Review: 2023

So this is Christmas, and what have you done?
Another year over, let’s see what went wrong…

That little pandemic which failed to kill off humankind by forcing everyone home has given way to another disruption: Artificial Intelligence. The age of AI is upon us.

Following the pandemic’s end, many tech behemoths such as Google, Microsoft, IBM, Facebook and Amazon laid off thousands of workers as the industry went into a form of recession; it also allowed CES to take place again for the first time since the pandemic, showcasing the usual palette of dystopian products the world doesn’t need.

The Doomsday Clock has been set at 90 seconds to midnight.

Google went “code red” following ChatGPT’s sudden success, prompting founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin back into active work. In December, Google’s Gemini model would be unveiled. Governments the world over scramble to control and regulate the genie before it figures out how to escape from the bottle.

“Mitigating the risk of extinction from AI should be a global priority alongside other societal-scale risks such as pandemics and nuclear war.”

Chinese company Unitree builds a cheap, bipedal humanoid robot that resists simply getting kicked over. In fact, they are reproducing: Robots are starting to build more robots.

In 2023, the Walt Disney Company turned 100 years old. Google officially turned 25.

A Chinese spy balloon was shot down over US airspace. The Titan submersible imploded during an expedition to view the wreck of the Titanic. In August, India’s Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft successfully touched down near the Moon’s south pole.

In September, more than 31 years after his death, Freddie Mercury’s personal property and 1400 items of “exquisite clutter” were auctioned off, fetching some $50 million.

Taylor Swift is named TIME Magazine’s “2023 Person of the Year”.

Taylor Swift, according to Stable Diffusion

Twitter was rebranded to X.

In 2023, Abraham Lempel and Jacob Ziv, inventors of the Lempel-Ziv (LZ) compression algorithms, died within two months of each other.

Other notable personalities who died this year include Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (“Moore’s Law”), Kevin Mitnick (“the world’s most famous hacker”), Lisa Marie Presley, Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski, Jerry Springer, Henry Kissinger, Silvio Berlusconi, Harry Belafonte, Sixto “Sugarman” Rodriguez, Robbie Robertson, Tina Turner, Roger Whittaker, SinĂ©ad O’Connor, Jeff Beck, David Crosby, Burt Bacharach, Jane Birkin, actors Julian Sands, Alan Arkin, Ryan O’Neal and Tom Sizemore, composer Ryuichi Sakamoto, classic sexpots Raquel Welch and Gina Lollobrigida, as well as legendary cartoonist Al Jaffee (known for the MAD fold-ins).

The Beatles, on the other hand, are still alive and put out a new song with the aid of AI.

And so this is Christmas, I hope you had fun.

Ye olde generic Xmas babe, as generated via Stable Diffusion

Although John Lennon once sang, “War is over (if you want it)”, we apparently don’t. The Russia-Ukraine war continues, and Gaza picked a fight with Israel.

Now that the prices of pasta and sunflower oil have stabilised and toilet paper is available again, as of 2023 I’ve officially stopped giving a shit.

2024 can roll along.

All images by AI/ (obviously).

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