What are the Tech Trends for 2023 made of? Artificial intelligence, sustainability, winds of change and innovation, of course!

DNA presents the technology trends of 2023 – what can we expect for the coming year?

What does the technology year of 2023 look like? We gathered a hefty list of technology trends of the following year from conversations with professionals from multiple industries and a wide range of local and international events, phenomena, and watershed moments. 

DNA has once again compiled an annual Tech Trends Report, which presents the upcoming technology trends that will be booming in 2023. These trends reflect changes that have shaken our lives as well as future directions.

In this article, we present eight upcoming trends. You can read the rest of the trends by downloading the Tech Trends 2023 report. 

AI like a second-grader 

LaMDA, or language model for dialogue applications, is an AI Google developed as a conversational bot. Blake Lemoine, an engineer at Google, started working with LaMDA AI in the Fall of 2022. While working with the conversational abilities of the AI, Lemoine soon noticed that LaMDA’s cognitive skills and the tendency to be self-conscious seemed remarkably humane. It began to show signs of sentience comparable to the developing mind of a small child. 

Eventually, the AI would challenge its developer by raising questions about its rights and personality. The controversial phenomenon elevated the classic conversation about sentient AI to a new level – what do the signs of self-conscious AI mean in the context of the development of the entire industry? 

Developing AI is speeding fast in many industries. Development targets include the responsiveness of human-like conversation and dynamic and instant information processing into self-imposed action. In 2023 we will see more exciting and confusing innovations in the evolving field of AI development.  

A synthetic brush creates art from words 

Using AI in visual arts is no news for professionals working in special effects – it has been their everyday life for decades. For example, the Lord of The Rings trilogy (2001-2003) utilized AI in massive battle scenes where it would partly rein digital characters. No wonder the tool that redefines artistic AI, DALL-E, draws inspiration from the tiny little robot hero in the Pixar movie Wall-E as much as from the father of abstract art, Salvador Dali.  

The original DALL-E was an AI software that created images based on text input. The AI, developed by Silicon Valley-based OpenAI research laboratory, recently shed its skin and was born anew, carrying the name DALL-E 2. The second iteration is a highly well-developed AI artist.  

Many other systems were able to create credible visual pieces at the beginning of 2000. What makes modern tools, such as DALLE-2, extraordinary is their work – it is so adequate that it's nearly impossible to see the difference from human-made art. The question is, can we separate man-made art from AI in the future?  

The electric car could take care of the power needs of your cabin 

One of the most central issues of the ongoing energy crisis is energy storage. Every part of the world is now thinking about the same: how can we store the increasing wind and solar energy when production exceeds demand? 

Electric cars are seen as one solution to this. Even in Finland, the sales curve of electric and hybrid cars is rising sharply, showing that more and more four-wheeled battery farms are found in parking spaces. There is also a lot of discussion around the storage capacity they offer. Especially when the price of electricity on the stock market is fluctuating, it is an appealing idea to fully charge the car's batteries when electricity is at the lowest market prices and, reciprocally, harness the power stored in the accelerator for practical use when consumption is at its most expensive. 

So, it's no wonder using a car as a backup power source interests many. The battery capacity installed in electric cars is already at such a level that new dimensions of use can be found at both ends of the car journey. The battery capacity in several electric cars is enough to power the moderate electricity needs of a cottage weekend or the momentary electrification of a detached house. 

The right to repair and the responsibility to rent? 

Could your next phone last forever? In the EU, a legal proposal is currently moving forward where every consumer should be offered the opportunity to repair their electronic device. Within the proposed legislative change, the Right to Repair would cover devices within the warranty period and beyond. In addition, it would give the user the right and the resources to repair their device independently if they wish. 

From the point of view of device manufacturers and retailers, the EU's decision raises important questions regarding business flow. The logistics of the maintenance processes require massive changes: device manufacturers and sellers must be ready to respond to customers' repair needs. How to operate, for example, when the components contained in an outdated device are no longer manufactured? 

However, the proposition is an essential step toward sustainable development. People are perceiving earth’s dwindling resources more and more clearly. There are also signs of change in the purchasing behavior of consumers: they increasingly prefer the services of clothing rental companies instead of buying clothes. Your next device purchase may be your last - so choose wisely.  

Biometric verification to surpass passwords  

Today, logging in obeys usually one and only logic: there is a username and a password. On the other hand, two-step authentication increases data security by requiring a different code when logging in. The system is functional but vulnerable and clumsy. Hardware and software manufacturers offer digital keychains to users since the amount of login information is so dizzying that you wouldn't be able to remember every combination – even with the memory capacity of a Mensa member. 

So, it's no wonder passwords are slowly being phased out and replaced by two-step biometric identification. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and their partners also build on this when developing their common password-free identification standard. 

Especially in payment situations, the prevalence of biometrics is primarily supported by the fact that the existing stock of smart devices broadly supports biometric identification. For example, the latest smartphones' fingerprint, retina, and face recognition are already almost amazingly fast and of high quality. 

Biometric identification is constantly becoming more common at the individual and company levels. Many industries will soon take even more significant strides towards biometric identification in, for example, office and factory settings. 

Subscription economy: more features for a fee 

The subscription economy, meaning the service sales model, is perhaps the most significant change in business in the last century. Whether it's Netflix, Spotify, Storytel, or Xbox Game Pass, subscription services are here to stay and have quickly established themselves as part of our everyday behavior. 

In some places, the service sales model has been tried to install to traditional industries in a way that significantly differs from the usual sales models. For example, a couple of years ago, car companies introduced subscription models, which made it possible to unlock access to separate additional devices installed in the car, such as seat heating. The project did not take off, but new use dimensions are constantly being devised. 

The subscription economy is strongly present and the absolute norm of the future. Before long, the subscription economy will take over also sectors other than the entertainment and passenger transport industries. Another advantage of the service sales model is that the average consumer already knows how to demand more accessible entry to the content they want, often detached from physical products. Service sales models will be established as an even closer part of our everyday life, in the same way as water, electricity, and network connections. 

Would you wear virtual Gucci? 

Will you wear a virtual clothing piece in the next official company portrait? This could be our reality soon, as many virtual clothing manufacturers are pouring into the market. Depending on users' needs, the garment can be either added afterward or goes on the user digitally. The possibilities of usage dimensions, for example, online clothing stores, are enormous. 

In video games, the sale of virtual clothes has been commonplace and a profitable business for years. For example, in popular MMO multiplayer games such as World of Warcraft, one absolute joy for users is that the appearance and clothing of their own game character can be modified to their liking.  

There is also trade in character accessories, as the trade in weapon textures for the action game Counter-Strike, for example, has grown into a multi-million-dollar business. Companies investing in virtual clothes are also confident that devices enabling augmented reality will become a part of our everyday life before long. In this case, the digital clothing pieces selected by the user would be visible through the smart lenses of other users. When everyone is wearing virtual glasses, everyone can wear virtual clothes. 

What wine would you recommend with my 3D-printed veggie steak? 

The next hot potato in the Finnish food market is 3D-printed vegetable meat. Making the traditional diet plant-based is a vital move both from the point of view of individual well-being and global sustainable development. For many, however, the vegetarian versions offered as a substitute for meat are appalling, both in terms of taste and, especially, mouthfeel. 

3D-printed vegetable meat is not immensely as sci-fi a phenomenon as, for example, artificial meat grown in a laboratory. In practice, 3D printing in the context of food preparation means that the printed vegetable protein is "constructed" in such a way that it resembles its animal-derived prototype almost perfectly in terms of structure, taste, and forms of use. 

As the birthplace of hit products such as vöner and pulled oats, Finland has repeatedly been a trendsetter in developing vegetable proteins. In the field of printed meat, Finland is also at the forefront of development. The 3D-printed vegetable meat arrived in a few Finnish restaurants in the fall of 2022 and will be on store shelves in the spring or summer of 2023. Do you dare to taste? 


Hungry for more? Download the Tech Trends 2023 report, illustrated by artificial intelligence!