I lead the Internal Technology Research and Innovation team (also called Ni2TRO) at DTCC, and we are focused on innovating and experimenting with new and emerging technologies that provide benefits internally to DTCC and ultimately to our clients.
The second half of 2022 was a wild ride for technology. Technologies such as the Metaverse took the corporate world by storm, and artificial intelligence (AI) finally became mainstream.
Here are my top five technology predictions that could shape our lives and businesses in 2023. Let's see where these technologies can take us next!
- Generative AI Becomes a Daily Part of Our Lives
AI had a rocky start. Many organizations struggle to understand how to create value from it, along with the numerous hurdles in taking models from prototype to production. Since the launch of GPT-3, a Natural Language Generation (NLG) model created by OpenAI (also known as ChatGPT), AI has captured the public's imagination in a way no other technology has - overshadowing even the most popular social media sites.
ChatGPT is a cool tool to create copy with simple prompts in a chat window, but it’s the model underneath that does so much more. ChatGPT is based on a Large Language Model (LLM), which is an algorithm that makes predictions based on knowledge gathered from massive text datasets. With many solution providers working on LLM solutions, this will be the year that this technology crops up in the most popular day-to-day business applications, such as Teams.
- Low Code Takes a New Twist
Traditional low code tools (those built using a graphical interface with minimal written code) have been transforming the way IT departments engage with the business and allow them to have more control over their own efficiency needs. With advanced machine learning technologies, like NLG, the original concept of low code will take on an entirely new meaning and will forever change the software development landscape.
NLG models allow for a faster way to write code. Developers can evolve a solution based on initial input much faster than they would on their own, from scratch. By leaving the low-level problems to the machine, developers can focus on the more complex ones.
This evolution will also pave the way for a new breed of development tools providing solutions like “Code as a Service” (CaaS) for generic code generation, or AI-enabled tools, which can check the code quality, integrality, security, any vulnerabilities, among other factors. The future of development could be as simple as a developer describing their intention, and AI/LLM technologies taking care of the rest.
This could allow developers to create applications that have never been seen before with remarkable speed and efficiency.
- Mainstream Applications Start to Appear on Web3
Web3, what is it? Even some of the most advanced technologists struggle to understand what it is. Any broad adoption of Web3 will be a foundational technology shift globally. Simply put, Web3 is the next generation of the digital ecosystem.
This year, Web3 will begin to grow beyond non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and crypto, and consumer-based apps that are functionally clones of existing businesses, but with some basic blockchain-type components. Imagine the Internet in the early days, it was simply a web version of the physical brand. When native apps were introduced, they became a simpler mobile version of a company’s web capabilities.
These apps will carve out a market niche of users who want that same traditional core product offering but have some affinity for Web3, like many early internet companies (such as Audible as a web bookstore) or mobile companies (such as Sofi as a financial lender). They will differentiate largely on marketing and experience rather than on core product offering.
- NFTs See a Shift in Purpose
As the Web3 ecosystem moves to evolve, the definition of NFTs will expand beyond just digital art for sale. Companies like Starbucks have begun to explore alternate uses to support their loyalty programs, and that is expected to expand to other brands. Not only will physical objects, such as clothes, become linked to digital counterparts, things of real value, including mortgages, deeds and artwork, will also be memorialized in the form of an NFT.
Just last week, the California DMV, announced that it is creating a digital ledger of the entire state's car title database. Even our friends at Duke are issuing graduation certificates as an NFT.
This shift in utility causes a critical review of NFT projects throughout 2023: those without purpose or value being relegated to an "NFT graveyard" while those with staying power, such as car titles, will grow.
- The Metaverse Evolves Beyond Gaming
Despite the hype surrounding metaverse from industry vendors large and small, a complete metaverse for organizations has yet to be achieved.
When one typically thinks about the metaverse, they think of entering a virtual world to connect with those not in the room, but that is not where this digital universe will have its greatest impact.
Headsets will start to improve and will be more “wearable.” Once that happens, there will be a significant shift in adoption. Until then, anticipate seeing more applications centered around training, recruiting, and retail shopping. Hospitals are already implementing FDA approved virtual reality technology to assist surgeons in operations such as extracting thin lead wires connecting pacemakers and mini defibrillators. When headsets eventually become unobtrusive glasses, physically touching a keyboard may not even be necessary anymore!
The potential of the industrial metaverse is immense and will shape interactions with the real world. Researchers forecast that by 2030 this metaverse could contribute additional $5 trillion to the global economy.
This year is full of possibilities when it comes to technology innovation, and while all of these are cool and futuristic, organizations that leverage these technologies will have to ensure that they are safe, secure, trusted and well understood to see real world adoption.