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2022 has gone by. All endings not only pave the way for new beginnings but also give an opportunity to look back. In retrospect, we see that the year was marked by the rising popularity of several text-to-image generators like Dall-E 2, Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, widening use cases of Metaverse, US–China chip war, tech sector layoffs, crypto volatility and much more. In this article, we gauge the buzz created by different innovations in tech to engage the community’s curiosity.
Unified Payments Interface
- UPI got people talking due to the new heights it scaled in terms of volume and value of transactions. According to NPCI data, in terms of the value of transactions, UPI has consistently crossed the INR 10 crore mark since May 2022. In December 2022, UPI processed transactions worth INR 12.82, NPCI data showed.
- In February 2022, Nepal became the first country outside India to implement the UPI system.
- In October 2022, NIPL, the international arm of NPCI, entered into a partnership with Worldline, European payment services facilitator Worldline, to allow Indian travellers to pay through UPI on the latter’s Point-of-Sale machines across Europe.
- Similar collaborations have also been announced with British payments solutions provider PayXpert, UAE’s Neopay and France’s Lyra Network.
Accelerated Data Science
- With the increased use of data science for unlocking business value, data professionals’ potential to deliver often gets limited by the slow processing powers of CPUs. Data experts are now resorting to GPUs for faster insights and more iterations on data sets for better model accuracy.
- ADS gives data professionals an interface to manage the lifecycle of machine learning models, from data acquisition to model evaluation, interpretation, and model deployment. It also speeds up common data science activities by providing tools that automate and/or simplify common data science tasks.
- Organisations like NVIDIA, Oracle, and InAccel have developed software libraries like RAPIDS, Oracle Accelerated Data Science (ADS) SDK and Accelerated Machine Learning Studio (AML), respectively, to enable data professionals to quickly explore, iterate, and perform data analysis at scale.
- In the context of Moore’s law nearing an end, data science professionals are looking at GPU-accelerated machine learning algorithms to make sense of data quickly to drive business decisions.
- Elon Musk was at the heart of almost every, if not all, headline in the tech world and beyond. From the dramatic takeover of Twitter to firing more than half of Twitter’s staff, including some of the top executives, Musk kept making news.
- As the CEO of Twitter, he remained in the limelight for suspending Twitter accounts of politicians, journalists and other prominent figures and reinstating some previously suspended accounts.
- Quite surprisingly, he conducted a poll on Twitter to oust himself as the platform’s CEO.
- However, it is unjustified to say Musk made headlines as Twitter’s CEO for all the wrong reasons. Among the hustle and bustle, several new features were launched on the platform, including Twitter Blue Tick, Live Tweeting, $Cashtags, View Count and Edit Tweet.
- Big tech layoffs have been making rounds for most of last year, driven by an impending global recession. Several big tech companies laid off employees en masse.
- According to Trueup’s tech layoff tracker, in 2022, there were 1,517 layoffs at tech companies, with 237,874 people impacted.
- The highest number of employees were laid off in November, led by some of the most renowned tech giants like Amazon, Twitter and Meta.
- In November, Meta announced its plan to cut 13% of its workforce, which amounts to roughly 11,000 employees and extended its hiring freeze until the first quarter of 2023.
- At the beginning of 2022, every debate—big or small—raged about the Metaverse. The then-new innovation captured people’s imagination, with many hosting tech conferences in the immersive virtual world. Several projects across industry verticals were launched on the Metaverse.
- According to a McKinsey report, more than USD 120 billion was invested in building out metaverse technology and infrastructure within the first five months of 2022. The report predicts that metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion in impact by 2030.
- Many companies also started hiring Chief Metaverse Officers to optimally explore the potential of this space.
- As the phenomenon of moonlighting gradually unfolded in the latter half of last year, tech leaders and leading tech companies put forward varied perspectives regarding this apparently new phenomenon.
- Startups like Swiggy extended support for employees engaged in moonlighting by designing a definite policy enlisting the conditions for moonlighting. However, several other corporations, such as Wipro, fired employees who engaged in moonlighting, calling it ‘plain and simple cheating’.
- Within the IT industry itself, leaders were divided. While tech leaders in TCS, Infosys and IBM flagged moonlighting as an ethical issue, Tech Mahindra’s chief embraced it with open arms.
- The IT ministry seemed to be open about moonlighting, calling it to be the future of work and suggesting entrepreneurs and companies embrace the change in the minds and attitudes of the young Indian tech workforce.
- After being in technical preview for a year, in June 2022, Github announced that GitHub Copilot is out of technical preview and available for individual developers as a subscription-based service. In early August, GitHub Copilot added 400,000 subscribers.
- Interestingly, despite the huge popularity that the cloud-based AI tool garnered, in November, a class-action lawsuit was filed against the training of Github Copilot on public GitHub repositories.
- Free Software Foundation alleged that such training has violated the rights of millions of software developers who posted code under open-source licences on GitHub.
- Very recently, GitHub launched a dedicated plan for enterprises called ‘GitHub Copilot for Business’. This plan provides users with all the features that a user with single-licence Copilot subscription can avail along with corporate licensing and policy controls that allow IT admins to prevent suggested code that matches public code on GitHub from being shown to developers.
- For the majority of the year gone by, tech giants have been taking cautious strides fearing an impending recession. While it is still undecided among several quarters if the recession has already started or is yet to set in, recession has been a key search trend.
- For many, the first major sign of recession setting in were the mass layoffs across big techs.
- Some renowned edtech startups quickly followed suit in India, such as Byjus, Unacademy, and WhiteHatJr laying off thousands of employees.
- Central Banks around the world have been making counter-cyclical policy moves to anchor their respective economies out of recession. For instance, the ECB and Federal Reserve have recently increased interest rates.
- One crucial development in the AI sector that became subject of much attention and debate was the entry of numerous generative AI tools. Several text-to-image tools like Dalle 2, Midjourney and Stable Diffusion put the relevance of artists and graphic designers to question.
- Other generative AI tools like text-to-video, text-to-code, and text-to-music have also been making rounds. Powerful large language models are driving such creative content creation by machines.
- Towards the end of 2022, the release of ChatGPT by OpenAI took the internet by storm. ChatGPT is a chatbot that can interact with humans using natural language. The most distinguishing feature of this chatbot is its memory. The bot can remember what was said earlier in the conversation and recount it to the user.
- While 5G services have been in place since 2019, 5G has been trending in Google Search throughout much of 2022, owing to several recent key developments.
- Earlier in March 2022, the global telecommunications standards body, 3GPP, gave the go-ahead for satellite-driven 5G non-terrestrial networks (5G NTNs). Following this, in July 2022, Ericsson, French aerospace company Thales and wireless technology innovator Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced their plans to take 5G out of this world using a network of Earth-orbiting satellites.
- 5G non-terrestrial networks could help to provide complete global 5G coverage—including extreme geographies or remote areas across seas, oceans and other locations where terrestrial coverage is absent.
- However, much of the attention came from India preparing the ground for and rolling out 5G services in 2022. The latter half of the year was dominated by India-centric developments with regard to this technology.
- In India, the 5G spectrum auction took place in the last week of July, with Reliance Jio being the largest buyer, followed by Bharti Airtel. In August, Ericsson and Airtel announced the launch of the first 5G services in the market.
- Around the same time, the Ericsson ConsumerLab report was released that reported India’s readiness for 5G to be very high. According to the report, India had more than 100 million users with 5G-ready smartphones.
- In October, 5G services were rolled out across select cities in India. While Jio’s 5G services went live in Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai and Varanasi, Bharti Airtel launched a 5G network in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Siliguri, Nagpur, and Varanasi.