2023: The year of AI, Big Tech regulation, EVs & more

Intro: 2023 has been a pivotal year for technology, where generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) firmly established itself, initiating an era where it’s no longer a futuristic concept but a tangible, integral reality. With the surge in AI also came government regulations on Big Tech.

Artificial intelligence becomes a reality

2023 was an incredible year for artificial intelligence, with the industry witnessing record adoption, funding, and innovation in the technology. The year saw an exponential rise in the use of generative AI thanks to products like ChatGPT, Bard and IBM Watson. 

The establishment of large foundation models lowered experimentation costs in generative AI, inviting businesses to look at ways to integrate it into their products. This development increased industry adoption and forced generative AI products to become secure and ethical. 

The global generative AI market is worth over $13 billion and is expected to cross $22 billion by 2025.

Microsoft-backed OpenAI achieved a significant financial milestone in 2023, crossing the $1 billion mark for the first time and reaching a remarkable $1.6 billion in revenue.

According to Indian tech industry leaders, the coming year presents an exciting opportunity for purpose-driven organisations to better serve their communities as we advance in ways of using AI which will require more funding and expertise.

Around 59 per cent of employees in India are confident in their ability to adapt and utilise AI tools, indicating that there is likely to be widespread acceptance of AI at work in 2024.

About 71 per cent of enterprises globally are experimenting with real use cases for generative AI and over the next decade, generative AI will be the fulcrum that accelerates business growth.

 

 

Electric Vehicles enters mainstream 

With the introduction of new models and an expanding charging infrastructure, EVs are becoming more viable and appealing to consumers. The shift towards electric transportation is not only reducing carbon emissions but also reshaping the automotive industry. 

India is at the forefront of adopting EVs but there is a long way to go. Vietnam’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer VinFast and the Tamil Nadu state government have just announced a partnership to build a $2 billion EV facility in the country, with an intended commitment of $500 million for the first phase of the project.

Elon Musk-run Tesla is also slated to enter the Indian market very soon. As reports surfaced about the tech billionaire arriving in India to announce a Tesla manufacturing unit in Gujarat, the focus has once again shifted to ramp up the public infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs) in the country in order to meet the ambitious 2030 goal of the government.

India needs to have a robust backbone for charging infrastructure across the length and breadth of the country with considerations of traffic and population density, as it aims to break the barriers for large-scale adoption of electric vehicles.

India’s top nine cities, with a population of over 40 lakh each, would require 18,000 public EV charging stations by 2030, according to the recent government data.

Currently, more than 9,000 public EV charging stations are operational in the country with over 16,000 EV chargers.

India may need a minimum of 1.32 million charging stations by 2030 to facilitate the rapid adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), according to a recent report released by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The country may see 1 crore electric vehicle (EV) sales annually by 2030, generating nearly 5 crore jobs, according to Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways.

India’s EV market has the potential to achieve over 40 per cent penetration with $100 billion revenue by 2030, a substantial increase from the current 5 per cent penetration.

 

 

Big Tech faces intense government scrutiny

After US President Joe Biden issued an artificial intelligence (AI)-focused executive order in 2023, experts suggest it’s only the beginning of AI regulation in the US, and globally.

Before issuing an executive order outlining general safeguards for AI use, Biden enlisted voluntary agreements from major companies leading the development of the tech including Google parent Alphabet, Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Amazon, Microsoft, OpenAI Inc. and Nvidia.

Companies across the world are working on AI but regulation in the U.S. specifically could serve as an international standard. 

The EU also unveiled a set of “revolutionary” laws to curb the power of six big tech companies, including allowing consumers to decide what apps they want on their phone and to delete preloaded software such as Google or Apple’s maps apps.

The Digital Markets Act (DMA), the second big package of EU laws to hit tech firms in two months, defines a series of obligations that gatekeepers need to comply with, including not engaging in anti-competitive practices.

The act follows the Digital Services Act, which came into force in August last year and aims to curb online hate, child sexual abuse and disinformation with the first laws ever governing online content.

The tech companies – including Apple, Google and Amazon – have six months to comply with a full list of dos and don’ts under the new laws, after which they could be fined up to 10% of their turnover. In Meta’s case, this would be 10 percent of $120 billion.

Britain’s antitrust regulator will gain legal powers to tailor rules for big tech companies, such as Meta, Alphabet and Amazon, to ensure they treat businesses and consumers fairly, according to the King’s Speech setting out the government’s priorities.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK has proposed “Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers” law.

A small group of big tech companies with designated status will have to comply with the rules. They could be fined up to 10 percent of global turnover for breaches under the proposed bill.

 

 

India manufacturing comes to the fore

From mobile phones to semiconductors, India is set to rewrite the manufactory story and become a global hub soon.

The total production of electronic goods in India in FY23-24 is likely to reach $115 billion, buoyed by mobile phones’ local production which is estimated to exceed $50 billion in the current fiscal year, according to the India Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA).

The country has already crossed $100 billion of electronics manufacturing in 2023 with a major contribution of $44 billion by mobile phone manufacturing.

The country is also moving towards the localisation of other value chain items and substantial investments have been made in the localisation of mechanics, die cut parts, camera modules, display assemblies etc.

The government has set a target of achieving $300 billion worth of electronics manufacturing by 2025-26, with $100 billion expected to come from exports. Mobile phones alone are anticipated to contribute more than $50 billion worth of exports by 2025-26.

Riding on the local manufacturing growth, mobile phone exports from the country have surpassed $9 billion (more than Rs 75,000 crore) from April to November in the current fiscal year, industry data showed.

This stupendous growth is compared to $6.2 billion (Over Rs 50,000 crore) during the same period last year.

Images courtesy of Twitter and file photo

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