SXSW 2023:
3 Tech Trends You Need to Know About

South by Southwest Conference Banner

For creators and innovators, March is all about SXSW. And this year it was back in full force. 

Over 300,000 people flocked to Austin, Texas for SXSW 2023 to celebrate the annual convergence of tech, film, music, education, and culture. 

Why it matters: SXSW, also known as South by Southwest, is one of the world’s largest gatherings of forward-thinking minds. The 10-day festival serves as an incubator of technology and creativity, offering us a taste of what’s to come in our digital future. 

Here are three tech trends from SXSW 2023 to keep your eye on.

1. AI is Everywhere and (Quickly) Evolving 

The buzz around AI – or artificial intelligence – dominated SXSW 2023.

Catch up quick: Have you ever typed a question into ChatGPT? Interacted with a smart home device? Challenged a computer in a game of chess? Then you’ve used AI – a feature where machines can reason, learn, and act intelligently. 

Big takeaway: AI impacts – and will continue to impact – our daily lives. Why? Because it’s an enabler of other technologies that will bring efficiencies, better tracking, and assistance with decision-making.

  • “The most interesting thing that you’re going to get from AI is prediction. What would it be if your clinician could walk in and say, ‘Hello, Katie, based on your life, you are three years away from diabetes’?” – Anne Wojcicki, co-founder and CEO of 23andMe
  • “Imagine if you could ask your AI to make a new ending [for ‘Game of Thrones’]. Maybe even put yourself in there as a main character or something, having interactive experiences.” – Greg Brockman, president and co-founder of OpenAI

While AI has certainly opened a world of possibilities, SXSW attendees also cautioned about the responsibilities that come along with it – including data privacy and the prevention of bias and misinformation. In short – we need to be better prepared.

2. Hybrid Healthcare is Here to Stay 

Technologies like telehealth, digital health tools, and remote patient monitoring, are all important tools that are now regularly used to improve patient outcomes and expand health equity. 

Big takeaway: Still, the future of healthcare will not just be robotic doctors and digital therapeutics. By blending the strengths of virtual and in-person care, clinicians will be able to expand their reach and better serve patients. 

  • “One piece of health equity is to leverage and use technologies to reach the population at scale rather than continue on with advanced science for a small population.” – Jennifer Schneider, M.D.
  • “We should…allow people to connect where and how they want to, digitally and in-person, and make it easier for patients.” – Jon Driscoll, EVP and President of U.S. Healthcare, Walgreens

3. Immersive Experiences Are the Future of Entertainment

While not necessarily a new trend, the use of holography, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) to create more engaging and interactive experiences is gaining momentum.

Big takeaway: In the short-term, we can expect to see more immersive experiences come out of various industries, from gaming to retail.

  • “Spatial audio, volumetric video capture, and haptics allow us to hear, feel, and see the action, transforming us into participants rather than spectators of the events happening on our screens.” – Amy Webb, CEO, Future Today Institute
  • “These platforms. Roblox and the Metaverse, creating these types of experiences, we know that are something that we’re gonna have to continue to play in.” – Seth Dudowsky, Head of Music, National Football League

What will help power these technological trends from SXSW 2023?

The high speeds and low latencies that come with 10G, the next generation of broadband. Learn more about 10G in our blog post, What Is 10G? 3 Things You Need to Know.