Before 2023, artificial intelligence (AI) was a subject that was only discussed in niche tech circles. Now, it’s a widely discussed topic. Experts claim that AI technologies will be the next biggest disruptor in a range of industries.
This includes PWC, which predicts that AI could contribute $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. As a result, many businesses are starting to integrate these technologies into their future strategy. McKinsey Global Survey reported that 40% of executives and managers surveyed expected an increase in AI investment.
So what trends and tools have driven this change and what does it mean for business owners and marketers? To find the answers, this article will explore the monthly AI progress and notable developments so far in 2023.
January: the arrival of AI
Though AI technologies have been in development for some time, they started to enter the public consciousness at the beginning of this year. This was mainly driven by the rapid growth in popularity of ChatGPT, which launched in November 2022.
Indeed, the generative AI language tool blazed the trail for similar technologies. QuickVid was launched to make creating short-form video content for social media platforms even easier. Similarly, the Fashion X AI show in Hong Kong platformed the creative potential of AI with 80 outfits designed by these technologies being showcased on the catwalk.
Alongside creativity, the ability of AI to take on human-like qualities was also demonstrated by Meta’s experiments with Cicero. This tool has been developed to play the strategy game Diplomacy and, as a result, has learnt to succeed through reasoning and honesty.
Though these developments showed marketers and business owners the potential AI holds to generate new ideas and strategies, others exposed its potential holdbacks. This included the creation of tools to combat ChatGPT plagiarism.
In short, the beginning of 2023 was a public introduction to the benefits and disadvantages AI technologies could hold.
February: Big Tech comes on board
February saw Big Tech companies publicly stepping up to the AI plate.
- Google launching Bard, a rival to the ChatGPT tool
- Microsoft revealing that it will enable its search engine Bing and browser Edge with AI capabilities
- Microsoft and Buzzfeed announcing huge AI investment plans
For business owners, this news highlighted the importance of considering AI technologies as strategic investments. For marketers, the new products announced by Google and Microsoft hinted at the future influence of AI over content creation and search. This is a step-change in the way they will approach inbound marketing.
March: driving productivity
This month saw several SaaS businesses announce AI-enabled changes to their products.
These changes included:
- Making Teams faster and more user-friendly
- Helping latecomers to Zoom calls catch up
- Enabling easier and more effective business strategies through Asana
- Better creative collaboration through Canva
- Making web browsing more effective with Opera
This won’t just bring huge benefits for businesses and marketing teams that use these tools. It also highlights how introducing AI technologies can enhance the productivity of teams. Whether it’s making data-backed decisions about operations or improving customer service, harnessing the power of AI holds huge potential for greater efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
April: transforming social media
For marketers, April saw the introduction of several different tools that will revolutionise the way they work and communicate with customers. There were particular changes in social media marketing, where both the platforms themselves and supportive software introduced new product updates.
To make quality graphic design even easier for content creators, Microsoft Designer introduced a text-to-image tool that will make social media images from simple briefs. It will then recreate these in around 20 different layouts and formats, making it easy to get a design to suit the right platform. Similarly, TikTok announced a new feature that will allow users to create AI-generated profile pictures.
As well as supporting the creativity of social media users, Snapchat’s new AI chatbot will give their users a virtual friend to interact with. Hugging Face, Expedia and Binance also announced the launch of AI-enabled chatbots.
This suggests that, if introduced ethically and safely, these tools could deliver a better customer experience while helping service teams manage their workload.
May: improving web development
AI technologies haven’t just been developed to support business operations such as marketing, but the teams that work with them too.
For example, Microsoft introduced several new features and products to help web developers perform their work more effectively. This included launching their flagship Build event to help them make the most of these new technologies.
Azure AI also introduced a range of enabled services and solutions that will enhance their productivity. This included Metabob, which will make website code review even easier. Plus, the Applied AI services offering will help web developers and the businesses they work with take full advantage of AI in their own operations and marketing.
June: reality dawns
As both the public and technology experts got to grips with what AI could bring, the reality of the risks they might pose to both businesses and their customers started to become clear.
This included more research being commissioned into the potential impact of AI technologies on society, culture and business. One study revealed that AI could drive greater disinformation online, while issues such as plagiarism and fraud have led to growing concern amongst governments, businesses and consumers.
So much so that June saw ChatGPT’s traffic drop for the first time ever. While Microsoft and OpenAI had to reassure their customers of the steps they will take to ensure AI is being used ethically and safely.
In short, while the first six months have introduced the potential opportunities AI technologies hold, it’s also highlighted the risks it could pose to the way we life, work and do business too.
What will the rest of 2023 bring?
Though the exact developments and upgrades are unknown, there are sure to be new opportunities and challenges opening up as a result of AI’s growth. Staying ahead of these changes is key for business owners and marketers that want to remain competitive in future markets.
Having helped our clients to navigate and benefit from new technologies such as AI, the SK Agency team can do the same for you. To find out more about how we can support you to make the most of these new opportunities, get in touch.