“Thinking about what trend will amaze the world in 2023, I would bet on neuroscience and brain-machine interfaces,” says Isabel F. Peñuelas. And while Neuralink founder Elon Musk recently declared his intention to conduct the first human trials of neural implants within six months, there is still a long way to go to gain approval from the health authorities for this type of product. But Musk is far from the only entrepreneur working on innovative solutions to improve mental health, treat neurological diseases or cure brain injuries; and neuroscience is expected to reach a market value of US$ 41.4 billion by 2030. “This year we might see the first human with a chip implanted in the brain”, suggests Fernández Peñuelas.
Continuing the revolution that has been taking place in the financial sector for years with open banking, Banking-as-a-Service and fintech, 2023 could see the rise of so-called embedded finance. Based on API (Application Programming Interfaces), they will make it possible to offer financial services directly through third-party platforms. For Robert Altes, of BBVA Open Innovation, embedded finance “translates into a need to better serve and build customer loyalty”. Through smart devices and commercial applications commonly used by users, this ecosystem can integrate products “from a credit or debit card to digital payments, loans, insurance or investments,” explains Altes.
Innovation, an interconnected web
At this moment of technological effervescence, there are still many other trends that we could mention: gene editing, with a great potential impact in the foodtech sector; blockchain, applied to cybersecurity (for example, in the construction of secure digital identities that enable embedded finance), decentralised finance, Web3—an evolution of the Internet that promises to recover decentralisation thanks to blockchain technology—, immersive experiences, sectors such as legaltech (technology applied to legal services) and so forth.
Adaptive artificial intelligence, superapps or digital immune systems are some of the most prominent technology trends of the year that is about to begin, according to the consulting firm Gartner. For Deloitte, robotics (increasingly autonomous and precise), spacetech to conquer space or biomolecular engineering will be among the emerging technologies that will lead innovation in 2023.
But there is only one thing more difficult than predicting which trends will shape our future, and that is predicting the impact they will have. David Alayón, from Innuba, recalls the so-called Amara law: “We tend to overestimate the short-term effects of a new technology, while underestimating its long-term effect.” With endless possibilities to explore and unsuspected potentials, we can’t wait to see what innovation will bring in 2023.