If we start to think that we started 2007 without the existence of the iPhone, or that Instagram was only launched in 2010, we will realize that the advances that occur year after year in technological matters are significant. So it doesn’t hurt to review what happened in 2022 in this regard. Both for us and for us of the future who want to laugh at those things that seemed new to us in the distant 2022.
A difficult year for the tech industry. Let’s put things black and white: On the face of it, 2022 was not a good year for the tech industry. In fact, different international investment groups such as Goldman Sachs have declared that “the exceptional progress of the technology industry that marked the last ten years seems to have come to an end.” And these statements should not surprise us if we see that tech giants like Amazon, Microsoft or Apple have lost millions of dollars in terms of their market capitalization value this year. Amazon, for example, became the first company in the world in November to report falls of one billion dollars on the stock market. This uses a wave of layoffs among big tech companies globally, led by Meta, which cut its workforce by 13%.
Why did this happen? In the last ten years, and more specifically since 2020, the cost of international financing has been relatively low. “Sweet silver” can be said making reference to the national popular culture. That caused many startups and big tech companies to raise a lot of capital to expand and invest in technology. However, the rise in rates in the United States to stop inflation possibly a contraction in the level of investments that especially affected technology companies.
Within this area, fintech and crypto companies, which have been the last to enter the investment wave, were particularly affected. Perhaps the most paradigmatic case due to its impact on other companies was that of FTX, one of the largest crypto companies in the world that filed for bankruptcy on November 11. When we did this same column last year, we talked about 2021 as the year of massification of cryptocurrencies. In that same one, 2022 implied a slight contraction in the ecosystem that, however, is still alive and thriving.
Another factor to be expected for next year is that many of these technology companies are also deciding to return to face-to-face work models. It would seem that the new normal for 2023 is more like 2019 than 2020. In principle.
Advances, with AI at the forefront
Although it may seem contradictory, 2022 has also been a year of great advances in technology, even within the same companies that we just mentioned. Amazon, for example, has just launched the Amazon Clinic, a platform that aims to revolutionize telemedicine and is already being used in several North American states. Opening an interesting course in regard to the technological industry applied to health.
In this sense, if there is one item that had a special expansion in 2022, it is that of artificial intelligence. To crown a year of great visibility for this technology, the World Cup in Qatar was positioned as “the most technological in history”, incorporating semi-automatic offside detection systems that use AI. And that they gave us a nice headache in the fateful match against Saudi Arabia.
A few months earlier, Dall-e 2, Midjourney, and Stable Diffusion created a furor among internet users. All three ultra-powerful technologies were made freely available so that the general public could synthetically generate images from text. In the same way, around the end of the year, the famous GPT3 Chat also became popular on the networks, a synthetic text generator that uses artificial intelligence and a lot of information to have conversations that would easily pass the Turing test. It is worth clarifying that he could not help me write this column because, as he very kindly clarified, he was only altered until 2021. “I cannot provide information on events or news that have occurred after my training period,” he explained.
Musk: character of the year
The South African tycoon has never gone unnoticed for almost a decade. But if there is a year in which he had a special role, it was this one. The first part of the year was marked by the novel around the purchase of Twitter, and the last few months by the changes that it promotes in the little bird’s social network. Tesla, another of his projects, had an erratic year like the entire industry, but it capped it off with the launch of the first electric transport truck and record deliveries in the third quarter, positioning itself as the most innovative company in the world according to the Center of Automotive Management.
For its part, Spacex closed the year with the launch of the Falcon Heavy superrocket and made a double landing. A busy year for the new owner of Twitter.
2022 seems to have been a difficult year for the technological world. But the opportunities turn out to be greater and greater and the transversal importance of this industry is more and more undeniable. Thank you for joining me in all these columns this year. See you in 2023.
Despite everything, the transversal importance of this industry is increasingly undeniable
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