Amazon CTO Werner Vogels’ 5 tech predictions for 2023

A photo of Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels speaking on stage at the re:Invent 2022 conference

Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels

With a number of world crises occupying our each day lives, it’s necessary to see the place we are able to use know-how to unravel these exhausting human issues. Right now, we’ve extra entry to information from wearables, medical gadgets, environmental sensors, video seize, and different related gadgets than we’ve had at any level previously. When mixed with cloud applied sciences—like pc imaginative and prescient, machine studying, and simulation—we’re beginning to get a glimpse of the place that highly effective mix of knowledge and software can take us.

The following wave of innovators and inventors—a couple of of whom I used to be lucky to have met whereas filming Now Go Construct—are already constructing options to reforest the planet, maintain our youth energetic, and re-imagine the availability chain from the warehouse to supply. And that is really only the start. As entry to superior know-how turns into much more ubiquitous—as each aspect of life turns into information that we are able to analyze—we are going to see a torrent of innovation, and this can proliferate in 2023.

Prediction 1: Cloud applied sciences will redefine sports activities as we all know them

An infographic from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels', "Tech Predictions for 2023 and Beyond" that displays the use of Cloud technology to measure sport performance.

Like music and video, sports activities will turn into information streams that we are able to analyze. The insights that these will unlock within the coming years will remodel all the sports activities trade and redefine what it means to play—and expertise—each sport.

Sports activities are a part of the human cloth. They transcend time, cultures, and bodily borders. At this second, one of many largest sporting occasions on the earth is going on—the World Cup. An estimated 5 billion persons are anticipated to look at. Till now, broadcast tv has had the most important impression on the evolution {of professional} sports activities, paving the way in which for what’s immediately a $500 billion trade. The following game-changing know-how developments are on the horizon. Within the coming years, each aspect of each sport will endure a digital transformation, and this can occur at each stage of play, from youth basketball to skilled cricket.

Corporations like Veo are main this cost, making use of cloud applied sciences like machine studying, pc imaginative and prescient, and stream processing, to slender the digital divide between novice {and professional} athletes. Whereas Veo has created a broadcast-like expertise for viewers of novice sports activities, it has additionally constructed a deep neural community that enables it to routinely create highlights from video streams. This permits gamers, coaches, and recruiters to simply discover key performs, enhance techniques, and share all of that in ways in which merely weren’t potential earlier than. As applied sciences like Veo turn into extra broadly used throughout all ranges of all sports activities, think about what comes subsequent.

Prime leagues, just like the Bundesliga and the NFL, have began utilizing video streams, wearables, Web of Issues (IoT) sensors, and extra for real-time analytics and insights. Wanting forward, these capabilities will proceed to advance, and the applied sciences will turn into an omnipresent drive in practically each sport, at each stage. Think about a state of affairs the place a coach can use pc imaginative and prescient and biometric information that’s analyzed within the cloud in actual time to drag a participant earlier than they cramp or concede a aim, changing them with essentially the most well-rested teammate, one thing now quantifiable. This concurrently improves participant security and will increase the sport’s competitiveness. At this level, the sports activities themselves will really begin to turn into a knowledge stream that we are able to analyze and make selections on in actual time—participant hydration, ball motion, subject saturation—all of it, aggregated and richer than something we see immediately. And with extra information comes additional innovation. Within the not-so-distant future, we are going to attain some extent the place groups are working fixed “what-if” simulations within the background throughout each sport, enabling them to raised predict the impression of their selections within the second. Expertise itself will turn into the aggressive basis for skilled sports activities.

Whether or not in individual or on a display, the fan expertise can even change. Stadiums will quickly undertake a few of the improvements that we’ve seen in industries like retail, reminiscent of Amazon Go shops, the place using pc imaginative and prescient, sensor fusion, and deep studying will allow ticketless entry and grab-and-go buying. We can even begin to see the following era of information overlays and real-time insights that go all the way down to the participant stage, augmenting the sport and bringing sports activities nearer to what we count on in essentially the most visually informative video video games immediately. Co-viewing and customized viewing experiences will proceed to evolve, extra carefully connecting these 5 billion viewers than ever earlier than.

The sports activities world is at present on the verge of the most important revolution it has ever seen, and cloud applied sciences are on the heart of this transformation.

Prediction 2: Simulated worlds will reinvent the way in which we experiment

An infographic from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels', "Tech Predictions for 2023 and Beyond" of spatial computing being used to monitor and improve a race car.

Spatial computing. Simulation. Digital twins. These applied sciences have been slowly maturing for years, however the on a regular basis impression has been restricted. That is rapidly altering, and in 2023, the cloud will make these applied sciences extra accessible, in flip enabling a brand new class of use circumstances that might be unbound by bodily constraints.

Simulations are used to construct higher race vehicles, predict climate, and mannequin the inventory market. Whereas the issues that simulations can resolve are vital, the problem of constructing and working simulations is a barrier for on a regular basis use circumstances. Corporations are constrained by the necessity for high-powered {hardware} and a specialised workforce. Take a fluid dynamics simulation for a jet wing or race automobile for instance, the place it might take as much as 150 terabytes of information simply to simulate one second of a real-world state of affairs. Nevertheless, that is rapidly altering with applied sciences just like the lately launched AWS SimSpace Weaver, the primary of many simulation applied sciences that can pave the way in which for a future the place practically something in our world can, and ultimately will, be simulated. Simulations will assist us make higher selections in regards to the roadways we assemble, the methods we manage our warehouses, and the methods we reply to disasters. With simulation, we are able to peer into the long run to see the impacts of our efforts, working quite a few “what-if” situations that reply our questions with out having to attend and see what the impression could be a few years down the road. With a know-how like AWS SimSpace Weaver, an organization like Terraformation can mannequin the expansion of complete forests on their solution to reaching the aim of planting 1 trillion bushes. In consequence, it may well guarantee a biodiverse and wholesome forest that has essentially the most carbon offset potential.

One other space the place I’m seeing a speedy uptick in innovation is spatial computing. Corporations are already constructing specialised {hardware} and utilizing cloud applied sciences to seize and create 3D fashions of practically any setting. Doing this with only a cell machine will quickly be a actuality. This democratization will encourage a brand new wave of improvements within the structure, development, business actual property, and retail industries. Like video did for the web, spatial computing will quickly advance within the coming years to a degree the place 3D objects and environments are as straightforward to create and devour as your favourite short-form social media movies are immediately. Static 2D product photographs on the web will turn into a factor of the previous, changed by 3D fashions which you could decide up, rotate, and place in your front room as seamlessly as you may see them in an online browser immediately. However count on extra to emerge from these fashions, such that their intrinsic options will be simulated in your digital residence. A digital lamp is not going to solely be positioned on the ground of your front room—it is possible for you to to show it on and off, watching how the ambient mild interacts along with your digital furnishings in actual time, and perceive the impression it has in your power consumption. All of this earlier than ever pushing a “purchase now” button.

In 2023, applied sciences like these will start to converge. With the growing integration of digital applied sciences in our bodily world, simulation turns into extra necessary to make sure that spatial computing applied sciences have the appropriate impression. This can result in a virtuous cycle of what had been as soon as disparate applied sciences being utilized in parallel by companies and shoppers alike. The cloud, by way of its huge scale and accessibility, will drive this subsequent period.

Prediction 3: A surge of innovation in sensible power

An infographic from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels', "Tech Predictions for 2023 and Beyond" of a town, wind turbine, and solar panels.

Power-storing floor supplies. Decentralized grids. Sensible consumption applied sciences. In 2023, we are going to see speedy growth on a world scale that improves the way in which we produce, retailer, and devour power.

We’re within the midst of one other power disaster. Rising prices and dependable entry to power are world issues—they impression everybody. Whereas this is not the primary time that we’ve confronted an power disaster, a number of maturing applied sciences are starting to converge, and collectively, they may allow us to handle this like by no means earlier than.

The setting round us produces greater than sufficient renewable power. The problem is definitely with storage and on-demand supply to the techniques that must devour that power. Amazon is doing work on this house, take for instance, the 150 megawatt battery storage system in Arizona that’s offering clear, dependable power to our amenities in that space. However we’re not the one ones. Corporations throughout the globe are additionally rapidly innovating on this house. The cloud is enabling supplies analysis science for novel use circumstances, reminiscent of integrating power storage into the construction of the objects they intention to energy. Think about a transport vessel the place the edges of the ship are literally the batteries that energy it on its journey. That is simply the tip of the iceberg—no pun meant. We’re additionally beginning to see breakthroughs in long-duration storage, like molten salt, stacked blocks, and gasoline cells.

One other space is the decentralization of power. With uncertainty round power availability, some communities are turning to microgrids. I like to think about microgrids as group gardens (however for power), the place group members use these to maintain themselves, decreasing their reliance on conventional power firms and their getting older infrastructure. In my neighborhood, we’ve a small microgrid, the place photo voltaic is collected and shared amongst tenants. As we proceed to see power challenges amplified by geopolitical occasions and local weather fluctuations, microgrids will turn into a viable answer for a lot of communities around the globe, and cloud applied sciences will play a job in enabling this. Knowledge from photo voltaic panels, wind farms, geothermal energy, and hydroelectric energy might be streamed, saved, monitored, enriched, and analyzed within the cloud. Machine studying might be used to research all power information to foretell utilization spikes and stop outages by way of redistribution of power at a household-level of granularity.

We can even see IoT-based sensible consumption gadgets take off throughout the globe within the coming 12 months. This can result in the following wave of improvements that come up from the brand new observability capabilities that these gadgets present for houses and companies alike. Think about the power financial savings we are able to get by retrofitting historic buildings with energy-saving applied sciences.

Within the subsequent few years, we are going to see a speedy convergence of all kinds of sensible power applied sciences, as we’ve lastly met the brink the place our know-how options can handle our disaster. Whereas this will likely not have the fast impression that all of us want it might, collectively these applied sciences will basically and endlessly change the way in which that we create, retailer, and devour power.

Prediction 4: The upcoming provide chain transformation

An infographic from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels', "Tech Predictions for 2023 and Beyond" of a supply chain.

In 2023, adoption of applied sciences reminiscent of pc imaginative and prescient and deep studying will propel the availability chain ahead. Driverless fleets, autonomous warehouse administration, and simulations are just some of the optimizations that can result in a brand new period in sensible logistics and world provide chain.

One thing that I’ve mirrored on usually over the previous few years is the fragility of the worldwide provide chain. We’re reminded of this each day—late deliveries, unavailable merchandise, empty cabinets. Whereas Amazon has fine-tuned its provide chains with improvements like digital freight matching and supply stations, many firms have continued to battle with logistical challenges. That is about to alter.

This can begin with the manufacturing of products themselves. IoT sensors in factories will proliferate, and machine studying might be used to not solely predict gear failures and machine failures, however to forestall them. Much less downtime means constant manufacturing. Delivery these merchandise throughout the globe is an entire different problem. Digital freight networks powered by the cloud will traverse international locations, even oceans, offering real-time information that can permits carriers to optimize with essentially the most environment friendly transport routes and alter course in response to inevitable occasions, reminiscent of gear failures and climate disruptions. Consider it as having real-time insights in regards to the present state and arrival time of products, however at each stage of the availability chain.

These freight networks will set the stage for the primary cross-country autonomous truck shipments. The impacts might be felt instantly, with international locations just like the U.S. at present experiencing a scarcity of 80,000 drivers. By way of using spatial computation, edge computing, and simulation, autonomous trucking is about to have an enormous impression on our world provide chain. Why? A human driver can solely spend so lengthy behind the wheel earlier than they turn into distracted, drained, and doubtlessly harmful. And that is earlier than we contemplate every nation’s particular well being and security laws. Which means that contemporary fruits being shipped from Southern California can solely hope to make it so far as Dallas, Texas, earlier than they start to deteriorate. Nevertheless, an autonomous truck will be on the street for twenty-four hours. There are not any mandated breaks, and the know-how by no means will get drained, impatient, or distracted. Merchandise get the place they should go sooner, safer, and extra effectively.

Upon arriving at a neighborhood warehouse, robotic choosing, order sorting, and automatic packing will turn into extra commonplace. We are going to proceed to see this evolve with new improvements in robotics that use synthetic intelligence, pc imaginative and prescient, and precision dealing with of particular person merchandise in an organization’s stock. Autonomous robotics can even start to play an even bigger function in warehousing. Think about having the ability to increase a forklift operator, who spends portion of time merely trying to find merchandise, with a real-time digital twin of the stock, one that’s continuously saved updated utilizing autonomous flying stock drones.

The important thing to remodeling the availability chain is to make use of know-how to optimize every step alongside a product’s journey. Beginning subsequent 12 months, we are going to see an acceleration within the growth of sensible factories, sensible gear, and sensible transport that does simply that. Every will play a job in enhancing employee security, optimizing stock administration, decreasing upkeep prices, and streamlining manufacturing processes. The provision chain of the long run is digital.

Prediction 5: Customized silicon goes mainstream

An infographic from Amazon CTO Dr. Werner Vogels', "Tech Predictions for 2023 and Beyond" that displays statistics of EC2 instances.

Use of purpose-built chips will quickly enhance in 2023. In consequence, the tempo of innovation will speed up as workloads benefit from {hardware} optimizations that maximize efficiency, whereas decreasing power consumption and decreasing prices.

Customized silicon and specialised {hardware} have been rapidly gaining traction within the shopper know-how trade. Every part from our laptops to our cellphones to our wearable gadgets is seeing vital leaps in efficiency with the fabrication and adoption of customized silicon. Whereas adoption has been fast within the shopper house, the identical hasn’t been true for enterprise functions and techniques, the place software program and {hardware} historically have longer refresh cycles. Nevertheless, this can rapidly change within the coming years because the accessibility and adoption of customized silicon takes maintain.

At AWS, a median of 100 million Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) situations are fired up on daily basis (as of this writing). That is largely attributable to how carefully we’ve labored with prospects over time to grasp the kinds of workloads they’re working after which decide what we should always construct subsequent. Like shopper gadgets, this has led AWS to take a position closely in chip design lately. That’s as a result of we all know that the workloads firms are working within the cloud will be extra performant and more cost effective working on customized silicon that’s purpose-built for particular use circumstances.

Take machine studying workloads for instance. Software program engineers have historically relied on costly, power-hungry GPUs to do all the pieces from mannequin constructing to inference. Nevertheless, this one-size-fits-all strategy isn’t environment friendly—most GPUs aren’t optimized for these duties. Within the coming years, extra engineers will see the advantages of shifting workloads to processors particularly designed for issues like mannequin coaching (AWS Trainium) and inference (AWS Inferentia). As this occurs, a brand new wave of innovation will start. By realizing a 50% cost-to-train financial savings with a Trainium-based occasion, or a 50% higher performance-per-watt on an Inferentia2-based occasion, engineers and companies alike will take discover, and we are going to start to see an enormous migration of workloads. The identical might be true even for generalized functions, the place there are nonetheless advantages to shifting to customized silicon, reminiscent of AWS Graviton3-based situations that use as much as 60% much less power for a similar efficiency than comparable EC2 situations.

Value financial savings and efficiency advantages will result in extra experimentation, extra innovation, extra adoption, and ultimately, extra customized silicon for different particular workloads. It’s one other virtuous cycle. Alan Kay as soon as stated, “People who find themselves actually severe about software program ought to make their very own {hardware}.” And within the coming 12 months, people who find themselves actually severe about software program will actually start to benefit from all that customized silicon has to supply.

To study extra from Dr. Werner Vogels, go to, All Issues Distributed.

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