Anyone else feel like AI gave you whiplash in 2023?
I remember first testing chatGPT in early January — and being so concerned about it replacing my job that I called up Jasper’s Head of Enterprise Marketing for an interview.
From there, things only picked up steam. We watched as Microsoft released its own Bing chatbot … followed swiftly by Google's Bard.
Soon after that, every large tech company from Meta to Amazon to Nvidia were announcing their own AI tools.
Before we head into 2024, let's reflect on the biggest AI stories in 2023 and discuss some predictions for the new year.
AI in 2023: A Year In Review
January: Microsoft and OpenAI agree to years-long alliance.
In January, Microsoft announced it was investing $10 billion in OpenAI over several years.
This included investments in the development of supercomputing systems, Microsoft‘s own services being built on OpenAI’s technology, and the creation of services meant to empower developers to build their own AI applications.
This is also the month everyone started using ChatGPT. Its user base skyrocketed from 266 million to 616 million, which is 131% growth month-over-month.
In other news, MIT researchers collaborated with Mass General Hospital and developed a deep-learning model that could assess a patient's risk of lung cancer based on CT scans.
February: Google and Microsoft race to announce their own AI-powered tools.
On February 6, Google announced its competitor to ChatGPT: A conversational AI chatbot named Bard.
I'll admit: The timing was suspicious, seeing as Microsoft planned to announce its own AI-powered Bing just one day later.
Some Google employees even expressed concern over the timing of Google's announcement of Bard, describing the disclosure as “rushed”, “botched”, and “un-Googley.”
(P.S. We wrote a full comparison post on Bard, Bing, and ChatGPT.)
February was a month of extreme pressure for many large tech companies who rushed to create alternatives to ChatGPT, which was dominating the landscape.
March: GPT-4 is released … along with a million other AI tools.
March felt like the month in which virtually every company began releasing its own AI products.
A few standouts:
- HubSpot launched ChatSpot.ai and Content Assistant.
- Adobe introduced Firefly, an AI-backed image-generating and editing tool.
- Canva launched its own AI-powered virtual Design Assistants and Brand Managers.
- Zoom announced Zoom IQ.
- Ford introduced Latitude AI, which accelerated the development of Ford's self-driving technology.
Some worried that businesses were releasing AI capabilities too quickly — and in a sign that perhaps validated this fear, Microsoft fired the team dedicated to ensuring responsible development and deployment of AI tools.
Finally, in the healthcare industry, UBC researchers created an AI system that helps predict cancer patient survival rates by analyzing doctors' notes.
April: Amazon joins the fun.
In April, Amazon announced Bedrock, which allows AWS customers to build apps on top of generative AI models and customize them with proprietary data.
Plenty of other companies began hopping on the chatbot bandwagon this month, as well — including Expedia (which created its own AI mobile chatbot), Binance (which launched an AI-powered Crypto chatbot), and Sberbank (Russia's version of ChatGPT).
TikTok announced its own AI tool, which enables TikTok users to create AI-generated profile photos. (I created AI-generated headshots for myself, and the results were more creepy than worthwhile.)
And, in the wild-west of generative AI, Samsung hit the news when Samsung's sensitive data was leaked to ChatGPT, resulting in plenty of businesses putting restrictions on how their own employees could use ChatGPT moving forward.
May: Google's SGE redefines search.
In May, Google opened up its Bard chatbot to the public.
Google also announced its new Search Generative Experience, with limited access.
While it‘s still not available to the public, SGE will drastically change how users’ find information on Google and how they interact with search results.
It was – and still is – a very big deal for the future of SEO, and many content creators and SEO strategists re-strategized.
June: AI for Anti-Aging
As we headed into beach season, things quieted down on the AI front.
One of the most noteworthy call-outs for the month was the launch of Apple's Vision Pro, an AI-powered augmented reality headset.
Additionally, researchers at The University of Edinburgh leveraged AI algorithms to identify powerful anti-aging drugs — another big milestone in healthcare and AI.
July: Microsoft announces enterprise version of Bing Chat.
In July, Microsoft announced Bing Chat Enterprise, which enables users to leverage Bing Chat without needing to worry about confidential data ending up on the open web. (Remember the Samsung scandal?)
Microsoft also introduced Microsoft 365 Copilot, dubbed “Your AI assistant at work”, which costs $30 per user per month and allows users to access their own corporate data through generative AI.
August: Google launches its own enterprise AI products.
Duet AI for Workspace is an AI-based tool for productivity, workflows, and more efficient meetings. (And which also costs $30 per user per month.)
Additionally, Google announced innovations to its AI-optimized infrastructure, Vertex AI, and Duet AI in Google Cloud.
And in one more Google-related August update: This is the month they announced their new watermarking technology, SynthID, which is designed to spot AI-generated images and should help prevent deepfakes.
September: Meta Stickers, Meta AI, and Meta Characters
Pausing any discussions on OpenAI, Google, or Microsoft, let's shift the attention to Meta. Because, in September, they stole the show.
In September, Meta announced some big launches:
- They began rolling out AI stickers for chats and stories.
- They launched conversational chatbot “Meta AI” in beta.
- They introduced 28 AI “characters” that you can converse with, including Kendall Jenner as “Billie”, Snoop Dogg as “Dungeon Master”, and Tom Brady as “Bru”.
- They announced their new Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses, which enable you to livestream and engage with Meta AI through voice activation.
(Interested in learning more? Check out Are Meta’s Celebrity Bots Taking AI Too Far?)
Shifting from the tech world to the literary world for a moment: In September, fiction writers including Jodi Picoult, George R. R. Martin, and Jonathan Franzen sued OpenAI for copyright infringement.
Oh — one other big call-out for September? On September 27, the Writers Guild of America strike ended.
If you‘re not up to speed, here’s a quick recap: The strike, in part, focused on whether studios could use AI to write entire scripts, re-write scripts written by humans with AI, or leverage AI for source material.
In short, the strike ended with the Writers Guild getting what they wanted. Curious about the full saga? Take a look at our rundown of the strikes and the role AI played.
October: President Biden signed an executive order on
In a major moment related to government regulations and AI — In October, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order on artificial intelligence.
The 63-page document addresses multiple AI concerns — such as the impact of AI on the labor market, algorithmic discrimination and how that could impact civil rights, and AI fraud.
This is one of the first big steps we've seen in the U.S. when it comes to government guidance on AI.
November: OpenAI's CEO is fired. Then rehired.
We started the year abuzz with OpenAI, and we're ending the year abuzz with OpenAI.
Chaos erupted in mid-November when co-founder Sam Altman was suddenly fired as OpenAI's CEO. Then hired by Microsoft to lead up their new AI research unit. Then re-hired as OpenAI's CEO, with a new board of directors. All in a week's time.
(Here's the full timeline of everything that happened after Sam Altman's firing. It's a doozy.)
Besides the firing-hiring drama, OpenAI also launched custom versions of ChatGPT – called GPTs – in early November, which allows anyone to create their own personal GPT for their company's internal use. They can also design stickers, create personal fitness routines, and more.
In non-OpenAI news: In early November, Elon Musk announced Grok, his ChatGPT-rival that will eventually be a feature for X Premium+ subscribers.
On his X account on November 3, Musk mentioned that one of Grok's differentiating factors is its real-time access to information via the X platform.
Finally, Humane launched its AI Pin, which is the first AI wearable device.
December: The End In Sight?
Ah – we made it!
This month was relatively quiet AI-wise.
One call-out? Google introduced Gemini in early December, which is a multimodal AI model and is meant to rival OpenAI's GPT-4. Gemini impressively beat-out GPT-4 in benchmarks set by AI researchers. (More on that here.)
Let‘s end with a few predictions on what’s coming up with AI in 2024.
2024 AI Predictions, According to HubSpotters
- “We'll see our first $10mm+ revenue company by a solo founder who uses AI to handle 75-80% of the work.” — David Groechel, HubSpot's Senior Marketing Technical Manager
- "Hyper-personalized everything: Landing pages, advertisements, chatbots, emails, sales calls, flyers, and anything else that can be personalized to you is going to be. With all the data we have available and the power of LLMs to adjust the style, tone, and language of the outputs they provide, everyone is going to try to speak to your specific needs in exactly the way that you want. I always think of the advertising scene from Minority Report and feel like we are getting so close to it." — Dejan Ignjatovic, HubSpot's Senior Manager, Marketing Technology - AI
- “More marketers will leverage AI to increase website conversions in 2024. AI-powered machine learning ensures that we deliver the best possible experience for each visitor, whether it’s suggesting products, offering personalized content, or guiding them through a conversion funnel. This approach will result in higher user satisfaction and increased conversions in 2024 and beyond.” — Jennifer Lux, HubSpot's Head of Growth Acquisition
- "Imagine having a virtual shopping assistant that doesn't just recommend popular products but engages in real-time conversations to talk about the latest trends in footwear to find the best shoe style for you. In 2024, I think interactive applications like this will redefine user experiences across the web. From virtual shopping, booking travel, or personalized education adapting to how we learn individually ... I think AI applications in the new year will reflect a growing demand for programs that actively respond to an individual's needs and create a more seamless and enjoyable digital experience." — Matt Heim, HubSpot's Marketing Technical Manager, AI
- "In 2024, more and more businesses will start adapting AI on their everyday tasks and services. AI will become very essential to be competitive. From AI-powered chatbots, to tools to help businesses understand data insights they wouldn't be able to without the help of AI." — Daniela Aguilar, HubSpot's Marketing Technical Manager, AI
- "With AI capabilities improving at such a drastic pace, I think AI ethics is going to be front and center in 2024. AI is able to generate news, text, images, videos, and basically any other source of media incredibly quickly and it's becoming more and more difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction when you see something online. To counterbalance this, I believe we're going to need some sort of framework in place to ensure responsible and transparent use of AI." — Dejan Ignjatovic, HubSpot's Senior Manager, Marketing Technology - AI
And there you have it! A full year-in-review of the top stories related to AI that happened in 2023.
With some reflection and some new AI predictions to consider, you're officially prepped to enter 2024.