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🖥️ A recap of breakthroughs in computer science in 2022. Top 10 AI predictions for 2023. Future technology: 22 ideas about to change our world.
Happy New Year!
Hopefully this jolly January edition of your favorite monthly tech newsletter finds you in good spirits. Last year was a bizarro year for sure. We're happy that we were able to share with you all of the wonderfully bizarre stories from 2022, as well as some of the slightly less bizarre, but still very interesting ones.
With that, we're excited to see what 2023 holds in store for us, and equally excited to release to you the first newsletter of this year. Below are the main stories that we're going to look at this month:
🖥️ A recap of breakthroughs in computer science in 2022
🤖 Top 10 AI predictions for 2023
💡 Future technology: 22 ideas about to change our world
Let's get into it!
📰 From the Newsroom
In 2022, computer science made significant progress in interdisciplinary collaboration, particularly in the areas of cryptography, quantum computing, and artificial intelligence (AI). These developments, among others, are set to have a significant impact on a range of industries in the coming years.
Cryptographic questions have important implications for internet security and researchers have explored the potential for one-way functions and other mathematical relationships to create secure codes.
Quantum computing overlaps with physics and has led to a proof of the NLTS conjecture, which has implications for quantum entanglement and cryptographic possibilities.
AI has long drawn inspiration from the human brain and recent developments in neural networks, such as transformers, have improved understanding of both AI and brain function. Hypernetworks have also helped researchers train neural networks faster and at a lower cost.
In the past year, computer scientists made significant progress on long-standing questions and developed practical tools that improved AI's understanding and processing of various kinds of data. In addition, researchers learned more about how the human brain works and how to train AI more efficiently. These developments will continue to shape the direction of computer science research.
I think if there's one thing that we can all agree on, it's that 2022 was a groundbreaking year for AI in a lot of ways. It was really the first year that allowed the general public to interact with AI in unprecedented ways, and the acceleration of what was introduced, progressed rapidly. Rob Toews is a venture capitalist who writes about AI, and he shared his top ten predictions for what we can expect from the field in 2023. Three of my favorites:
GPT-4, the next generation of OpenAI's language model, is expected to be released early in the new year and to have a significant performance improvement compared to GPT-3 and 3.5. It is likely to be trained on a dataset at least 10 times larger than previous models, but it may have fewer parameters. Its language abilities are expected to surpass those of previous models.
Large language models (LLMs) rely on data, not size, for effectiveness; the world's total stock of high-quality text data for LLM training is between 4.6 trillion and 17.2 trillion tokens, but there may be a shortage of useful language training data for LLMs; researchers and entrepreneurs will focus on addressing the potential data shortage, including through the use of synthetic data.
LLMs are significantly advancing the capabilities of search technology, posing a potential threat to the dominance of current search engines like Google. LLMs are able to perform sophisticated reading and writing, which could lead to the development of conversational search and the potential for true semantic search in enterprise settings. These advancements could challenge Google's current search model.
Rob's list is a fascinating read and mentions other AI related topics outside of LLMs, but being that this is the hot topic of the moment, there were several predictions that related to them (LLMs). Since I'm also fascinated by this technology, I found these predictions to be the most interesting, but I encourage you to read the full list for yourself.
While AI has undoubtedly dominated our headlines and social feeds, we can't ignore the massive advances made in other fields of technology. The future is coming, and sooner than we think. This list of emerging technologies will alter the way we live, how we take care of our bodies and how we might fend off a climate disaster. I've picked my favorite three (outside of AI, which is also on the list) and will share them below:
A company called Ossiform specializes in medical 3D printing, creating patient-specific replacements of different bones from tricalcium phosphate, a material with properties similar to human bones; hospitals can perform an MRI and send it to Ossiform, who creates a 3D model of the needed implant and prints it for use in surgery; the body then remodels the implants into vascularized bone, enabling full restoration of function.
Scientists have developed living concrete, a building material made of sand, gel, and bacteria that has structural load-bearing function, is capable of self-healing, and is more environmentally friendly than concrete; researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder believe this material could lead to future building structures that can "heal their own cracks, suck up dangerous toxins from the air or even glow on command."
Finnish engineers have developed a way to use sand as a giant battery by heating it using wind and solar energy and storing the energy for long periods through resistive heating, a process where a material is heated by the friction of electrical currents; the heated sand can be distributed by a local energy company to provide warmth to nearby buildings.
Those were my three favorites, but I must admit that it was extremely difficult to choose only three from a list of twenty-two. There's a solid chance that if you asked me to look at this list on a different day that my three choices might look different. Check it out for yourself and decide which ones you think are the most fascinating.
⛓️ Ten Must See Links of the Month
Do you like McDonalds, but dislike human interaction? Do you happen to live in the Fort Worth, Texas area? If you answered yes to those questions, then you're going to love the new 100% robot powered McDonalds restaurant.
The use of driver-less taxis is slowly growing. The General Motors backed company "Cruise" has expanded its driver-less taxi service from San Francisco to two additional U.S. cities - Phoenix, Arizona and Austin, Texas.
If you've been on the internet this past month, then your feeds have probably been filled with ChatGPT-3 content. Most people who've tried it agree that it's fun to use, but beyond the novelty, you can really leverage this technology in a variety of practical ways. One really cool use-case comes from Dan Shipper, who built his own custom chatbot using the underlying technology.
One current limitation of ChatGPT is that it doesn't connect to the internet and provides answers based solely on the large input of data it received from the OpenAI team. The solution? Meet Strato AI. It gives you ChatGPT-ish responses, but with three references from the internet that show you where it pulled the answer from.
Think of any kind of organic matter and there's probably some type of organism that has evolved to consume it. Meat, plants, algae, insects and bacteria are all eaten by different creatures, but now scientists have found something new on the menu – viruses. Meet the first known "virovore".
ETH Zurich researchers have created a gold nanocoating that heats glass by up to 46F / 7.77C by absorbing a large amount of infrared radiation. The practical application? It can be used to keep your glasses free of fog under humid conditions. In addition to glasses, it could also do the same with car windshields, mirrors, windows and more.
Speaking of Zurich, did you know that the relatively small European country of Switzerland, home to about 8.7 million people, has at least 374,142 bunkers? That's roughly 1 bunker for every 23 people. Join YouTuber Johnny Harris as he explores the story behind the bunkers and the cost and benefits of a nation obsessed with maintaining international neutrality.
Is Mastodon going to replace Twitter in the near future? Perhaps not, but it's certainly reaching a tipping point where it will no longer be just another obscure social media platform that nobody actually uses.
If you use WordPress, then you know that finding the right WordPress host is complicated enough on its own – never mind finding one that’s both good and cheap. With this in mind, check out the best cheap WordPress hosting providers that strike a balance between reasonable prices and good performance.
Creating a secondary income source is an important way to protect yourself from layoffs, recessions, and other financial crises. This guide to monetizing WordPress will show you five ways to make money with a WordPress site so you can get started.
🎤 It’s How They Said It
"Please minimise barking. Be considerate of others living nearby."
- A municipal sign seen in Australia. Presumably intended for dogs to read and abide by.
🧮 The numbers game
717 gigapixles is equal to 717,000,000,000 pixels, which is the highest resolution photo of artwork ever taken. The degree to which you can zoom in on this Rembrandt painting is unreal.
5.6 terabytes is equal to 5,872,025.6 megabytes, which is the size of the aforementioned photo. It's led to a whole debate on Reddit about how they've managed to load it on the front-end with almost no lag when viewing.
1,600 gigapixels is the planned future size of a digital replica of another painting, the Panorama of the Battle of Murten, which will inevitably overtake the Rembrandt painting by more than double the size. The final image will consist of roughly 400,000 fused-together photographs taken by a 150-megapixel camera.
57.5 percent out of 17,502,391 votes is how many people responded "yes" to Elon Musk's personal poll of whether or not he should step down as Twitter CEO. Mr. Musk said he will abide by the results of the poll.
⚒️ Tools and Resources
Mr. Free Tools is a search engine/curated directory that gives you the best free tools and resources from around the web to help you win — no matter what your field is.
With many of the recent advances in AI, prompt engineering has become a particularly important skill. This course focuses on applied prompt engineering techniques. Minimal knowledge of machine learning is expected.
A collection of 70 hand-picked, web-based tools which are actually useful. Each will generate pure CSS without the need for JS or any external libraries.
Okay, and that brings us to the end of another issue. Hopefully you enjoyed this month's stories, tools, and fun facts. If you have any interesting links to share, please send them my way. All you need to do is reply to this email, and they'll land in my inbox. Maybe they'll even wind up in the February issue!
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Have a great month,