlighted the complexities of cutting-edge technologies.

Meanwhile, the sudden drop in the NFT market made people more cautious about spending or investing in newer technologies.

Sustainability has remained a critical focus, underscoring the tech industry’s responsibility towards environmental impact.

The year taught valuable lessons about the importance of ethical considerations, regulatory readiness, and the need for sustainable practices in driving forward the ever-evolving technology sector.


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