Tuesday, 19 December 2023

The biggest tech stories of 2023: Our recap of a game-changing year

From cybercrime to new product launches, we’ve seen some huge tech news over the last 12 months. Here’s our pick of 5 of the biggest tech news stories from 2023.

There is no doubt we’ve seen some huge tech news over the last 12 months. The Grant McGregor team looks back and reflects on some of the biggest stories from 2023.

From cybercrime to new product launches, here’s our pick of five of the biggest tech news stories from 2023.


#1. ChatGPT 4 is launched

2023 started to the news that Microsoft was extending its partnership with OpenAI, the organisation behind the development of the generative AI solution, Chat-GPT. Little did we know it then, but the January 23 announcement set the tone for the year’s biggest tech stories which would be dominated by news of generative AI.

On March 14, OpenAI announced the release of Chat-GPT-4. This was a significant upgrade from the previous version. The deep learning approach leverages more data and more computation to create increasingly sophisticated and capable language models.

OpenAI explained, GPT-4 can solve difficult problems with greater accuracy, thanks to its broader general knowledge and problem-solving abilities. It can generate, edit, and iterate with users on creative and technical writing tasks, such as composing songs, writing screenplays or learning a user’s writing style.

The applications are immense – and hopefully you’ve already been exploring what it can do for your organisation.

#2. Twitter rebrands as X

We closed 2022 with pictures of Elon Musk carrying a sink as the tech billionaire realised his ambition to own the social network. 2023 continued the psychodrama with many users deserting the platform to explore alternatives such as Mastodon and BlueSky. Meanwhile, Musk welcomed back some of the social network’s most controversial users who had previously been banned from the platform, including Donald Trump. 

The renaming of Twitter as X wasn’t entirely unexpected. X features in the name of many of Musk’s businesses and one of his children. Even so, the rebrand was one of the biggest tech stories of 2023 – perhaps because it kickstarted the debate over what the platform might become. Must has previously expressed a desire for X to be an everything app; a WeChat for the west. 


#3. The first customers begin using Microsoft Copilot

In a triumph of branding, Microsoft announced the launch of its AI-powered virtual assistant at the back end of 2022. The tech giant was clear on its positioning that this new AI tool has been designed to support workers, not replace them. While Copilot might be helping you chart the direction and fly the path, you remain in charge.

By the middle of 2023, the technology had made its way into the hands of Microsoft’s enterprise customers. Early feedback has been really exciting, with Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft 365 delivered big time savings in routine administrative tasks and the parsing of information, even across multiple files and information sources. Github Copilot offers similarly exciting time savings for developers, finding and generating code.

The launch of Copilot for small and mid-size business users is scheduled for early 2024. In the meantime, you can read examples of how Microsoft’s enterprise customers are making use of Copilot on the tech giant’s AI news blog and its customer success stories website. 


#4. Crypto criminals exposed

2023 was also a year when governments around the world clamped down on cryptocurrency fraud. 

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre has long warned about refuge cryptocurrencies provide for criminals and their funds and of the dangers of malware designed to mine for cryptocurrencies. Malware victims inadvertently run mining code on their computer, helping to generate money for the attackers.

In November 2023, we learnt of the international dimensions of this criminal activity. The US Justice Department ordered Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, to pay $4.3 billion in penalties and forfeitures. The platform had allowed illegal transactions between the US and users in Iran, Syria, Russian-occupied Ukraine and the Russian darknet marketplace, Hydra. The head of the company Changpeng Zhao stepped down after pleading guilty to money laundering charges.

At the same time, the founder of another crypto-currency exchange, which was operating more like a Ponzi scheme, was being pursued in the US courts. The founder of the failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Sam Bankman-Fried, was found guilty of seven counts of fraud and conspiracy. He had stolen billions of dollars from his cryptocurrency exchange’s customers and investors, funnelling the money into his investments and extravagant spending. He now faces decades in prison.


#5. NFTs – no thanks!

Another type of digital asset also came under new scrutiny in 2023. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) had been heralded by their early promoters as an amazing investment and a new way for artists and creators to generate income. 

Of course, like cryptocurrencies, they aren’t without their inherent problems – not least the energy consumption required to run the data centres in which they are created and stored.

What’s more, as a digital asset, cyber security is paramount to protect your investment. In August 2022, the Guardian revealed that more than $100 million worth of non-fungible tokens were stolen in the year to July, with criminals making off with an average of $300,000 per scam.

In 2023, their investment potential came under fire, too. In August, a group of investors sued Sotheby’s following a collapse in prices for the celebrity-endorsed collectibles. They were disputing a 2021 auction which promoted Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

By November, Cristiano Ronaldo had been hit with a $1 billion class action lawsuit for his involvement in promoting NFTs. The footballing legend had launched his own collection of NFTs through Binance in the run-up to last year's World Cup.

The collapse in the market might make those who failed to invest in adequate cyber security a little less upset over their NFT theft losses.

But for better cyber security advice, get in touch with our team!

Call us: 0808 164 4142

Message us: https://www.grantmcgregor.co.uk/contact-us 

More from our blog

You can find more 2023 tech news on the Grant McGregor blog: