AI Industry Updates: 2023 Trends Recap

Published 21 December 2023

4 min read

In 2023, generative artificial intelligence (AI) chatbots, such as ChatGPT, completely reshaped the way consumers approach their work, personal lives and relationships. As helpful assistants and practical AI-enabled tools embed into everyday applications, human-AI interactions are poised to define the technology landscape in 2024 and beyond.

AI Enters the Chat

AI Enters the Chat

In November 2023, a few days after “AI” was dubbed the Word of the Year by the UK’s Collins Dictionary, US-based research lab OpenAI’s ChatGPT celebrated its first birthday. It gained 100 million users within two months of launching and recorded 1.8 billion visits in May 2023 – the peak of its usage rates to date – just six months after it was released to the public. This makes it one of the fastest-growing digital services in human history.

When reporters at Toronto-headquartered news agency Reuters asked ChatGPT how it felt on its first birthday, it responded: “Thank you for the birthday wishes! However, it's important to note that as a computer program, I don't have feelings or consciousness, so I don't experience emotions like humans do.” Months before, The New York Times journalist Kevin Roose reported unsettling conversations with Microsoft’s Copilot chatbot. The bot told Roose he should leave his wife to be with it instead. Along with other highly publicised cases, these instances may have contributed to ChatGPT’s engineers making disclaimers about AI’s emotional limits.

In November 2023, a few days after “AI” was dubbed the Word of the Year by the UK’s Collins Dictionary, US-based research lab OpenAI’s ChatGPT celebrated its first birthday. It gained 100 million users within two months of launching and recorded 1.8 billion visits in May 2023 – the peak of its usage rates to date – just six months after it was released to the public. This makes it one of the fastest-growing digital services in human history.

When reporters at Toronto-headquartered news agency Reuters asked ChatGPT how it felt on its first birthday, it responded: “Thank you for the birthday wishes! However, it's important to note that as a computer program, I don't have feelings or consciousness, so I don't experience emotions like humans do.” Months before, The New York Times journalist Kevin Roose reported unsettling conversations with Microsoft’s Copilot chatbot. The bot told Roose he should leave his wife to be with it instead. Along with other highly publicised cases, these instances may have contributed to ChatGPT’s engineers making disclaimers about AI’s emotional limits.

The Humanisation of AI

The Humanisation of AI

Even as ChatGPT’s developers attempt to convince consumers that AI shouldn’t be anthropomorphised, generative AI tools have been adopting increasingly humanlike qualities. As outlined in Rewiring Pleasure: Sex-Tech’s Next Evolution, the humanisation of AI has led people to learn to trust chatbots with their secrets and regard them as friends or romantic partners. See Candy.AI (UK), which allows users to engage with a selection of AI-generated girlfriends (and, as of recently, boyfriends) and use risqué language that has been banned on other sites.

Meanwhile, American AI chatbot services Paradot and Chai encourage users to pursue friendships with or vent to their bots. AI often plays the role of pseudo-therapist – even as the benefits of these one-sided relationships are questioned by scientists and mental health specialists.

We expect the conversation about how much influence AI ought to have on consumers’ lives – and how companies should teach AI to interact in socially acceptable ways – to develop further in 2024. See Look Ahead 2024: Technology for more.

Even as ChatGPT’s developers attempt to convince consumers that AI shouldn’t be anthropomorphised, generative AI tools have been adopting increasingly humanlike qualities. As outlined in Rewiring Pleasure: Sex-Tech’s Next Evolution, the humanisation of AI has led people to learn to trust chatbots with their secrets and regard them as friends or romantic partners. See Candy.AI (UK), which allows users to engage with a selection of AI-generated girlfriends (and, as of recently, boyfriends) and use risqué language that has been banned on other sites.

Meanwhile, American AI chatbot services Paradot and Chai encourage users to pursue friendships with or vent to their bots. AI often plays the role of pseudo-therapist – even as the benefits of these one-sided relationships are questioned by scientists and mental health specialists.

We expect the conversation about how much influence AI ought to have on consumers’ lives – and how companies should teach AI to interact in socially acceptable ways – to develop further in 2024. See Look Ahead 2024: Technology for more.

Managing Great Expectations

Managing Great Expectations

Conversations on transparency will accelerate in 2024. Many national governments agree there’s a lack of transparency on AI’s development, leading to the EU’s AI Act and China’s AI laws, introduced in August 2023. It’s also a concern for consumers, with 78% of Americans saying that political advertisements that use AI should be required to disclose how it was used to create the ad (Axios, 2023).

Meanwhile, enthusiasm for AI is divided: Americans are split between "better", "worse", "no impact" and "don't know" when asked how AI will impact their life (Axios, 2023). If companies are clear about their intentions and AI use, and if they develop new tools that make a tangible, positive impact on people’s lives – such as increasing their productivity at work and earning them a raise – consumers are likely to gain more confidence in their interactions with AI in the near future.

Conversations on transparency will accelerate in 2024. Many national governments agree there’s a lack of transparency on AI’s development, leading to the EU’s AI Act and China’s AI laws, introduced in August 2023. It’s also a concern for consumers, with 78% of Americans saying that political advertisements that use AI should be required to disclose how it was used to create the ad (Axios, 2023).

Meanwhile, enthusiasm for AI is divided: Americans are split between "better", "worse", "no impact" and "don't know" when asked how AI will impact their life (Axios, 2023). If companies are clear about their intentions and AI use, and if they develop new tools that make a tangible, positive impact on people’s lives – such as increasing their productivity at work and earning them a raise – consumers are likely to gain more confidence in their interactions with AI in the near future.

A New Tech Epoch Begins

A New Tech Epoch Begins

In 2024, we’ll see AI reach near-ubiquity. Bots with humanlike personalities will integrate into social spheres, and AI-powered tools will be embedded into consumer-ready applications. With more than two-thirds of global organisations planning to increase their AI investment over the next three years, AI will enter workplaces and schools at an accelerated rate (McKinsey, 2023).

For a refresher on the most important AI tools and companies that have recently come to the forefront of the industry, see Generative AI: Tech’s New Frontier. And for a window into our AI forecasts for the next year, read CES 2024: Trends Preview.

In 2024, we’ll see AI reach near-ubiquity. Bots with humanlike personalities will integrate into social spheres, and AI-powered tools will be embedded into consumer-ready applications. With more than two-thirds of global organisations planning to increase their AI investment over the next three years, AI will enter workplaces and schools at an accelerated rate (McKinsey, 2023).

For a refresher on the most important AI tools and companies that have recently come to the forefront of the industry, see Generative AI: Tech’s New Frontier. And for a window into our AI forecasts for the next year, read CES 2024: Trends Preview.