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Top 10 Tech Trends for 2023

And ways NEC is blazing the trail

2023 is an exciting year for the tech industry. Making headlines already this year is how schools and students are learning to deal with plagiarism behind OpenAI’s AI writing tool Chat GPT, or how Microsoft’s Bing chatbot anger outbursts mirror the behavior of Internet users. After last year’s dismal performance, the crypto world is seeing green again, silencing critics.

Beyond the high-profile articles, the tech industry has just begun the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, with 5G empowering instant connectivity like never before. And AI, besides writing college essays, is tasked with helping to develop vaccines, improve traffic systems, and send people into space. Face recognition has taken great strides in security and accuracy and is now used by airports, offices, and government installations for identification.

In this article, let’s talk about the top 10 tech trends of 2023 everyone is excited about, whether you’re a business owner, a tech enthusiast, or simply curious about the latest developments.

1. Digital ID for safe travel and secure transactions

NEC is the undisputed market leader in Biometrics as accredited by Frost & Sullivan in their 2022 benchmarking system, and our team sees unlimited potential in the adoption of face recognition technologies.

Since July 2021, passengers at Narita International Airport have been using ''Face Express'', a seamless and touchless experience boarding process using NEC's face recognition technology. Passengers can go through the entire boarding process without showing their passports or boarding passes. All they need to do is smile at the face recognition cameras. This has improved convenience and reduced contact risk, making boarding procedures safe, secure, and efficient.

In the financial sector, banks across Asia such as Taiwan’s E.SUN Commercial Bank, a major bank in the Philippines and Thailand are adopting Digital ID and face recognition for their  banking services. We are expecting more financial institutions to be adopting this technology in 2023 to create an even more seamless customer experience.

2. Artificial intelligence trust, risk and security management (AI TRiSM)

To protect privacy and security, companies and governments should set strict regulations on the ethical use of AI, especially when AI tools are now readily available to everyone who’s going online.

NEC makes sure that it’s always one step ahead of unethical AI use. Already in 2019,  the team has created the "NEC Group AI and Human Rights Principles" – demonstrating NEC's dedication to ethical implementation and responsible use of AI, protecting user privacy, and eliminating algorithmic biases and prejudices. In the coming year, we see more corporations needing a strict set of rules and protocols to make AI safe for mainstream adoption.

3. AI data analysis and predictions

Did you know? Facebook generates 4 petabytes of data daily – a million gigabytes. All that data is stored in what is known as the Hive, which contains about 300 petabytes of data. To analyze this data accurately and efficiently, conventional data analysis software would not suffice.

That’s where state-of-the-art AI comes in. In NEC’s space program, together with Lockheed Martin Space’s T-Tauri AI platform, we created the SIAT analytics engine. It takes the data from 150,000 sensors on a spacecraft and creates a model incorporating over 22 billion data relationships. The system doesn’t just show you the results from the analyses but the exact steps that led to the conclusions. When Web 3 begins widespread adaptation, we’ll have the resources ready.

4. Smart cities

Cities worldwide have introduced many 5G and IoT solutions to enhance urban living standards. However, the lack of a cohesive platform to integrate these solutions has limited their potential. This year, we foresee that many cities will attempt to bridge this gap.

The NEC City OS aims to address this issue by connecting data across different fields and regions, enabling the creation of regional solutions and services. Additionally, a common database has been proposed to allow different agencies to use valuable information collected by others to develop city-wide policies.

Last year, NEC delivered Tasmania’s first fully automated, real-time passenger update service. NEC deployed its Transit Management System across the entire TassieLink fleet. Available through a mobile app, passengers can instantly get real-time service updates on bus services – a development we are already seeing rapid adoption of throughout the planet.

5. Digital health

Healthcare will rely more on 5G connectivity as worldwide adoption becomes mainstream. There have been incredible advancements in combining technology and medicine, such as NEC’s AI-assisted vaccine development program, the delivery of test kits using drones, remote surgeries, and more. The innovations born out of necessity during the pandemic are showing undeniable promise in their applications to the future of healthcare.

6. Tech for decarbonization

Global corporations need to come together to continue pushing harder to reduce their carbon emissions across their supply chains. To speed up this process, the industry needs to have a data-driven system that provides end-to-end visibility of the entire supply chain, including CO2 emissions. NEC has already introduced its own CO2 visualization solution, and we are currently working on including the Scope 3 (indirect emissions from raw materials to production, sales, and disposal) factors.

7. Next-generation cyber police

According to CNBC, there was a 61% increase in the rate of phishing attacks in the six months ending October 2022 compared to the previous year. Businesses need to ramp up their cyber defences amidst a global shortage of cybersecurity experts.

To help train the next generation of cybersecurity talents, NEC Asia-Pacific and the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) have developed a Network Forensic Specialist course. network security vendor Vectra AI has also partnered with NEC Asia Pacific to deliver enhanced cyber security solutions to APAC companies. The partnership aims to provide improved security across public cloud, identity, SaaS applications, and networks with security AI designed to detect and prioritize cyber threats.

8. Automation of tasks using AI

Instead of worrying about whether AI is going to take jobs away, a future-ready workforce should be learning about how to use AI to maximise their own productivity and work quality. A great example is HRTech – AI technology that automates the most time-consuming job tasks in HR, including recruiting, onboarding, payroll, leave approval, and compensation. We see a surge in AI development this year, and employees need to learn to use them to their own advantage.

In the realm of public safety, NEC is testing the use of private 5G networks and AI to identify traffic conditions and hazards, such as pedestrians and animals on the roads. In the future, we hope that the technology can be used to prevent traffic accidents and mitigate traffic congestion.

9. Authenticating the Metaverse

As more users enter the Metaverse, the greatest challenge would be in verifying and authenticating the identity of avatars. In this area, NEC can indeed bolster the safety and security of Metaverse companies and user accounts. “The Metaverse’ earliest adopters are the new generation of gamers, who play, work and live in this new “reality”.

“As this next generation begins to engage in commercial transactions with the “real” world using their digital currencies, the concept of Digital Identity for Verified Avatars (Who?), Verified Marketplace (Where?) and Verified Digital Currency (What?), will be critical in enhancing the safety and security of all participants.”, Walter Lee, Evangelist and Head of Public Safety Consulting, NEC Asia Pacific.

10. Wireless-value realization

Corporations and individuals are using wireless network services for everything, including traditional end-user computing, support for edge devices, digital tagging solutions, etc. 5G connectivity and speed will allow companies to actively lower operating costs, deliver new and improved services, and provide customers with a never-before convenience. To truly benefit from this, companies need a fully integrated system on a single, easy-to-use platform.

Today, NEC leads the way in delivering Open RAN 5G, which are independent systems fully compatible with multi-vendor deployments. A capable system integrator like NEC plays a vital role in carrying out the integration of open interfaces across these multi-vendor components.