In this year
China finally reopened its borders to international visitors as of January 8th, the first time since March 2020 following COVID-19 restrictions. The country had taken a "zero COVID" approach and locked down indefinitely.
Researchers announced on February 14th that a major breakthrough in developing contraceptive medication for men had been made– as lab testing proved to be completely successful with mice. This would be one of the most important moments in the development of such drugs.
March 2023 saw artificial intelligence truly enter the mainstream with OpenAI launching GPT-4, a language model for its content production program ChatGPT. Chat had launched in 2022, but this was the moment everyday people started noticing AI content production.
April 20th saw SpaceX launch what's become known as the biggest and most powerful rocket on record – at least it was at the time – but it didn't last long, exploding just a few minutes into its launch.
As of May 4th, the World Health Organization finally declared that the global state of emergency surrounding COVID-19 had come to an end. However, variants of the novel coronavirus remained at large, and the "pandemic" status remained.
A new twist in the Russia-Ukraine war emerged on June 23rd, 2023, as Russian military cell The Wagner Group revolted against their commands, leading to the seizing of Rostov-on-Don. The skirmish would end in a peace agreement and withdrawal. Wagner leader Yevgeny Priogozhin would reportedly die in a plane crash later in the year.
Hollywood received a major shock on July 14th as acting guild SAG-AFTRA announced it would strike against conditions relating to compensation and the rise of AI affecting their work. The strikes would last until the fall.
Wildfires tore across Canada’s Northwest Territories mid-to-late August, with at least 68% of people living in the region having to completely relocate. Elsewhere on the continent, Hawaii, too, suffered wildfires this month, claiming the lives of at least a hundred people and the scorching of 17,000 acres cross-state.
The end of an era emerged in September, as controversial media mogul Rupert Murdoch officially announced his retirement from running businesses such as Fox and News Corp. In his stead, his son Lachlan Murdoch stepped up to take control. Murdoch Sr. was 92 at the time of stepping down.
Early October saw tensions between Israel and Palestine re-escalate as Hamas surged into the south of Israel via Gaza, prompting military action. The event would help to re-ignite the bloody conflict, leading to mass condemnation across the globe. A temporary ceasefire to release hostages would occur in November, but the conflict would continue.
The United Kingdom played host to an important event regarding the future of artificial intelligence in November 2023 – with the “AI Safety Summit” drawing attention to the potential hazards posed by the rise of AI in work, entertainment, and beyond. The event saw 28 nations signing a protection agreement.
In a historic moment for US politics, the House of Representatives voted to expel George Santos from their ranks on December 1st, 2023. Santos had become a disgraced figure in politics following the exposure of various accounts of law-breaking and role exploitation. 311 members voted "for" expelling the representative, with 114 voting "against."