Technological forecasts for 2023 are exhilarating, and it seems that the sky is the limit as we collectively push the boundaries of discovery. However, as history has shown, technology often presents us with a double-edged sword; as we move into 2023 and consider some of the thrilling developments and advancements that lay ahead in the coming year, we’re faced with a time-honored question: at what cost?
Arguably, two of the more potentially disruptive technologies to watch in 2023 are OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGTP, and Global Battery Alliance’s Battery Passports. While we can appreciate their benefits and potential contributions to society, a few eyebrows have been raised at their potential pitfalls as well, forcing us to consider their possible repercussions.
On the other hand, the development of technologies like Battery Passports points to sustainability, as well as supply chain transparency, both positive trends that businesses and governments are readily adopting. Perhaps one of the most promising technological developments currently underway is the Minerals Security Partnership, an international alliance in which participating countries implement the production and recycling of critical minerals in a sustainable way. Let’s take a look at a few of the promising—and potentially problematic—developments that could await some of the breakthrough technologies in the months ahead.
OpenAI’s Chat GPT emerged on the tech scene in November 2022. Its release caused a buzz across various disciplines due to its wide range of potential applications, which include applications for journalism, social media, and even writing cover letters for job applications.
ChatGPT is capable of creating beautifully written products, but it is not flawless. Two primary issues have arisen with this new chatbot: the program does not guarantee that the final product is factual, and there is already evidence that hackers are attempting to bypass the API restrictions for nefarious purposes.
The Washington Post recently reported that CNET published dozens of feature articles written by AI as an experiment. Much of the information published in these AI-generated articles was later discovered to be full of inaccuracies, causing CNET to revisit and edit the writing.
“One of the biggest problems with ChatGPT is that it comes back, very confidently, with falsities,” explained Professor Michael Wooldridge, the director of foundational AI research at the Alan Turing Institute in London. “It doesn’t know what’s true or false. It doesn’t know the world.”
“You should absolutely not trust it,” Woolridge said. “You need to check what it says.”
Although ChatGPT was not made fully available worldwide in order to prevent its usage for criminal purposes, Check Point Research (CPR) has reported that malicious hackers have already accessed the chatbot and are using it to help write problematic code. The issues surrounding hacking of this nature should not be taken lightly. Sergey Shykevich is a threat intelligence group manager at Check Point Software Technologies, and he warns that it is relatively easy to bypass ChatGPT’s current restriction measures.
Overall, this exciting new form of AI is definitely one to watch in 2023. However, given a few of these recent revelations, for now we must approach it with extreme caution.
To create more transparency regarding electric vehicle (EV) batteries, the Global Battery Alliance (GBA) developed the idea of the Battery Passport. The Battery Passport is a “digital twin” of the EV battery and will track its activity, monitor its usage, and provide information regarding the sustainability of the battery, as well as lifecycle maintenance. By following the battery’s “lifecycle,” the Battery Passport will record how much it is used and whether it is properly disposed of at the end of its lifespan.
It is important to be environmentally conscious, and we should focus on sustainability as we look toward the future. Battery Passports are a step toward greener technology that awaits in the future, although still greater developments are in the works.
Rather than attempting to create new technologies, several governments worldwide are now collaborating to ensure transparency as they implement more environmentally friendly practices and broaden supply chains with existing ones. Arguably, one of the most promising examples is the Minerals Security Partnership.
THE MINERALS SECURITY PARTNERSHIP (MSP)
In June 2022, the establishment of the Minerals Security Partnership (MSP) was announced. Marking an agreement between the US and several countries that guarantees certain environmental and ethical standards with the projected rise in demand for critical minerals, the partnership will also ensure that participating countries fully benefit economically from their production and that participating countries share information more readily.
The need for an established international diversified collaboration has become increasingly clear. Both the Covid-19 pandemic and rising energy prices due to the war in Ukraine have highlighted the importance of not relying solely on one country to provide certain resources. Additionally, the need for minerals such as lithium, nickel, and copper, is projected to increase exponentially as the world shifts toward developing clean air and technology.
With this recent agreement, these minerals will be mined in a more sustainable way across several countries and add the benefit of not relying solely on one source of production. The MSP is dedicated to supporting sustainable practices, as well as supply chain transparency, signaling a positive future trend.
2023 is pointing toward the incorporation of sustainability and more transparency between countries. The MSP is a positive step in the direction of implementing such practices and widening supply chains, and the Battery Passport represents another potential step toward sustainability. Finally, regarding ChatGPT and the buzz it has generated, we must caution against recklessness with the development of artificial intelligence. While impressive, such technologies are rife with imperfections, and for now, should be treated as such.
The strides that we make in the tech sector are fraught with potential pitfalls. It is critical that we examine them carefully before they are incorporated more broadly into our lives; both for the remainder of 2023, and in the years to come.