Since the pandemic struck in 2020, our reliance on technology has increased dramatically. With all the optimism that comes with the start of a new year, 2023 is expected to continue the same path as the world builds on the technology on which we have come to rely and develops new ways to interact.
Generative Artificial Intelligence
Out of the various tech trends anticipated for 2023, I foresee the use of generative artificial intelligence being carried over from 2022. According to one definition, Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that involves creating new, original content or data using machine learning algorithms. It can be used to generate text, images, music, or other types of media. This type of technology is useful for the chatbot, which then appears to be an expert in every field.
As a result, the implications of generative AI for the workplace and life, in general, are virtually limitless.
It will allow for the generation of creative ideas at a much faster rate than the human process. This has the potential to spur growth and innovation.
Growth Of The Metaverse
The growth of the metaverse is another technology trend that we expect to continue in 2023. The term “metaverse” can be defined as the convergence of mixed reality, artificial intelligence, immersive digital space, and real-time communications stacked together to create an experience.
The metaverse space did not expand as much or as quickly as anticipated in 2022, owing in part to the high entry barrier that requires specialized virtual reality devices and extremely fast internet connections. Adopting hybrid work systems was expected to be especially rapid as companies continued to build them, but this was not the case. The remote work gap was bridged by video conferencing and workplace monitoring software.
Fortunately, the opportunities for metaverse development have not dried up, as businesses and individuals explore the digital environment for new ways to create and consume content, as well as for new formats of collaboration. While still in its early stages, the metaverse will be an interesting area to watch through 2023 as developers and businesses collaborate to ease access to and create value within the unique enhanced reality platforms.
Acceleration Of Big Data Use
The third trend that is expected to grow throughout the year is the acceleration of big data use. The previous emphasis was on the four Vs: volume, velocity, veracity, and variety. The emphasis this year will be on adding a fifth V – value.
After determining how much, how quickly, and how accurately they can collect data, organizations are now working to understand how they can use the data they have to make their products and services better, faster, and more affordable. Organizations will prioritise data analysis using AI and cloud technology to gain a competitive advantage in their operating environments.
All of these developments are contributing to Africa’s digital transformation. The digital transformation building blocks will begin to be used for optimization to improve user satisfaction. Massive investments in physical and non-physical infrastructure will bear more fruit as the continent becomes more agile, even in the face of a global recession.
With the dream of a fully digitally enabled continent within our grasp, we will see a greater emphasis on digital skill development for all. The demand for technology professionals is already at an all-time high and is expected to rise as more businesses turn to technology for solutions. Furthermore, as the job market evolves, so will the demand for digital literacy, regardless of career specialization.
To capitalize on the opportunities in 2023 and beyond, we will need to strengthen skill development from learners’ at a young age and streamline the existing talent pipeline to be future-ready.
The Microsoft Africa Development Centre (ADC) is already working on several programs that include learners in primary and secondary school, tertiary education, and even professionals in the workplace to improve their access to digital training.
This year, we intend to step up our efforts to ensure that the continent is ready to contribute to a global digital future. More initiatives involving both the private and public sectors are required to ensure that Africa thrives in the global digitalisation agenda.
Catherine Muraga is the Managing Director, Microsoft Africa Development Centre