Dec 22, 2023

The Biggest Discoveries in Computer Science in 2023

Posted by in categories: internet, physics, robotics/AI, science

Quanta Magazine’s full list of the major computer science discoveries from 2023.

In 2023, artificial intelligence dominated popular culture — showing up in everything from internet memes to Senate hearings. Large language models such as those behind ChatGPT fueled a lot of this excitement, even as researchers still struggled to pry open the “black box” that describes their inner workings. Image generation systems also routinely impressed and unsettled us with their artistic abilities, yet these were explicitly founded on concepts borrowed from physics.

The year brought many other advances in computer science. Researchers made subtle but important progress on one of the oldest problems in the field, a question about the nature of hard problems referred to as “P versus NP.” In August, my colleague Ben Brubaker explored this seminal problem and the attempts of computational complexity theorists to answer the question: Why is it hard (in a precise, quantitative sense) to understand what makes hard problems hard? “It hasn’t been an easy journey — the path is littered with false turns and roadblocks, and it loops back on itself again and again,” Brubaker wrote. “Yet for meta-complexity researchers, that journey into an uncharted landscape is its own reward.”

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