A new tech era quietly dawned in 2023

A new tech era quietly dawned in 2023


A long list of new products and developments made 2023 possibly the biggest year yet for artificial intelligence, with major tech companies breaking into action and everyday consumers becoming increasingly aware of the rapidly developing technology.

“2023 was a banner year for AI in that we saw both investment and public interest explode,” Samuel Mangold-Lenett, a staff editor at The Federalist, told Fox News Digital. “We also saw how AI can revolutionize every aspect of every major industry. From defense to finance to dating apps, AI proved it’s here to stay.”

The comments come as a busy 2023 comes to a close, marking a year in which AI became a larger part of the national conversation.

The year started off with the exploding success of OpenAI’s chat platform, ChatGPT, a language learning model (LLM) that sparked the interest and investment of several tech giants. Microsoft was first into the fray, announcing in January a partnership with OpenAI that included $10 billion in investments in the company. Microsoft also hinted that an AI chatbot of its own might be on the horizon, but was beaten to the punch by Google in February, which unveiled its Bard bot to consumers. Microsoft quickly followed, debuting its Bing chatbot just days later.

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Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, speaks during The Wall Street Journals WSJ Tech Live Conference in Laguna Beach, California, on Oct. 17, 2023. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

Google opened up Bard to a limited amount of users in March, while Facebook parent company Meta announced its intention to make AI its top priority investment. Amazon entered the fray a month later, announcing its Bedrock platform and allowing some customers access to its AI models.

Google and Microsoft continued their rapid AI development into May, with Google opening up Bard to the public and Microsoft announcing an AI assistant that could be used in Windows 11.

“The creative and entrepreneurial power of the LLM was presented to the masses and people realized that a great displacement was more likely to occur, in the short and medium terms, than a ‘Terminator’ scenario,” Mangold-Lenett said.

Phil Siegel, the founder of the Center for Advanced Preparedness and Threat Response Simulation, told Fox News Digital that this year was to be “the year of the LLM.”

“For 2023, the predictions were essentially going to be that AI would explode with huge corporate investments and so forth,” Siegel said.  “We have definitely seen a lot of excitement and activity but certainly less movement by corporations than maybe expected but a massive amount of startup investment and SaaS company investment in updating their products for AI.”

While LLM platforms dominated the headlines during the first half of the year, it also became clear that 2022 predictions about the development of artificial general intelligence, or AGI, were falling short. AGI, a stronger form of AI that can more broadly learn any tasks humans are capable of carrying out, could still be years into the future.

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“It’s pretty clear that the sophistication of AI has exceeded some of the expectations we had at the beginning of the year. Many of us – myself included – thought large language models were on their own not all that impressive, but we’ve reached a point now where AI is doing increasingly incredible and useful things,” Jon Schweppe, policy director of American Principles Project, told Fox News Digital. “However, the existential problem of ‘runaway AI’ remains, and our politicians are totally unprepared for it.”

Aiden Buzzetti, the president of the Bull Moose Project, told Fox News Digital that work on AGI will likely continue into 2024 and also will include international competition.

artificial intelligence language model

Microsoft Bing Chat and ChatGPT AI chat applications are seen on a mobile device in this photo illustration. (Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“One of the main predictions about AI in 2023 has been consistent hype over the development of an ‘AGI,’ which is yet to be proven,” Buzzetti said. “That race will continue into 2024 – in fact, 2024 will now be placed in the context of competition with China, given recent testimony saying the CCP is no more than 12 months behind our own development.”

Meanwhile, the second half of 2023 was marked by an increased level of public and regulatory awareness of the growing technology. In July, President Biden announced an agreement with several major tech companies designed to regulate the safe development of AI tools. As those companies continued to announce new investments throughout the summer and into the fall, the Biden administration took things a step further by unveiling a landmark executive order on AI safety in October.

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Biden’s aggressive approach continued into November, with the U.S. and United Kingdom leading a group of more than a dozen countries who signed an AI pact designed to keep the technology safe from rogue actors and use a “secure by design” approach to the development of AI. In December, the administration announced an AI safety initiative through the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that would also allow for public input on AI safety.

Schweppe believes that the continued push to monitor and regulate AI is important, arguing that “the existential problem of ‘runaway AI’ remains.”

“Our politicians are totally unprepared for it. Unless we put clear and obvious rules in place, and ensure that AI creators are held legally responsible for their creations, we risk all sorts of problems that could endanger humanity as a whole,” Schweppe said. “The job of AI should be to assist mankind and to help us technologically advance – not to replace us. We should take this threat much more seriously than we did in 2023.”

Vice President Kamala Harris and President Joe Biden

President Biden signs an executive order, with Vice President Kamala Harris watching, during an event at the White House on Oct. 30, 2023. (Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Christopher Alexander, chief analytics officer of Pioneer Development Group, believes that 2023 was marked by confusion among many in the public about AI, telling Fox News Digital such issues should improve in 2024.

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“2023 was a year of immense confusion about AI, where the public confused a spectacular future state with the more mundane present day reality. I think that in 2024, AI will move a little closer to what is in the public imagination, but we remain years from AI being autonomous in the way people are imagining it,” Alexander said. “I do think it is crucial that we begin creating a social framework that takes AI into account for those jobs that are the most likely to be replaced the soonest. I think the greatest strides will be in the design abilities of generative AI and in personalized AI assistants that look at all of one person’s data rather than large data sets.”



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