Dreams For 2024

 The year 2023 ends with us seeing artificial intelligence technology (AI) becoming the talk of the public and 5G finally reaching more than 70% of the population in Malaysia after more than a year in arrears. Arguably the past year has been a very good one for technology after 2022 saw many job losses as well as declining earnings for various major companies. Here are 10 things we hope will happen this year.

1. No More 5G Additional Fees In Malaysia

The Ministry of Communications previously said it would take action if telco companies continue to ask for additional fees from customers who want to enjoy the 5G network. Telco companies are currently asking for a fee of up to RM15 just to enjoy faster internet.

Since DNB uses lump sum government funds collected from taxes, this practice should be stopped. But the Ministry of Communications' warning has not yet yielded any results because no changes have been made by the main telco companies. It is hoped that the year 2024 can start with the 5G surcharge being eliminated.

2. The price of the device is cheaper

The prices of various devices in Malaysia will increase in 2023 due to the impact of the supply chain affected by the pandemic. With the pandemic now in the world's "rearview mirror", we expect device prices to return to pre-pandemic levels. The value of the Ringgit also seems to be getting more stable, giving hope that devices whose prices will no longer reach extreme levels can be offered in Malaysia. We will not wait for the cat with horns, because in Malaysia we rarely see the selling price decrease in parallel with the decrease in cost. But we still hope that a more reasonably priced device will be available soon.

3. Electric Car For Marhaen

2023 is the year of EVs in Malaysia with the number of electric vehicles launched and DOSM data also confirms that EV sales have also reached the highest level. But the fact is that all electric cars in the market now are sold at prices above RM100,000 which is beyond the means of the wealthy. Some electric motorcycles are more expensive than four-wheeled cars. If Malaysia is serious about promoting the use of EVs in Malaysia, the introduction of an affordable model needs to happen this year.

4. AI is not just a gimmick

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the most trending technology of 2023. All products, devices and software need to have AI support even if it is as small as a mustard seed for the user. There are still many announcements of the use of AI that we categorize as mere gimmicks. Just as “AI” has been used in smartphone cameras for the past four years. This year we will finally see AI built into devices becoming a necessary feature. Smartphones and personal computers will be the first to have built-in AI capabilities before expanding to other electronic devices.

5. No Service Price Increase

Service price hikes were inevitable last year as they hit all streaming services, and cloud storage. Increased operating costs and the desire to offer better content are used as reasons. Many thought that the price increase would cause many to cancel the subscription but the opposite happened. We now live in an era where everything has to be subscribed to on a monthly basis. It is hoped that in 2024 there will be no more price increases announced suddenly.

6.More Phones Receive Long Term Support

Long-term software support is a feature that is now considered important as users no longer switch to new devices as often. As banking applications and digital wallets become everyday uses, devices that are often patched from security vulnerabilities are increasingly necessary. Last year we saw Google offer seven years of updates on Pixel devices.

Android manufacturers are following in Samsung's footsteps by offering up to five years of updates on flagship devices. Samsung should be commended for offering support on an affordable Galaxy A device. It's about time that their steps were followed by other manufacturers on their mid-range and affordable devices this year.

7. Data Leakage Taken More Seriously

Data leaks caused by hackers and negligence happened again last year. As in previous years no one was subject to serious legal action for failure to be user data. We are still quite "relaxed" in dealing with data leakage cases. The government is calm and the offenders are also calm because the financial impact imposed using the existing bill is relatively minimal.

With PADU and the National Digital ID having been announced, concerns about personal data being leaked on a large scale cannot be underestimated. As some security experts say, every time the Malaysian user database is leaked, if we ourselves don't care why should operators care? This year it is hoped that if there is a data leak again (and it will certainly happen because no system is 100% secure), more serious action will be taken.

8. Social Media That Is More Controlled And Safer

Social media in Malaysia is expected to be more controlled this year. Last year saw prominent celebrity Khairul "Sambal Nyet" Aming used as material to deceive users on Facebook. What makes this issue frustrating is that Meta is quite slow to act. They are faster to remove "Pro Hamas" content than dozens of fraudulent accounts that can cause losses to users.

This is not a new issue and has been touched upon several times by technology sites in Malaysia since at least five years ago. There is a conspiracy theory that it is more profitable for social media operators to take advertising fees than to delete accounts used for fraud.

The government has already announced plans to require social media platforms to have a license to operate in Malaysia. The issue of failure to fight scams and delete content that provokes public unrest may only be resolved if there is a threat of the operating license being revoked.

9. More Chronic Diseases Can Be Cured

In 2023 we see the innovation of using brain implants to restore the ability to walk in paralyzed people and allow stroke patients to speak again with the help of AI. We also see the development of xenotransplant science using pig organs instead of human organs in the near future. Gene editing techniques using CRISPR can also permanently cure sickle cell anemia.

This year we want to see more innovation in the medical world, especially in cancer treatment. Some clinical trials of cancer vaccines in humans have given positive results. So is the treatment of type 1 diabetes which only requires insulin injections a few times a year. The Covid-19 pandemic killed nearly 7 million patients worldwide. Among the rays behind the dark clouds of the pandemic is that it has accelerated research into vaccines and mRNA technology that is now being used to treat a host of other diseases for which there was previously said to be no cure.

10. Lessons of Pandemic 2020 Don't Forget

The number of new Covid-19 infections per week in Malaysia has risen again since a month ago. The effectiveness of the booster dose of the vaccine received more than a year ago as well as the decreasing use of face masks are factors in the increase in infections seen now. What makes this wave a little disappointing is that we don't seem to have learned anything even after going through the pandemic for three years.

It's been a year of coughing like a broken alveolus and snot coming out like a pipe but still wanting to hang out in public places. When sneezing again do not cover your mouth even in public places. There have also been reports of employers forcing staff to go to work even if they are positive for Covid-19 because it is no longer seen as life-threatening.

The fact is that if you are infected with Covid-19 several times, the impact on your long-term health will only be seen in a few years. It's not just the common cold. Be careful when in public places for everyone's health.

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