According to Michele Wong, Spark IoT Lead, 2023 has been an exciting year for technology as many people are introduced to the possibilities of what tech can do, and this is expected to continue next year.
From the takeover of artificial intelligence (AI) to the continued evolution of 5G, tech is continuing to innovate and come up with new ways of operating, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
Wong sits down with us at Idealog to talk us through some of the trends to look out for in the new year.
The growing demand for sustainable technology
One of the things to look out for in 2024, says Wong, is the demand for sustainable technologies that help reduce carbon emissions but also protect the environment.
In the new year, sustainable technologies will be seeing more and more innovation and technology development.
Sustainability has quickly become a core consideration for many businesses across the world, and having technology to support and back up these businesses will only encourage innovation and development in this space.
“We’ve just got such an amazing ecosystem of businesses in New Zealand that I think more generally and broadly speaking, it’ll be good to sort of keep an eye out for that and kind of look for like-minded partners to work with,” says Wong.
AI is not going away
Collins Dictionary named AI has the word of the year for 2023 for the popularity of the tech across everyday life, with even The Beatles releasing their final song thanks to the advanced technology.
Wong says that though 2023 saw news about AI nearly every day, this will only continue heading into the new year with increased curiosity.
“We’ll definitely see more AI-based services and products as a lot of different vendors and operators come up to speed, in terms of how they can better leverage that tech to innovate to introduce new services to market,” she says.
In the new year, Wong says that as more people get accustomed to the technology, innovation is bound to continue, especially across a number of other tech industries.
Read more: Is there space for innovation in AI?
Can I get a side of data with that please?
As AI continues to grow in popularity, Wong says that because data feeds AI models, it can be expected that more focus and investment will be put into data strategy.
“AI models obviously rely on that data for input, but also for feedback loop. And so, I think that would be on a lot of organisations’ mind and investment roadmap in terms of how to get that data in the first place, but then also how you actually manage and use that data to fuel innovation,” adds Wong.
Whether you are a small business or a large multinational corporation, data is vital for understanding how a business is running and with that information how to continue working and improving, and identifying what new ideas can be created.
“It’s incredible what people will come up with when they have the tools, when they have data and insight that just sparks the imagination.”
But with the rise in data being crucial to any business, the topic of data privacy and cybersecurity come up and Wong says these are all really important aspects that need to be understood.
Staying connected thanks to 5G
Behind the entirety of technology, the backbone that binds it all together is 5G.
2023 was the year that saw tech companies across New Zealand put real focus in deployment adoption of 5G technology, and this is expected to grow in the new year.
Thanks to 5G infrastructure, the country and the world can stay connected, and through this technology, innovative solutions are bound to come alive.
Earlier in 2023, when the country faced extreme weather events, Wong says that the 5G infrastructure was helpful in capturing data that would be helpful for the future where it may happen again.
“If you don’t have reliable infrastructure and connectivity, how are you going to be able to get the data? If you don’t have the accurate and timely data, then how are you going to be able to run AI models?,” says Wong.
Though it is not the be-all and end-all when predicting the future, it is clear that the technology is breeding innovation at a rapid pace that is set to become part of all our normal lives.