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Cambridge Consultants Predictions 2023

6 Jan 2023

Slowing global economies and increasing energy prices are set to be a defining backdrop to business and industry throughout 2023. The sustainability imperative continues to occupy the thoughts of business leaders, yet the energy outlook is prompting fears that a refocus on fossil fuels will delay the green energy transition. With this in mind, innovation experts at Cambridge Consultants have viewed their technology and trends predictions for 2023 partly through the lens of energy and sustainability.

Martin Cookson, Director of Service Innovation, says that energy management demands digital solutions. The energy and climate crises, along with the rise of electric vehicles and local energy generation, mean that households and businesses alike are searching for solutions. He predicts a focus on understanding the analytics of consumption to help make complex, dynamic decisions across a multitude of heterogeneous systems. Digital service innovation will be instrumental in shaping systems that blend data understanding with the algorithms that will reflect the way we want to live and the connectivity that’s needed to control devices.

5G will prove to be more than 4G with go-faster stripes

Building on this connectivity perspective, Associate Director Mark England thinks that 2023 will be the year when the world starts to see the real benefits of 5G. To date it’s been viewed as little more than faster 4G and has been hindered by limited rollout. As with past mobile network generations, some people are at the stage of asking whether it’s even needed – as this BBC report highlights.

But Mark predicts that new technologies such as Open RAN and private networks – along with the increasing rollout of standalone 5G radio networks and energy efficient edge processing – will confirm 5G as much more than just 4G with go-faster stripes.

Semiconductor technology driving sustainability

Switching to the silicon sector now, where Aidong Xu, Head of Semiconductor Capability, envisions a year when semiconductor technology will come to the fore in driving sustainability. The modular integrated circuit architectures of chiplets and 3DIC heterogeneous integration will gain prominence in 2023. This will create chips that occupy smaller areas with greater computing power and less energy consumption – and keep alive ‘Moore’s law’ which states that the number of transistors in a semiconductor chip doubles about every two years.

Aidong also predicts that we will see wider commercial availability of ‘brain chips’ – dedicated AI chips, neuromorphic computing, in-memory computing and so on. Again, this will meet the objective of high computation performance married to low power consumption.

Balancing energy consumption with improved performance

When it comes to artificial intelligence, Associate Director Maya Dillon and Senior VP, AI, Ram Naidu agree that balancing energy consumption with real-time process control for improved performance will require advanced AI at the edge, with sensors for process management, optimisation and quality assurance.

It has already been demonstrated that complex AI algorithms can be optimised to work on low-power devices. During 2023, the desire to move computation, analysis and insight directly onto supporting, visual, audio, and haptic devices will drive further research. It will encompass algorithm optimisation, innovative and efficient cooling of data centres, and the fundamental development of chips as referred to by Aidong.

Maya and Ram also predict that AI will increasingly inform and enable the formulation and creation of new products and compute platforms through the efficient design of experiments and sustainable sourcing. AI-enabled in silico design will reduce the need for energy-intensive laboratory and manufacturing processes to develop more effective and sustainable materials and products.

Moving to improve business efficiency and sustainability

Taking a wider industry view, they expect a continuing trend in 2023 for AI implementation to move from a tactical play to a strategic one. Businesses are moving away from short-term initiatives and turning to long-term changes impacting their organisations at fundamental levels. These will range from data aggregation management and AI-ready infrastructure to preparing their workforce for new ways of working in partnership with intelligent technology. The drivers for growth include improving business resilience and efficiency, increasing sustainability, and nurturing human wellness and creativity.

On that last point, they say that AI will increasingly support human-machine teaming by sensing operator fatigue, enabling operator wellness and supporting human creativity. 2023 will take us deeper into the emerging and exciting realm of human-machine understanding (HMU) – AI that can predict, adjust for and enable users to identify and execute appropriate action in complex dynamic situations. The unpredictability of climate change will bring complexity to issues such as energy use, energy sourcing and the optimisation of natural resources – and will force humanity onto the back foot. Here HMU will be valuable in unlocking opportunities from industry 5.0, particularly in supporting sustainability goals by enabling humans to exploit data in unusual ways for decision-making around effective design innovation and resource, energy and supply chain management.

There are now use cases which will become a reality for supporting multiple potential scenarios. These include increasing the situational awareness of surgeons in operating theatres and pilots in landing and take-off. They could also extend to giving supportive, risk-mitigating, potentially life-enhancing feedback through the monitoring of the emotional, and psychological and physiological wellbeing of a user.

Please click the link below to read more from our 2023 prediction series

Martin Cookson

Director of Service Innovation
Martin works with clients to help realise their ambition in developing digital services encompassing AI, UX, cloud computing and network native. He has 30+ years of experience working in innovation with international clients and applying new technologies to bring new services live.

Mark England

Director of Service Innovation
Mark has forty years of experience working with clients to deliver business communications systems and safety-critical functionality. He has worked at Cambridge Consultants for over 20 years contributing his technical insight and ability to one of the largest independent wireless teams in the world.

Aidong Xu

Head of Semiconductor Capability
Aidong has over 25 years of experience in developing business across the globe with a particular focus on power electronics, semiconductors, computing and data communication networks. He has applied his knowledge of R&D, engineering and manufacturing and business development to help build businesses from cradle to maturity and deliver revenue growth in highly competitive, fast moving technology sectors.

Maya Dillon

Head of AI, EMEA
Maya’s career has spanned astrophysics, running her own business as an executive coach to working as a data scientist and AI specialist. Dr Dillon is the Head of AI for EMEA. Her experience is a vibrant mix of academia, and entrepreneurial work with start-ups and multi-national corporates. She has a love for science and technology and its application in augmenting human ingenuity and empowering the world.

Ram Naidu

Senior Vice President, AI
Ram has exceptional expertise in product strategy and commercialization, innovation management, and AI. Ram focus is on helping clients to bring world-class AI powered innovations to market. His passion is inspiring and mentoring teams that are dedicated to solving tough problems and building great products and services.