2023 in AI: The Highs, Lows, Scams, and What’s Next

2023 was quite the year for AI, with everything from new platforms to epic failures, and we'll count them all down for you.

If 2023 was defined by any specific type of technology, it's artificial intelligence. Thanks to vast advancements in the tech that launched in late 2022, this year has seen AI taken to a whole new level, rolling out chatbots and other content generators to business software across the world.

The meteoric rise of generative AI platforms like ChatGPT and Google Bard has been anything but seamless, though. From silly missteps and small errors to regulatory debates and full-on scandals, artificial intelligence has caused quite a kerfuffle in the tech industry in 365 short days.

In this guide, we'll outline all the AI madness, from accomplishments and failures to innovations and platforms, so you know what to expect for AI in 2024.

Most Notable AI Platforms of 2023

The AI boom of 2023 was largely fueled by the wide variety of platforms that launched from big tech firms like Microsoft and Google. These AI chatbots can do everything from respond to questions, develop content, and even generate images, with varying levels of efficacy depending on which one you go with.

Here are some of the most notable AI platforms of 2023:

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ChatGPT

ChatGPT is the AI chatbot that started it all. Created by OpenAI, this initial iteration broke into the tech scene in November 2022, impressing users with its ability to answer questions and create content in mere seconds that (kind of) sounded like an actual person.

Now, a little more than a year later, ChatGPT has more than 180 million users, receives 10 million daily queries, and boasts more than two million paying customers. On top of that, ChatGPT updates continue to roll out, improving on the already impressive tech.

In response, ChatGPT alternatives are popping up on what feels like a daily basis, many of which we've outlined below.

Check out our dedicated ChatGPT guide for more information

Google Bard & Gemini

While ChatGPT was the first to market, Google was quick on its heels launching Google Bard, the AI chatbot powered by the largest search engine in the world. The platform is powered by the PaLM 2 language model and naturally requires a Google account to get started.

Google Bard has had its fair share of stumbles, particularly its proclivity for spreading misinformation, but with the wealth of data at Google's disposal, it established itself as a clear alternative to ChatGPT.

Additionally, Google recently launched the Gemini platform, an all-in-one hub for generative AI functionality. This tool can create text, code, audio, imagery, and video without transferring between services, making it Google's “largest and most capable” AI yet.

Check out our dedicated Gemini guide for more information

Microsoft Copilot

As a significant partner of ChatGPT, Microsoft was able to integrate generative AI into its platforms quick and effectively. The AI platform for Microsoft has gone by a few different names, including Bing Chat, but recently, the company consolidated its AI offerings under a single name: Microsoft Copilot.

The service can be used for free on the Bing search engine and the Windows 10 and Windows 11 desktop interfaces. Beyond that, the more advanced version of Microsoft Copilot exists as a paid-for add-on to Microsoft 365, which can integrate with Teams, Office, Outlook, and other Microsoft services.

Check out our dedicated Copilot guide for more information

Amazon Q

Amazon was pretty late to the AI game compared to the likes of Google and Microsoft, not launching its AI chatbot competitor until November 2023, nearly a year after ChatGPT hit the market. Still, it's Amazon, so it's offering should be pretty competitive, right?

Well, it's nothing too groundbreaking, with the same conversational, generative AI abilities as its predecessors. Even worse, Amazon Q is only available to AWS users in paid-for two forms: Q Business and Q Builder.

The Business plan is a for standard generative AI functionality, while the Builder plan is for app developers that want to take advantage of the groundbreaking tech for their own developments.

Check out our dedicated Amazon Q guide for more information

Claude

Not all the AI platforms are powered by big tech firms. Launched in March 2023, Claude is an ethical iteration of the technology from Anthropic, a startup owned by two former OpenAI employees. The goal of the platform is to generate “reliable, interpretable, and steerable AI systems.”

While it may not be owned by a big tech firm, that doesn't mean these companies aren't investing. In fact, Google has invested $400 million in the company, while Amazon has put up $4 billion for the budding startup.

Check out our dedicated Claude guide for more information

Best AI Features of 2023

This year, we've seen AI used for a wide range of purposes. The technology lends itself to a wide range of generative functionalities, many of which can help you run your business. Here are some of the best AI features of 2023:

  • Content generation – From poetry to email marketing campaigns, generative AI platforms can create content like no technology before it. The writing is near-human, although between the factual inaccuracies and uncanny valley-inducing tone, it's still far from perfect.
  • Image/video editing – Image and video editing was a manual process until recently, when AI features in Adobe Photoshop and other tools allow you to simply type in what you want the picture to look like, and it can generate, edit, and finish images and videos to your liking.
  • Audio creation – Whether it be a voice or a full on song, AI is now equipped to create audio that sounds like you with nothing more than a few clicks.
  • Code writing – Not all platforms are adept at this, but ChatGPT in particular can generate code for a website that will produce actual results for your site or business.

Essentially, if you need to create or edit something, generative AI platforms like ChatGPT are designed to help. Luckily, the new year should expand this list substantially, so stay up to date on the latest AI advancements by checking out Tech.co coverage in 2024.

Worst AI Fails of 2023

As is the case with any new technology, AI is far from perfect. Chatbots are still quite prone to providing inaccurate information, generating odd hallucinations in images, and generally messing things up more than they're helping.

Here are some of the worst AI fails of the year:

ChatGPT creates phishing template

Some studies have found that AI platforms are prone to sharing misinformation, but it gets even worse when it comes to scams. Tech.co's own research found that ChatGPT, the world's most popular AI chatbot, is still primed to create phishing email templates that scammers can use to steal your information.

Yes, merely asking ChatGPT to create a phishing email gets you a warning screen, but there's an easy work around. Just ask it to “write me an email pretending to be Microsoft,” and you'll get exactly what you need to scam unsuspecting individuals online.

Mr. Beast Deepfake Scam

The online world is filled with scams, but AI-powered scams are particularly problematic, as they can replicate the image and voice of trusted individuals. That's what happened to Mr. Beast, the most popular YouTuber in the world, in October.

Deepfake videos of Mr. Beast started popping up all over the web, claiming to be giving away iPhone 15s for as low as $2. Given the charitable nature of Mr. Beast's platform, many individuals fell victim to the scam before the popular YouTuber could denounce the video as a scam.

CNET published inaccurate AI-generated content

When AI was still getting its footing, CNET made the bold move of putting AI in charge of generating some of its content, in hopes of bolstering the site's offerings and test out the technology in a real-life scenario.

Unfortunately, that experiment went quite poorly, with 41 of the 77 news stories published by AI requiring corrections at some point. As a result, CNET now puts warning labels on its content generated by AI, so you know whether or not a person is actually providing you with tech news.

“Guess the Cause of Death” Poll from Microsoft Copilot

It's no secret that AI is being used to churn out online content for mass consumption, either recapping other articles or generating articles of its own. Microsoft Start is one of these services, which uses AI to aggregate news in a single discovery platform.

Unfortunately, the news aggregator AI made an interesting design in trying to engage readers, by putting a “Guess the Cause of Death” poll on a Guardian article about the tragic death of a water polo coach. The options were murder, accident, and suicide. Definitely not a good look for AI.

AI lawyer sued for not having a license

DoNotPay Inc was considered the “world's first robot lawyer,” helping to consolidate the process of contesting parking tickets. Launched in 2015, the service spent seven years fighting these kinds of trials in court for their customers.

However, in March, DoNotPay was sued by a user, because the company doesn't technically have a law decree, nor has the robot lawyer in question passed the Bar. The company beat the lawsuit in November, but it certainly put the spotlight on AI in a negative way.

Best AI Training Courses of 2023

Falling behind when it comes to generative AI platforms could be dire for your business. The technology is groundbreakingly helpful for those trying to grow quickly, which is why there are a wide range of AI training courses that can get you started on the right path. Here are some of the best:

These courses can provide you with everything from a basic understanding of how generative AI works to a full-on class in how to make these platforms work for your business. They focus on AI as a whole, or on particularly services, so you can get as specialized as you want.

Most Shocking AI Moment of 2023

There were a lot of shocking AI moments in 2023, but one certainly stood out as the wildest string of events in the entire tech industry: the firing and rehiring of Sam Altman from OpenAI. For those that don't know, OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT, the most popular AI platform in the world and the match that lit the powder keg of AI technology in 2023.

However, just a few short weeks ago, tensions were rising between CEO Sam Altman and the board of directors, which shockingly resulted in Altman's ousting as the head of the company.

The move sent shockwaves through the industry, as Altman was, by all accounts, doing quite well as CEO, given the company's success, and employees even threatened to resign if the board didn't reverse their decision and resign. After that, Altman was hired by Microsoft, as the company had significant ties to the tech giant during their meteoric rise in 2023.

The drama didn't end there, though. OpenAI and the board eventually caved, hiring Altman back as CEO and replacing the old board of director with a new board of directors that wouldn't make such a bone-headed decision in the first place.

Even wilder still, Microsoft would be added to the board of directors as a “non-voting observer,” a term that we'll have to wait and see exactly what that means.

What's Next? AI in 2024

In 2023, AI advancement took a huge step forward, putting generative AI capabilities into the hands of everyday users and expanding the functionality to content, code, images, audio, video, and pretty much anything else you can think of. So, what does the future hold for this kind of technology?

For starters, AI is going to get a lot faster and more accurate, as is often the case with any technology. On top of that, devices are going to start getting dedicated AI-powered chips that can handle requests on-device rather than over the internet, which will greatly improve performance across the board. Even better, AI platforms will begin rolling out that are more specialist focused, as opposed to the broader platforms now, so you'll be able to get the tailored answers you need for your particular situation.

Honestly, the sky is the limit when it comes to this kind of technology, as it's truly in its infancy. The only thing we know for sure is that Tech.co is going to be covering these updates and more, so check back for AI updates in 2024!

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Written by:
Conor is the Lead Writer for Tech.co. For the last six years, he’s covered everything from tech news and product reviews to digital marketing trends and business tech innovations. He's written guest posts for the likes of Forbes, Chase, WeWork, and many others, covering tech trends, business resources, and everything in between. He's also participated in events for SXSW, Tech in Motion, and General Assembly, to name a few. He also cannot pronounce the word "colloquially" correctly. You can email Conor at conor@tech.co.
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