Thanks to the emergence of controversial generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT and Bard, AI was the buzzword that dominated the news throughout much of this year.

Depending on one’s point of view, the technology was seen as a boon by some and a bane by others. For some, AI was seen as a Great Rescuer that could make certain tasks easier to do. On the other hand, numerous sectors – particularly those in the creative fields and education – saw AI as a menace against human creativity and a roster of technologies that could spell a great deal of trouble in the wrong hands.

Nevertheless, AI-related development has become the proverbial golden goose for companies involved in the process, such as chipmaker Nvidia which has posted serious gains from its involvement in AI initiatives.

The State of Armed Conflict

But while AI kept the world’s eyes open throughout much of this year, next year could prove to be a more sober – even somber – situation as several nations are slated to hold presidential elections, and armed conflict remains a serious concern in many parts of the world.

One such conflict is the domino effect seen after the October 2023 Hamas shock attack on Israel. Considered the deadliest day in Israel’s history, the attack led to 1,200 civilian deaths when it occurred. Hamas also took 240 survivors hostage. The brutality of the attack has since led to Israel’s unrelenting attacks on Gaza which, as of press time, has resulted in 14,000 Palestinian casualties. Of that number, it is estimated that 5,000 were children under the age of 12.

Despite a ceasefire late last month which enabled both sides to release their respective prisoners, the conflict continues and may well continue into the new year.

But if the Israel-Palestine conflict appears to be dragging on, the same could be said of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.

Fighting continues in eastern and southern Ukraine, but it appears that both sides have reached a stalemate. While an endgame remains dependent on those calling the shots in Moscow and Kyiv, it also depends on whether or not other nations will continue to send support to the Ukrainian government and armed forces in the coming months.

All Eyes on the Elections

Meanwhile, Americans are warily eyeing the ongoing presidential campaign as beleaguered former President Donald Trump attempts to secure a second stint at the White House despite the mounting number of cases against him.

As Colorado’s state government recently pointed out that Trump could be disqualified based on his unsavory activities both in the White House and on the campaign trail, it remains to be seen how this particular election plays out next year.