Generative AI: Technology of the year

No recent technology has dominated a year like generative AI, and it’s only getting started.

05 December 2023

Manish Ranjan, senior research manager for software, cloud and IT services at IDC MEA.

It’s difficult to believe that ChatGPT only went live on November 30, 2022. By the start of February 2023, it surpassed 100 million users. Not bad for a product released for training purposes, not to attract customers. Yet they arrived in droves, fascinated by AI’s ability to understand human questions and reply similarly, sometimes generating essays or images in seconds.

Generative AI (GenAI) uses large language models (LLMs) and pattern recognition/noise elimination to converse with humans and create (relatively) unique content. It’s easily 2023’s technology of the year; nothing else even came close. Generative AI is spreading and evolving fast. With that come several risks and concerns, as well as two crucial questions: what are the opportunities, and how can South Africa gain from GenAI? Considering the breakneck speed of its development, there isn’t much time to capitalise on this opportunity.

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