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December 21, 2023
6 Min Read
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When 2023 dawned, few observers predicted the impact AI would have on IT, business, and the world at large. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to look forward to a new year and the trends that will define AI progress in 2024.
We queried 10 experts via email to find out how they expect AI to evolve over the next 12 months. Here are their insights.
1. LLMs lead to AGIs
The defining AI trend of 2024 will be the widespread integration of large language models (LLMs), like ChatGPT, progressing toward artificial general intelligence (AGI), predicts Avi Gruska, senior director, AI, at analytics’ technology firm Sisense. “This trend emphasizes the transformation in workforce dynamics, where AI enhances job roles by supporting core skills and creativity, especially in data analytics.
2. Stronger cyber defense; craftier attackers
AI is already providing a tremendous advantage for our cyber defenders, enabling them to improve capabilities, reduce toil, and better protect against threats, says Phil Venables, CISO of Google Cloud. “We expect these capabilities and benefits to surge in 2024, given that the defenders own the technology and thus can direct its development with specific use cases in mind,” he explains.
On the other hand, Venables expects that attackers will use generative AI and LLMs to personalize and slowly scale their destructive campaigns. “They will use anything they can to blur the line between benign and malicious AI applications, so defenders must act quicker and more efficiently in response.”
3. AI goes multi-modal
The most important AI trend of 2024 will be the emergence of multi-modal retrieval architectures and multi-modal inference taking center stage in AI products, predicts Rak Garg, a principal at Bain Capital Ventures.
Most 2023 AI products inspired by ChatGPT have been textual. “But users prefer more expressive software that meets them in every modality, from voice to video to audio to code and more,” Garg says. “If we can get these architectures to work at scale, which would require a specialized set of retrieval augmentation startups to innovate in multi-modal, we could unlock a new category of software that provides much more accurate and human results.”
4. Generative AI advances
The most notable trend in 2024 will be generative AI’s second act, predicts Nick Magnuson, head of AI at analytics firm Qlik. “Early signs point to it transitioning from a conceptually stimulating technology within a speculative cycle of experimentation to one driving practical impacts to organizations broadly.”
Generic, one-size-fits-all models are likely to fall out of favor, replaced by customized, domain-specific applications, Magnuson forecasts. “This evolution will be particularly evident in business-to-business contexts, where the need for tailored AI solutions is paramount.”
5. AI disrupts data analysis
The most significant trend in AI in 2024 will likely be generative AI’s disruption of traditional data analysis practices, says Bob Brauer founder and CEO of Interzoid, a data usability consulting firm. “The face of analytics, visualization, and data management will change dramatically,” he predicts.
Conversational analytics, along with advances in natural language processing (NLP), will render many current and traditional approaches to business intelligence obsolete, Brauer warns. “As these AI-powered conversational tools advance and become easier to interact with, they will become more adept at interpreting nuance, context, and complex questions asked in natural speech.” Meanwhile, sophisticated interfaces, such as voice and image-as-input, will open the door to faster, in-depth, and well-articulated data queries. “All of this will enable more insightful and useful real-time analytics to serve as a basis of decision-making and business strategy.”
Related:Cobots and AI: A Natural Match?
6. AI goes shopping
Generative AI will affect the way people discover products and shop, says Rachel Moore, senior vice president and head of incubation at financial services firm Synchrony. “This includes the potential evolution of product discovery, budgeting, and payments in immersive experiences powered by spatial computing, like Apple VisionPro.”
In fact, AR and spatial computing could create a type of commerce upheaval that we haven’t seen since online shopping debuted. “When searching feels real and becomes more intelligent, imagine the propensity to buy [along with] the power of embedded payments,” Moore says. “It’s all one experience, with generative AI powering core pieces of it.”
7. Deepfakes will proliferate
Deepfakes will multiply and become more sophisticated, predicts Lance Hood, senior director of omnichannel authentication at credit reporting firm TransUnion. “Convincing AI deepfake tools only started becoming widely available recently, but there are probably dozens of offerings on the market capable of fooling identity verification solutions to gain unauthorized access to digital assets and online accounts.”
Voice deepfake technology in particular, has grown very sophisticated in a short period of time, Hood observes. “After listening to just a few seconds of somebody’s voice, these tools can convincingly synthesize a full voice profile and say anything in that voice,” he notes. “Meanwhile, other AI tools give criminals the ability to create increasingly convincing fake imagery and documents, which poses a major threat to industries working with large amounts of personal identifiable information (PII) and customer assets.”
8. Professional content creation soars
Jeremy Toeman, CEO of AI video editing company Aug X Labs, believes that 2024 will be the year when AI really gets to work for content creators. “We can expect to see the use of AI-generated media by major brands, not just quick email replies or iterations of playful imagery, as we pass the technical, financial, and legal hurdles for proper use of the technology.”
AI for professional content creation will allow businesses to engage with their customers in much more directed and engaging ways, Toeman says. “Increasingly personalized and bespoke content will reach audiences at every screen,” he states.
9. AI will revolutionize software engineering
The rapid evolution of centralized platforms and the integration of AI/ML in every stage of the software development lifecycle -- from ideation and planning to production deployment management -- will revolutionize software engineering, says Sandhya Sridharan, head of engineers, platform and experience, at JPMorgan Chase.
These trends will streamline and accelerate every aspect of an engineer’s workflow, reducing cognitive overload, enabling reusable code creation, simplifying code searches, and allowing faster troubleshooting. AI will even generate test code, allowing developers to focus on software design’s creative aspects and bring solutions to market faster. “This new relationship between the engineer’s platform and AI/ML will pave the way for an era of software development where intelligent automation and human creativity synergize to deliver exceptional products and services at unprecedented scale to customers and users worldwide,” Sridharan predicts.
10. AI governance strengthens
Enterprises will increasingly invest in AI governance in 2024, says Tarun Chopra, vice president, IBM product management, data, and AI. “We’re going to see companies focusing on their data strategies, with an emphasis on AI regulation and data quality,” he explains. “Organizations will use automation and digital labor to allow more time for their employees to focus on tasks like skill building, evolving their own work, and finding new ways to use AI to their advantage,” Chopra observes. “Organizations are really going to be focusing on their readiness for meeting upcoming safety and transparency regulations and policies worldwide, mitigating risk proactively and monitoring for fairness, bias, and drift.”
About the Author(s)
Technology Journalist & Author
John Edwards is a veteran business technology journalist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and numerous business and technology publications, including Computerworld, CFO Magazine, IBM Data Management Magazine, RFID Journal, and Electronic Design. He has also written columns for The Economist's Business Intelligence Unit and PricewaterhouseCoopers' Communications Direct. John has authored several books on business technology topics. His work began appearing online as early as 1983. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, he wrote daily news and feature articles for both the CompuServe and Prodigy online services. His "Behind the Screens" commentaries made him the world's first known professional blogger.
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