What to expect in 2023

What to expect in 2023

An uncertain future for crypto

As the 2022 ended with the FTX debacle, the divide between crypto skeptics and crypto bros (or, as they prefer to be called, ‘effective altruists’) deepens. More will be revealed as the US Congress debates the role of crypto in the US and the world’s financial system. As with most things tech, the democratisation potential in crypto and blockchain inspires hope among its disciples, offering users easy and decentralised access to exchange and investment schemes. But that potential is at the mercy of crypto’s risk- and speculation-ridden ‘casino economy’. To better understand US policymakers’ conundrum, see the MIT Tech Review’s summary.

More advocacy & challenges for content moderation

Government content moderation in the global North has broadly translated into the regulation of hate speech and misinformation, but struggled to make much progress in the UK and US in 2022. In the UK, the Online Safety bill has been put on the backburner with anti-strike laws and immigration currently at front and centre. In the US, the Supreme Court is taking up cases holding Google and Twitter accountable for aiding terrorism in February. Having experienced the Senate’s (mis)understanding of how tech platforms work, who knows how prepared supreme justices will be. The EU will continue to work on its AI act and will continue to persecute Big Tech for dodging its GDPR framework. In the global South, moderation took a turn in 2022 towards the criminalisation of free speech and occasionally the total suspension of internet use. These trends are set to continue into 2023. In terms of internal regulation strategies, platform content moderation will further bifurcate between Chinese and US companies. While TikTok has banned political advertisement, Meta and Twitter seek to profit from it. Either way, limiting or promoting political content will require mammoth efforts in combining unsupervised and supervised monitoring, which promises to be messy business.

More AI chatbots, from more providers

In 2022 we were enthralled by the remarkable speed and access to AI-generated text, pictures and videos with simple but precise prompts (see first top story). How will this current wave of AI-mania affect different industries? Time will tell, as the panorama unfolds in 2023. From art, education and entertainment, to finance, advertising and public administration, AI will continue to permeate the human experience. An increasing number of providers, including Meta, Microsoft and Google, are racing to provide users, companies and governments with more tools to explore and experiment with AI. Unsurprisingly, regulation will struggle to keep up, as the pace of AI innovation seems only to accelerate. Again, MIT Tech Review report provides further insight.

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