2023 in Review: This year’s themes and topics

As 2023 is soon coming to an end, I wanted to briefly reflect on the topics I have covered on the blog this year. What subjects have popped up again and again, and which ones are likely to haunt us well into the future?

Artificial Intelligence, Ethics and Generative AI

Artificial intelligence is currently one of the biggest, and most spotlighted topics in terms of technology and innovation. Accordingly, it has featured quite significantly on the blog this year: I have highlighted a variety of roles in data science and AI which are continuing to grow as AI becomes more widely integrated into society. I have also considered how it might change the job market, potentially erasing some roles and creating new positions and perhaps even industry sectors. I also devoted one article to examining how AI, in particular generative AI programmes like ChatGPT, are already affecting the freelance market.

Generative AI in particular has been a focal point here, in part because it requires less technological skill from its users, allowing it for far wider untrained use. I have covered potential business use cases and ways to integrate AI – many of these in service of automation and improved productivity. But I have also tried to highlight the ethical insufficiencies behind generative AI. Many AI-related projects still lack ethical oversight and have little to no protocols about the potential harms and risks. Given that the European Parliament passed a provisional agreement for an AI Act only a few weeks ago, I am personally hopeful that we will see more developments in AI regulation – but there is no doubt that this will remain a strongly contested topic.

The Future of Work

While AI has been easily the most dominant topic this year, I have covered many other topics as well. Many of these can be loosely grouped under the umbrella of the future of work:

I have considered whether skilled immigrants might be a solution to an oncoming recession, and what employers can do to attract and integrate such immigrants. I have also written about how the labour market, both in terms of its demands and offerings might be changing – and how important leveraging your transferable skills are when you are looking to switch jobs. From thinking about what “21st century skills” might be, to examining how to hire members of Generation Z which are slowly entering the workforce.  

One of my most recent articles was about the future of hybrid working: while it is clearly here to stay, it is not yet fully embedded within our culture, and remains under negotiation in some places and organisations.  Of course, this comes on the heels of a pandemic which is no longer widely acknowledged but has done much to widely establish remote working as a legitimate mode of work.  

Looking Ahead

Many of these topics which have already featured on the blog will likely remain important in 2024 and perhaps beyond. In the spirit of the OpenAI-Sam Altman fiasco last month, we are likely to see equal amounts of technological developments and corporate posturing in the coming years. I strongly believe that AI has the potential to transform society as we know it, for better and worse, so it will likely remain a centre-stage topic.

When it comes to more undefined topics like the future of work – of course there will be changes, especially as a young generation with markedly different ideals and goals is slowly entering into the workforce. But these will come gradually as shifts, rather than clean breaks.

For anyone interested in exploring the blog entries mentioned above, they can be found linked within the text, or simply in the catalogue of the blog.