It has become an annual tradition for the Roman God of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways, passages and endings to adorn the title of our final blog post of the year. We find Janus an appropriate symbol since he is usually depicted as having two faces, looking both to the future and to the past.

More than any other future trend, 2023 has been the year of AI. As Heptagon’s Head of IT said to your author in Blog post 26, “even if you had been living under a rock”, you would now be familiar with the term – and would probably have experimented with Chat-GPT and other similar tools too. AI did, unsurprisingly, dominate our Blog posts more than any other topic over the last 12 months. Post 2 (“explain AI to my Mum”) was our most read of 2023. The topic received dedicated features on 8 occasions during 2023. Fresh from the US last week, we reported (in post 47) on how some executives believe it could even “change the world.”

There was, of course, more to the past year than just AI. Record temperatures and extreme weather conditions were front of mind for many. The launch of a potential ‘wonder drug’ for treating obesity was another hot issue. To understand the ongoing importance of renewable energy, your author travelled to Perrysburg, Ohio to visit the largest solar production plant in the western hemisphere (post 35) as well as visiting a major offshore wind farm in Brighton, England (post 28). Elsewhere post 24 and post 33 gave insights into food innovation aimed at driving healthier lifestyles. Meanwhile, in post 38, we described a broader strategy on how to ‘outlive.’

Looking forward, we anticipate AI to continue dominating headlines. As we said in post 45, expect talk about AI to shift to practical deployment. Think of this as being a transition from the infrastructure layer to the application layer. 2024 may be the year of copilot mania. Expect copilots to emerge for every conceivable use case. AI may also increase the likelihood of more miracle drugs such as GLP-1, or at least super-charge the future of health through accelerating the rate of new drug discovery.

Even if there is scepticism in some quarters regarding renewable energy, growing power consumption (large language models are clear culprits) will spur increased interest in smart grids and home energy storage, a topic we have written on since 2022. Elsewhere, expect more commercialisation of drones (another theme we have followed for over a year), whether in the unfortunate theatre of war, or in more benign capacities such as for home delivery. Finally, space – a theme of ours since 2018 – may go bigger next year. Recent reports have valued SpaceX at up to $180bn. Off to the moon, then.

Thank you all for your interest and support over the past year. The Future Trends Blog will return in early January. 

19 December 2023

The above does not constitute investment advice and is the sole opinion of the author at the time of publication. Past performance is no guide to future performance and the value of investments and income from them can fall as well as rise.

Click here to view all Blog posts.

Alex Gunz, Fund Manager

Disclaimers

The document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute investment advice or any recommendation to buy, or sell or otherwise transact in any investments. The document is not intended to be construed as investment research. The contents of this document are based upon sources of information which Heptagon Capital LLP believes to be reliable. However, except to the extent required by applicable law or regulations, no guarantee, warranty or representation (express or implied) is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this document or its contents and, Heptagon Capital LLP, its affiliate companies and its members, officers, employees, agents and advisors do not accept any liability or responsibility in respect of the information or any views expressed herein. Opinions expressed whether in general or in both on the performance of individual investments and in a wider economic context represent the views of the contributor at the time of preparation. Where this document provides forward-looking statements which are based on relevant reports, current opinions, expectations and projections, actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. All opinions and estimates included in the document are subject to change without notice and Heptagon Capital LLP is under no obligation to update or revise information contained in the document. Furthermore, Heptagon Capital LLP disclaims any liability for any loss, damage, costs or expenses (including direct, indirect, special and consequential) howsoever arising which any person may suffer or incur as a result of viewing or utilising any information included in this document. 

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