2023 Review: Innovations in Generative AI, AR/VR, Robotics, and Beyond

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2023 was a year of changes in many aspects. Technological concepts, systems, and products that are increasingly embedded in our daily lives. This year, artificial intelligence, robotics, and virtual reality have been on the agenda, and these technologies have been incorporated into daily life with recent developments. Technology-related topics are presented throughout the year, from art to daily life, construction to design processes. Although these technological developments began to make a name for themselves with their positive effects, they also brought many controversial issues. This year, topics such as artificial intelligence and ethics, artificial intelligence and robots replacing human power in the design and production sector, and values of original productions were among the discussions.

Looking back to 2023, when many positive and negative events triggered change, many firsts, trending topics, breakthroughs, and significant changes may have been encountered. In this sense, this article aims to present a compilation of some of the issues that came to the fore during the year.

Generative AI: ChatGPT and more

© Jonathan Kemper

Some may say 2023 was the year of generative AI and would not be wrong. After the release of ChatGPT at the end of 2022, generative AI took a significant place in daily life. Starting from its release, generative AI became a hot topic during the following year with its continuous developments. In the beginning, many individuals engaged with these tools out of a sense of curiosity about generative AI or simply for entertainment. However, the landscape has evolved, and now people are turning to generative AI for academic support, seeking advice, and using it to locate or generate information. Other applications include seeking coding assistance and utilizing the technology to create images, videos, or audio content.

Since the introduction of advanced large language models (LLMs) to the development of the groundbreaking Humane AI Pin and the generation of a brand-new Beatles song, this year has showcased AI’s swift evolution and widespread influence. AI has seamlessly woven itself into the tapestry of our daily existence, molding our technology and significantly influencing our culture and artistic expressions.

In early 2023, with the domination of ChatGPT, Google introduced Bard AI, and Microsoft integrated Bing with ChatGPT. With text generation, AI began to create text-to-image or video content. People started to use AI to create covers of favorite songs from their favorite singers, and some musicians used AI voice cloning to create synthetic music. While these developments became popular and standard so fast during the year, giant companies started integrating AI naturally, such as Coca-Cola, which began generating ads partly through AI, and Levi’s for generating virtual models.

Adobe Firefly: Photoshop Generative Fill

via rangefinderonline

In April, Adobe launched Firefly, artificial intelligence tool, that lets users generate images from text commands. After a short time, it became Adobe’s most talked about beta launch. AI integration with the Photoshop Generative Fill command made a significant impact. Incorporating Generative AI into Photoshop reshapes designers’ creative journey, transforming how images are crafted and blended. It offers limitless possibilities with limitless prompts and suggestions. It also significantly boosts workflow efficiency while injecting enjoyment into the creative process. It’s as straightforward as making a selection, activating the generated feature, and witnessing a multitude of alternatives unfold before you.

DALL-E and ChatGPT Integration

DALL-E is one of the most popular text-to-image generators. In September this year, OpenAI announced that DALL-E and ChatGPT are now interoperable. Integrations like this, which we have encountered frequently this year, have actually made these changes realized through artificial intelligence and made them easily usable by everyone. Since these developments have been on the agenda throughout the year, these practices, which everyone has tried for fun, have gone viral many times.

With the ease of use of ChatGPT, this integration enables the production of DALL-E quality images as a result of simple prompts and chat-like discussions, which makes it easier for all to use.

Release of Midjourney v5

2023
© Joshua Vermillion

Midjourney is one of the pioneers in the field of AI generative art. It showcases making the distinction between fantasy and reality blurry with every new version. In March 2023, the first v 5 version of Midjourney was released. Although Midjourney productions almost always make a splash, significant changes and improvements were observed in production after the release of Midjourney v 5. The most talked-about deficiency in the previous versions was the defects in the hand parts in human image production. This problem was largely solved with Midjourney v 5, which became one of the most popular developments of the version.

While developments of realistic images from scratch attracted great attention, the speed and quality increase in production were also prominent features of Midjourney v 5. During the year, v 5.1 and v 5.2 versions were also released, in which bugs were fixed, production was improved, accelerated, and improved quality. With ongoing improvements to algorithms that increase photorealism and dynamic range, among many other features, Midjourney continues to excite its users and make a name for itself with every new update.

Release of Genie by Luma AI

2023

In November, Luma AI introduced a new tool named Genie, enabling individuals to generate realistic 3D models effortlessly. This innovative tool allowed us to bring 3D objects to life using natural language prompts. Traditional 3D modeling software requires expertise and time, limiting accessibility. From this point, Genie drew attention with its features of being accessible for everyone to use and reducing the production of 3D objects from text to a more straightforward process. And it has gained rapid popularity because of its speed and effectiveness. Although there are certain aspects that need to be improved, the subject of text-to-object generation seems to continue to come to the fore with various developments.

While the generative AI examples and breaking points we have encountered throughout the year can be increased, it is possible to draw attention to a point: AI developments entered our lives in a way that was openly accessible to everyone at one point and maintained its popularity.

AR and VR

2023

AR and VR are concepts that have been in our lives for a while and quickly entered our lives with various products and applications. The necessity of disconnecting from the real world, especially during and after the pandemic, played an important role in developing AR and VR concepts. Options for holding meetings in virtual reality were once on the agenda.

In 2023, these developments continued, and AR and VR were made available for use in different areas. AR currently has many applications in many sectors, such as being able to see a virtual attachment in a real-life object or environment with a phone application, developing vehicles that track road and environmental information on the screen in the automotive industry, eliminating the need to try it in retail and shopping physically, and many more. Headsets, which came to the fore with the transfer of the physical environment to the virtual environment, the production of digital twins, and thus enabling virtual reality trips, were among the highly anticipated products that continued to develop in 2023.

Reveal of Apple Vision Pro

2023

In mid-2023, Apple introduced its highly anticipated product, Apple Vision Pro. While it was announced that it would go on sale in early 2024, the visuals of the application process shown in the presentation excited many people. It was announced that Apple Vision Pro, which aims to create a seamless blend between real life and virtual life, will be sold at a higher price compared to similar headsets such as Meta Quest. This may be because it is thought to be a product that can offer a more advanced and natural feeling and maintain Apple’s quality aesthetically.

Considering that the biggest problem of headsets is uncomfortable feelings such as alienation from the physical world, headache, and nausea when used for a long time, a more natural connection target can reduce such problems. Apple Vision Pro came to the fore with its presentation in 2023 and seems to be on the agenda with experience feedback when it goes on sale next year.

Release of Meta Quest 3

2023

With developing technology and experience, a continuous upgrade in headsets is inevitable. Meta Quest 3, announced at the beginning of the year, was released in October as Meta’s latest headset product. While it offers better quality visual service than its predecessors, it stands out with more memory and storage features. The noted speed and charging issues have also been significantly improved, and it entered our lives in 2023 as the most advanced headset produced by Meta.

3D Print and Robotics

2023
© Stampanti 3D

The construction industry, just like many other sectors, is witnessing huge advancements in the field of 3D printing. This technology is being used in various innovative ways to build structures and components. Moreover, we are also witnessing the emergence of new assistants in our daily lives such as robot vacuum cleaners and delivery robots. These machines are becoming increasingly popular due to their efficiency and convenience.

Launch of Holcim’s 14Trees Construction Printer

2023
© Holcim

In mid-2023, 14Trees, a Holcim and British International Investment joint venture, announced the release of Iroko, a new construction-ready 3D printer. Building upon 14Trees’ extensive expertise as a pioneer in 3D printing for construction, their proprietary technology has gained attention in 2023 for delivering heightened reliability and mobility at a more economical cost. This advancement accelerates the adoption of smart construction practices. The Iroko is pivotal in scaling up sustainable construction efforts, aiming to construct more efficiently with minimized environmental impact. Its standout features include the digital optimization of materials used to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and make them suitable for diverse, affordable applications from housing to schools.

2023 also includes many first 3D-printed buildings. Such as Europe’s first 3D-printed social housing apartment, Guatemala’s first-ever 3D-printed building, the world’s first 3D-printed post office in Bengaluru, or Thailand’s first 3D-printed medical center.

The debut of Amazon’s Robot: Digit

2023
© GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop

A new co-worker, Digit, was introduced in the last quarter of 2023 for Amazon employees who have been working with robots for a long time. In addition to the idea that robots will take over people’s jobs, it is also possible to see them as co-workers and make human jobs easier with their capabilities. At this point, Digit is an assistant robot that has two hands and two feet and can move back and forth, turn, bend, grasp, and carry. Although it debuted with the fact that it is still in the development stage. It is thought that Digit will contribute significantly to human safety in the working environment, as well as help and facilitate the work in the warehouse.

Technological developments have been unabated for a while and have recently begun rapidly adapting to daily life. In this sense, 2023 was one of the important years in which we received many different developments and products. Generative AI was undoubtedly one of this year’s most talked-about topics. And this popularity will likely continue to increase next year with rising developments, products, and systems.

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