2023 Who has a brighter future, machines or humans?

Standing on the first day of 2023, we know nothing about what will happen in that year. Humans have lost the ability to anticipate the future, the confidence that GDP and quality of life will continue to grow, and perhaps even the space to imagine a better future. But the unknown is not ignorance, and 2023 will be a critical year for choosing the direction of human society.
Marc Andreesssen, a 51-year-old American investor, was one of the founders of Netscape, the world’s earliest Internet browser, and later his hedge fund was one of the earliest investors in Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Foursquare, and many other Silicon Valley companies that are now household names. Andreessen, who is worth $1.7 billion and has eaten up the dividends of the Internet industry over the past 20 years with his ability to predict the tech industry, said this on Twitter on the last day of 2022: “Nobody knows what will happen in 2023, whether it’s stock prices, inflation, interest rates, or the economy. “
The truth is that three years of market volatility and lifestyle changes brought about by the new crown epidemic, politically aggressive and reckless monetary policies in countries across the globe have brought humanity into a new, less familiar era of negative growth. Silicon Valley, the global center of science and innovation and the new economy, is the coveted gold mine of all, but throughout 2022, the tech industry has also begun to find itself in a dangerously passive position. It suddenly became clear that Silicon Valley’s mega-corporations, bloated to the point of massive layoffs with little impact on product availability, had nothing to do with the startup culture of Musk, Jobs, Zuckerberg, Gates and others who built their businesses from nothing in underground garages, and whose inspirational stories had been made into movies for more than 15 years.
In 2023, we have to ask the question, will we no longer be able to find growth in the array of mobile apps that make life easier? Are all those new hot stories, be it “meta-universe”, “NFT” or “AI”, just wishful thinking and fictional literature? Is it possible that the era of the tech gold rush is coming to an end? And more importantly, where will capital start looking for a new future in a negative environment?
In October 2021, Mark Zuckerberg made the puzzling move of renaming the famous Facebook company Meta. The VR virtual reality vision he presented at the renaming event was as humble as the old VR game Second Life, but in retrospect, it wasn’t a simple move. Zuckerberg faced a situation that many of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies have gone to the wall for. He understands better than anyone that the commercial attributes of human socialization have been touched to the marrow of the bone, and it is difficult to squeeze out one more penny. The business miracle of doubling the market value several times a year is already difficult to realize, but investors still demand this from the technology industry.
Zuckerberg has taken too big a step, trying to change the basic logic of human life, wanting to completely “visualize” human society and “upload” it to the “cloud” that tech companies can control. This sounds too sci-fi, I’m afraid. This sounds too sci-fi, and few people would believe that such a thing could actually happen. Just a year later, the Meta reforms were declared a complete failure, and Facebook paid a steep price in layoffs, but that was just the beginning. 2022 will be a year of setbacks not only for Facebook, but also for Netflix, which saw its stock price slashed, and for Twitter, which lost money every day even though it was down to a roomful of employees after Elon Musk’s arrival, as well as for Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft, and others. Cisco, Oracle, Microsoft and other old technology companies that have experienced the last wave of dotcom crisis are also facing transformation.
The FTX event in late 2022 caused the virtual currency sector, which had been a favorite of tech capital for several years, to collapse overnight. Bitcoin fell to its lowest point in five years, almost all of the financial hype based on virtual coins proved to be less secure, and even the data factories that mined coins in remote areas were emptied. For the first time, the tech industry finds itself in a position where it can no longer spend huge sums of money to quickly open up a path to prosperity, which brings us back to the original question: why do we need technological advances at all? What is the new thing that we spend so much money and resources on investing in so-called “innovation”?
ChatGPT, which launches in November 2022, offers one explanation: artificial intelligence that can largely replace human intelligence. After extensive testing of ChatGPT, OpenAI expects to launch a new product, GPT4, in 2023. From the experience of using ChatGPT, GPT4 will have extremely powerful writing, comprehension, and content-generation capabilities, and will be able to do most of the white-collar office work better than human beings, and with the support of cloud data technology for higher efficiency, it is predicted that it will be able to It would take only a few million dollars to read through all the text on the Internet. It would be nearly impossible for all humans combined to do that.
It’s interesting to note that the vision of the AI industry has never been at odds with the logic of human supposed well-being. Some economists predict that the GPT4 could replace the jobs of more than 300 million people around the world, and ironically, ChatGPT’s remarkable ability to write code may be the first to replace the programmers behind it.ChatGPT provides the brains, while robotics companies such as Tesla and Boston Dynamics are developing artificial bodies best suited to super-powered AI brains. These bodies are capable of somersaulting as well as jumping over obstacles, and are much more flexible and robust than most human bodies. The sci-fi movie scenario of robots wiping out the human race really isn’t all fantasy when you think about it.
Artificial intelligence is certainly not “smarter” than human beings, and ChatGPT will even voluntarily tell you that it doesn’t have any subjective interests or evaluation criteria, that it can’t distinguish between good and bad, and that it can’t tell whether the information it’s fed is true or false, but these are not disadvantages, and even the algorithms themselves are already dealing with themselves on a regular basis. In recent years, a considerable number of “content generation machines” have appeared on the market, which can quickly generate a large number of small videos that best meet the logic of the algorithm according to the popular content on social networks, using the beautiful pictures in the gallery with the machine collage of popular music and robotic voice-overs. It doesn’t need to be fake, it just needs to be mass-produced to fulfill the needs of a large number of humans to kill time.
What do humans get out of it? Social networks are becoming more and more like the social networks of robots themselves, and human beings, who originally learned knowledge in order to better innovate, can now use artificial intelligence to perfectly replace their own learning, turning the entire process of further education into a kind of mechanical game of pass, and the end result is that any part of the process, even predictions about the future, can be done by machines.

In 2023, technology industry practitioners and investors will have to face this dilemma – choosing AI is actually putting the future of mankind in a rather dangerous situation. It’s an either/or gamble. It is as if human beings have cut themselves out of economic activities and are willing to be the last consumers, a situation that no one can predict what the outcome will be. Under the current circumstances, it is difficult to see any major improvement in the international economic environment in 2023. Inflation in Europe and the United States remains high, interest rates rise higher and higher, business operating costs increase and efficiency decreases, and we can’t know whether China will adopt the same economic stimulus policies as those in Europe and the United States in 2020 to raise the water to new heights after the recovery of the Xinguan epidemic. Even if the economy receives continued stimulus from monetary policy, consumer confidence in the future is at its lowest point in the last 15 to 20 years. Negative growth, or at least slower growth, is almost certainly the theme for 2023, and this has led to humans no longer being willing to go into significant debt or spend.
In terms of consumer technology products, smartphones, sports cameras, gaming devices, fitness equipment, etc. are still the most in-demand products today. The past three years have produced some irreversible changes to human lifestyles. Humans are more inclined to do most of their work and recreational activities at home, and as a result, headphones, head-mounted VR gaming devices, drones, outdoor grills, high-end mattresses, and even Lego toys have become some of the most talked about products on the market.
The Cybertruck being developed by Musk’s Tesla has even plans to convert the car into a real home for people in the digital age. Cybertruck is expected to be released in 2023, on top of which can put a mattress, can carry a lot of storage space, have electronic equipment that allows people to play games and watch movies very comfortably, and can stop anywhere, so that people no longer think of “home” as a solid concept, and in a sense no longer need to work hard just to afford the high cost of housing. In a sense, you no longer need to work hard just to afford the high price of housing. For Musk, who doesn’t buy houses and doesn’t like real estate, a self-driving, large-volume electric car could be his ideal living space. And if this kind of digital capsule life is the future direction of mankind, then Cybertruck may have epochal significance.
Another very sci-fi direction for new tech products is smart lenses: Mojo Vision is developing smart contact lenses that are said to contain the world’s smallest LED display, at just 48 millimeters in size, that moves in response to the movement of the eyeball. This product, if it makes it to market in 2023, will bring us even closer to almost nothing in terms of digital products. With these contact lenses, you could walk into a supermarket and see how much your goods are selling for, play VR games without a headset, and literally see what else you could do. 2023, with the world one step closer to restoring the pre-pandemic order, will humans be willing to walk out of their homes and fly ten hours or more just to have an online meeting with their workmates like they used to do in the olden days? Can the hard-hit tourism, aviation, and trade show industries return to their former prosperous state? The answers here are not simple. Still, at the soccer World Cup in late 2022, we saw humans enthusiastically gather to cheer on the old spirit of sport, and perhaps there is a degree of queering of the reliance on the home life.
2023 is destined to be an unpredictable year, and no one knows what will happen. With the years of prosperity and optimism behind us, it’s time for humanity to stop and think about what kind of future we really want.

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