2023 AI Retrospective: AI Trends From 2023 and Predictions for 2024
If I could state the obvious for a second, 2023 was a huge year for AI advancement, catalyzed in part by ChatGPT’s debut in late 2022. AI-powered search engines and generative chatbots have changed the way we find information online, and AI content creation and data analytics tools have disrupted the daily processes of many jobs. The rapid, widespread adoption of AI tools is paving the way to an AI-assisted future, and it’s clear there’s no going back.
2023 brought a massive boom in the market of AI software and tools, from apps that drive content creation to programs that power sales and marketing efforts through machine learning and predictive analytics. The current trends in the job market seem to point towards a future where AI tools are integrated into roles to increase efficiency, rather than having AI replace roles entirely - though some roles may be in jeopardy.
Many are embracing the new changes and looking forward to some aspects of certain industries becoming automated. However, the rollout of new AI programs has not been without its fair share of hiccups and pushback, from ethical and legal concerns to existential dread.
Whatever your viewpoint on AI may be, and whether or not you want to use it for your business, it’s vital to keep up with what AI tools are being used, and where and how they’re being employed, so you can maintain your competitive advantage. Let’s get into how AI changed the job landscape in 2023, and predictions for how AI will continue to evolve in 2024.
The rise of Bing AI search and Bing Chat (now Copilot)
February 2023 brought the release of Microsoft Bing’s AI search. The revamped Bing, powered by GPT-4, a then-more-advanced version of ChatGPT’s language learning model, promised a more streamlined search experience. The search result page of Bing offers AI-generated answers to queries and automatic summaries of top articles, so users don’t even need to skim articles manually to find what they’re looking for.
Along with a more powerful Bing came the release of Bing Chat, an AI chatbot designed to function similarly to ChatGPT and work alongside the Bing search engine. On top of using the bot to generate content, users could ask Bing Chat for answers to questions, and it would provide a detailed response pulled from online resources. Its ability to search the web meant it had up-to-date information, unlike ChatGPT with its infamous knowledge cutoff date (this date is no longer relevant for paid users - more details below). Bing Chat would also cite its sources, so it was easy to verify the information it presented and read more about the topic if desired.
The new Bing features promised to change the way we find information online, though the chatbot hit some rough patches shortly after it was released in beta. The Bing AI threatened users in certain circumstances, causing a wave of anxiety and fear about the dangers a highly intelligent chatbot could pose, and prompting Microsoft to scramble to limit the bot’s capabilities.
Bing Chat's rebrand
As of November 2023, Bing Chat has been rebranded as Microsoft Copilot, a standalone chatbot competing to dethrone ChatGPT as the go-to generative AI chatbot. Users can tell Copilot to write and edit code, generate copy, answer questions, find information from the web, and more. Unlike Bing Chat, Copilot is not directly connected to Bing, though it uses Bing’s technology to search the web for answers to user questions. Copilot has its own webpage, and you need to sign in with your Microsoft account or Entra ID to access it.
Though Microsoft and OpenAI are competitors in the AI chatbot space, they’re also in cahoots - Microsoft owns 49% of OpenAI and the companies use each others’ technologies. In September 2023, OpenAI announced that the paid versions of ChatGPT - their Plus and Enterprise plans - will now be able to use Bing’s technology to search the web. This advancement finally makes the September 2021 knowledge cutoff date moot - if you pay, that is. In the announcement, OpenAI mentioned that free users of ChatGPT can expect to be able to search the web with ChatGPT “soon”, though no specific rollout date has been given.
The rise of generative AI content for copywriting and design
The release of ChatGPT broke new ground in AI technology and advanced our understanding of AI’s capabilities by leaps and bounds. While artificial intelligence was used to some degree in some copywriting and editing tools such as Grammarly and Jasper, OpenAI started a movement. A wave of new AI tools have been developed over the course of 2023, and many existing online SaaS programs have rolled out AI-powered features.
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the new programs, or new AI features tacked on to existing programs:
- Canva, an online graphic design tool, introduced their image and video generator powered by OpenAI’s DALL-E. Many other design programs have followed suit.
- Midjourney has made waves and sparked debates about the nature of original art.
- Graphic design tools such as DreamStudio promise “effortless” image generation based on written prompts.
- Tools like Looka and Adcreative.AI design branded graphics and logos in the blink of an eye.
- AI video tools like Animate Anyone are ushering in a new era of deepfake technology. They provide the ability to turn a photo of a person into a realistic short video of them performing a “pose sequence”. The video is clear, temporally stable, and has the exact appearance of the person in the reference photo.
- Pika, a new generative AI video tool, promises to give everyone the ability to create high-quality videos without the resources that are normally required to produce a video.
AI-generated content is becoming more prevalent and accepted. Even Google, which has previously stated that they prioritize content made by people, for people, has removed the “by people” part from their helpful content guidelines as of September 2023. This means that content created by AI can potentially rank as well as that which is authored by humans.
Many creatives, such as copywriters and graphic designers, are becoming increasingly concerned that AI is putting their jobs in jeopardy. Machine learning is undoubtedly going to play a role in creative jobs moving forward, but is it on track to fully replace these jobs entirely? See our AI concerns section below for the answer.
AI customer service assistants and analytics tools
Jobs are increasingly including AI in their roles, and demand for AI programs has increased. From healthcare to customer service to entertainment, businesses across a multitude of industries are looking to incorporate AI into their processes.
Let’s get into some of the types of AI tools that are becoming increasingly popular.
Popular CRM and CMS tools like HubSpot and Salesforce each are offering their own version of an AI assistant tool offering a suite of powerful features, from proofreading your writing to generating entire single-page websites from scratch.
The HubSpot AI Assistant can write emails, web copy, blogs, and social media captions for you, and generate web pages, create custom reports, provide sales forecasting based on past data, and more. Salesforce AI, known as Einstein, offers similar features but is more focused on sales analytics.
These tools are paving the way towards an AI-powered future, with artificial intelligence seamlessly integrated with the programs we use.
Data analytics tools
Outside of CRM/CMS tools, AI data analytics programs are becoming increasingly prevalent. They work to combine all your data in one place and provide a cohesive overview of your progress towards your KPIs. Most can also offer ways to optimize your sales and marketing strategies by analyzing past data, with processes such as sales forecasting and SEO research.
Some examples of AI data analytics tools are:
- Bardeen, a browser extension that aids sales professionals by automating prospecting research, scraping the web, creating tasks and reminders in the task management software of your choice, automating sales emails, and more.
- Gong.io, which offers advanced sales reporting and AI-powered sales forecasting.
- SEO.ai, which algorithmically determines the best keywords for your brand by analyzing your content and your competitors. Also helps generate SEO-optimized content.
AI customer service bots
It’s easier than ever to add an AI-powered conversational chatbot to your website or social media profiles. Doing so can increase your customer service team’s bandwidth, because they can focus their energy on more complex inquiries, rather than having to field a larger number of repetitive questions. Customer service performed by an AI is just one more way we’re being pulled into an AI-assisted future.
What are some of the concerns surrounding AI technology?
Over the course of 2023, AI discourse has been rife with controversy and has brought up plenty of ethical and even legal challenges. The threats made by the first iteration of Microsoft’s Bing Chat sparked fears about the damage a malicious or unsecured AI bot with access to your private information could do. While the bot’s alarming language is certainly of concern, the main source of security risks from AI chatbots isn’t the bot’s perceived sentience and bad intentions, but in human scammers’ ability to “poison” AI training data.
Since bots like ChatGPT scrape the web for training data, human attackers can add or edit data online - either by editing websites like Wikipedia or purchasing their own domains - to change the bot’s perception and feed it false information. There are also tactics like indirect prompt injections, in which scammers hide prompts in email copy or websites that can only be read by bots. This way, when the bot scrapes the web, or a user copies and pastes email copy into a new chatbot conversation, the resulting output from use of this info will be warped in some way.
Users of AI chatbots like ChatGPT need to keep in mind that their conversations are not private, and may be used for the bot’s training purposes. Though you are able to prevent ChatGPT from saving your chat history and using it for training, it’s still best to avoid inputting proprietary or private information. Failing to take this precaution can pose a security risk for you or, if you’re using ChatGPT for work, for the company you work for.
The large datasets that AI programs have access to are opening up the potential for large-scale data breaches. Since AI is so new, and R&D teams are regularly breaking new ground and venturing into the relative unknown, it’s easy to slip up. And when you’re dealing with such a large amount of data, one little crack or vulnerability in data security has the potential to be catastrophic. Just recently, when uploading open source training data to GitHub, Microsoft’s AI research team inadvertently exposed 38 terabytes of private data, including backups of individual employees’ computers.
The cybersecurity risks from AI chatbots are likely only just beginning, so it’s important to be mindful of how you and your employees use ChatGPT and other AI programs on the web.
AI predictions for 2024
Cybersecurity risks aside, the swift and hasty adoption of AI into the daily processes of businesses has left many people concerned about the potential of some job positions getting replaced by AI. According to the Pew Research Center, knowledge workers - individuals in roles that require searching for and/or analyzing information, such as budget analysts, technical writers, and tax preparers - have the most core functions that may be able to be partially or entirely performed by AI. Customer service workers and office clerks are also high on the list of roles most “exposed” to AI.
But just because these jobs possibly have the potential to be performed by AI, doesn’t mean they’re on track to be replaced anytime soon. It seems that AI is changing how roles are performed, rather than completely overtaking them. According to LinkedIn’s August 2023 Future of Work Report, job postings that mention new AI technologies like ChatGPT have increased 21x since November 2022, and more and more LinkedIn members are adding AI skills to their profiles than ever. The Technology, Information, and Media sectors have the largest share of AI-skilled members. However, currently only 4% of executives plan to reduce headcount as a result of AI technology. This signals a shift in the way we work, rather than a complete overhaul of the job market.
Looking ahead into the next year, we should expect to see an increased adoption of AI into many roles, as well as a soaring demand for AI-skilled workers.
Are you prepared for an AI-assisted world?
It’s clear that AI is here to stay, and if you’re planning to add AI tools to your tech stack, it’s vital to ensure you’re maintaining regulatory compliance as far as data usage and processing is concerned. If you’re using AI tools to process customer data, significant ethical and legal liabilities can arise if you don’t stay in line with data privacy standards.
Test your AI ethics know-how with our quick, free assessment.