In The News: The first month of 2023 brings tech layoffs, new trends to watch and AI innovation

February 6, 2023

We’re one month into 2023 and this year has already been off to an interesting start. 

As hard as it is to predict the future, especially in a fluctuating global economy and tech layoffs dominating the news circuit, there are a few emerging trends to watch.

Here’s what we’re keeping our eye on as 2023 unfolds: AI and the ChatGPT craze, tech layoffs and the new economic normal from continued recovery in the pandemic market, how tech skills and workers will migrate to sustainable energy and renewables. continued investments in innovation and as always, Elon Musk. 

We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so below we’ve summarized a few of the top need-to-know stories that are kicking off the new year. 

Trends to Watch

“These are the technology trends that will shape our lives in 2023” , CNN

  • AI: 2023 might bring workforce augmentation with AI, and while it won’t replace humans it can become like a team member helping developers code, writing drafts, generating images and music.
  • The Metaverse: Despite Meta’s losses in the Metaverse, it’s increasingly becoming a part of the public consciousness especially in gaming and socializing and will also become more accessible via different devices.
  • Sustainability Tech: With favorable policy conditions and continued investments, sustainability tech like direct air carbon capture, hydrogen technology, solar projects and battery storage will continue to take off.
  • Semiconductors and Self-Reliance: War in Ukraine could usher in an era of self-reliance as China buys ships to export its own cars and the U.S. and companies like Apple seek to move their production outside of China. Things might heat up over competition to produce the semiconductors that power our smartphones, cars and appliances.
  • The Internet of Things: ioT projects from everything from energy and smart home heating to health and well being products.

Everything you need to know about the ChatGPT craze. 

Understanding Chat-GPT, And Why It’s Even Bigger Than You Think”, Josh Bersin

  • OpenAI’s ChatGPT, a bold new world to create new products, services and solutions or an information warfare machine? 
  • This technology is what is often called a “language machine” that uses large amounts of data and computing techniques like statistics, reinforcement learning, and supervised learning to index words, phrases, and sentences. While it has no real “intelligence”, it can very effectively answer questions, write articles, summarize information, and more.
  • Josh asks us to imagine the tools potential: “Imagine the hundreds of applications in business: recruiting, onboarding, sales training, manufacturing training, compliance training, leadership development, even personal and professional coaching. If you focus the AI on a trusted domain of content (most companies have oodles of this), it can solve the “expertise delivery” problem at scale.”

“If you still aren’t sure what ChatGPT is, this is your guide to the viral chatbot that everyone is talking about.”-, Business Insider

  • Although ChatGPT can explain quantum physics or write a poem on command, a full AI takeover isn't exactly imminent, according to experts. It doesn’t speak with sentience, or even like humans do. 
  • Its open user interface allows people to experiment with this tool directly as people test it on messaging potential dates or simulating news stories.
  • With any new tool, its use cases in the real world are still being developed as some recent efforts to use chat bots for real-world services have proved troubling —like the mental health company, Koko, which came under fire this month after its founder wrote about how the company used it in an experiment to reply to users.

Continued Investments: Animoca Brands Corp + The Metaverse, Blockchain + Crypto

“Hong Kong Crypto Mogul Aims to Raise $1 Billion for Web3 Fund”, Bloomberg

  • Animoca Brands Corp. is looking to raise about $1 billion for its new Web3 and metaverse investment fund to support blockchain and metaverse startups.
  • The collapse of that FTX exchange heavily affected a dozen of Animoca’s portfolio firms plus the global economic slowdown have made fundraising harder, but Yat Siu, chairman of Animoca Brands remains optimistic that capital and interest in crypto remain.

Layoffs Making Waves: Amazon.

“Amazon to Slash More Than 18,000 Jobs in Escalation of Cuts”, Bloomberg, CNBC

  • In its largest cut in company history, Amazon laid off a staggering 18,000 workers. 
  • Previously thought to only be cutting 10,000 jobs, the slashes hit broadly across the tech giant’s operations mainly targeting physical retail and HR but also sweeping more broadly across teams in: physical retail technology and grocery stores to robotics and drone delivery, and even in AWS.
  • Following the biggest dive in Amazon stock since 2000, CEO Andy Jassy blamed the need for cuts on “labor shortages, supply chain difficulties, inflation, and productivity overhang from growing our fulfillment and transportation networks so substantially during the pandemic.”

Company to Watch: Tesla.

“Tesla China Shipments Slumped in December Amid Production Cuts”, Bloomberg 

  • Lackluster consumer demand and with voluntary limited output by Tesla due to equipment upgrades, the automaker shipped almost half of the volume in December that they shipped the month prior.

“Tesla shares suffer New Year's hangover on demand worries, delivery issues”, Reuters

  • A tumultuous 2022 left Tesla with less than 65% of its market value 
  • So what’s working against the stock? Some speculations include..
  • Increased challenges from other automakers
  • Production issues due to COVID in China
  • Logistics hurdles for car delivery 
  • Musk’s involvement with Twitter 
  • Its slower growth compared to competitors like Ford, subject Tesla to feeling more of the effects of the global economic slowdown 
  • Despite it all, Tesla is still the most valuable automaker in the world with a value of a casual $341 billion. 

Despite all of the speculation about global uncertainty, we’re excited and feeling optimistic to see how these trends will continue to develop over 2023. 

We’ll be watching how companies adapt to economic pressures, how sustainability innovation continues to take shape and if this will be the year AI finally takes over. Just kidding! 

All jokes aside, we think this year has potential to pave the way for some exciting progress and perhaps some comeback stories like we’ve never seen.


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