Tech Pizza wrapped: 2022 in review and 2023 predictions

Hey there,

we got to the end of the year. I want to take some time to look back at what happened in tech, and try to learn something I can use in the future. Let’s start with some Tech Pizza numbers. As a data scientist, I had to get some stats on it 🤓

It was fun to see how in the beginning of the year there were a lot to say about NFTs, Crypto and the Metaverse. Today it seems like AI is the only thing that matters.

This reminds me of two things:

  • tech is evolving faster than ever, and it’s important to keep track of what’s going on. You never know when new opportunities arise (have you heard of ChatGPT?).
  • at the same time, tech is slow at going mainstream and actually changing society. This means that early hype sign are not enough to ensure that society at large will be changed soon. All we can do is study, turn on our brains, and make our best effort to predict the future knowing we’re likely to be wrong.

That said, let’s go through a review of the year. I’ll also make my predictions for what will happen in 2023, keep me accountable 🙂

AI takes over the world

What. A. Year.

The main two breakthroughs have obviously been DALL-E2 and ChatGPT. But that’s not all:

There’s been also a lot of issues though. Some of those are the now old problems around biases, like when Meta’s Galactica model spit out racist scientific research or last week I talked about Lensa’s objectification of women. That’s not it, one of the scariest news for me were when AI was proven capable of designing new biological weapons.

Another fear I have is how AI will change human psychology. AI is not sentient, but it’s freaking hard to understand that when you talk to some of the latest super powerful models. So hard that even people at Google started being convinced of its sentience.

All these problems call for AI regulation. The US made its move this year with the AI bill of rights, but tech is moving 100x faster than law.

Gianluca’s AI predictions

I’ll make 5:

  • Google will make its move and launch a much better version of ChatGPT
  • We’ll witness an unprecedented wave of innovation using generative AI. Hundreds of startups will be born and every major tech company will start integrating large language models in their products (Meta, Amazon, Apple, etc.)
  • AI will contribute to the discovery of at least one FAD-approved drug
  • We’ll start witnessing the first wave of actual job replacements by AI
  • I will launch an AI startup 👀

Crypto & NFTs

Remember NFTs? For the first half of the year it looked like they were THE thing. We talked about drops by Gamestop, Mastercard, and even holy Vatican NFTs. Everyone seemed bullish: Bored Ape’s Yacht Club’s $3B acquisition of Cryptopunks was a sign of consolidation and the integrations with Coinbase and Instagram hinted at broad integration with our digital lives and upcoming massive adoption. Even Eminem and Snoopdog’s made a song about NFTs.

NFTs were becoming so big that they almost crashed the Ethereum blockchain in may.

Yet, we talked about NFTs just once in the second half of the year, when Ticketmaster announced they were going to start using them. And that’s not because I forgot about them, it’s the entire world who forgot, with sales dropping 90% since January.

Probably NFTs suffered from the general turmoil in crypto. There have been really not a lot of positive stuff happening in crypto this year (except the historical merge).

We started with the historic $600M hack of Axie Infinity, then the massive crash of Luna, and we finished with a bang with FTX’s $32B collapse.

It’s been a rough year for crypto. I have never appreciated the crypto ecosystem, mostly because it’s dominated by greed masked with promises of freedom. I don’t mind the latter, but this year’s failure highlighted that there’s a lot of bad actors that need to be eliminated before crypto can achieve any of its broader promises.

Gianluca’s Crypto and NFTs predictions

I’ll make an easy one and a bold one. Easy: the aftermath of the FTX failure will dramatically speed up regulation. The US will lead this process with a major regulation that will force exchanges to be basically like standard banks.

This will make it easier for standard banks to get involved, paradoxically pushing crypto adoption. It all depends on the public feeling around crypto.

Bold prediction: the FTX meltdown will affect other crypto exchanges. There’s already rumors about problems at Binance. Binance may fall, and start the biggest crypto winter ever experienced.

Honorable mentions

⚛ We made 2 major steps forward for Nuclear fusion: a new temperature record and a first net-positive energy production. Pretty cool.

Dishonorable mentions

👎 Remember the Metaverse? Hasn’t worked much. Yet?

🚫 We lost SO. MUCH. TIME talking about Elon Musk (mentioned in 18/50 tech pizza editions!). I still didn’t figure out if he’s a genius, an idiot, a genius who lost his mind, or whatever. One thing I’m sure: his ego has gotten out of hand.

🥷 So. Many. Hacks. From Axie Infinity to Uber to the massive China hack, hackers still love stealing and people still can’t protect themselves.

You reached the end of this YEAR’s edition 😢

Thank you so much for spending this year together. See you in your inbox in 2023!

Let me know if you liked this edition, and if you want reply to this email to wish me a merry Christmas 🎄

I’ll talk to you next week in 2023.

Ciao 👋

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