The top technology stories of 2023 highlight fundamental changes in culture and geopolitics as well as tech itself: It’s clear that generative AI will affect all aspects of technology and society, while geopolitical tensions are sparking cybersecurity attacks globally. General unease about the dominance of big tech, meanwhile, is pushing regulators to get tougher on mopolistic business practices and multibillion-dollar mergers.
Fired! Rehired! Sam Altman’s ouster and return to OpenAI
The ouster of Sam Altman as CEO of OpenAI, which sparked the modern era of generative AI when it launched ChatGPT a year earlier, was the tech industry shocker of the year. After the board issued a mysterious statement on November 17 saying that it had fired Altman for not being “consistently candid,” Microsoft announced that it would hire Altman and any other OpenAI employees who wanted to follow him out the door — which turned out to be almost all of them. OpenAI backed down and rehired Altman.