Since the Covid-19 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 novel ways to interact.
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 is another technology trend that we expect to continue in this year. 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 specialised virtual reality devices and extremely fast internet connections. Adoption of 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, 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.
The third trend that is expected to grow throughout the year is 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, organisations are now working to understand how they can use the data they have to make their products and services better, faster, and more affordable. Using AI and cloud technology, organisations will prioritise data analysis to gain a competitive advantage in their operating environments.
All of these developments are contributing to Africa's digital transformation. The digital change building blocks will begin to be used for optimisation 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.
Catherine Muraga is the managing director Microsoft Africa Development Centre