It's a new year! What are the gurus saying about smashing your New Year goals and the trendy technology to help you with that? The technological landscape for 2024 is already looking exciting. It will be marked by significant advancements in artificial intelligence for sure, but what about the other not so hyped innovations? I had a quick look at the usual consultants' opinions (these guys jump on the bleeding edge pretty quickly). Here's a synthesis of the top trends and their implications:
1. Generative AI Reshaping Knowledge Interaction
2024 sees a deepening in the fundamental way in how we interact with data, moving from a search-based "librarian" model to an "advisor" model, primarily driven by the advancement of generative AI chatbots. These AI systems, like ChatGPT, are transforming how we access and process information, providing direct, conversational answers and synthesizing vast amounts of data. Will businesses stop running demo apps and get the shift that all the hype had promised? That hype is getting full agents working like a full employee... not so far fast. The talk has shifted to copilots/assistants rather than replacements. A lot of house cleaning will go into rethinking data collection, structuring, and deployment of technology tools, emphasizing practices like training, debiasing, and AI oversight.
2. The Human Element in AI Adoption
Despite the surge in AI integration, the human element remains vital, especially in customer experience (CX) contexts. Businesses are focusing on closing skills gaps and investing in reskilling and upskilling initiatives to complement AI capabilities. This trend underscores the enduring importance of human skills in the increasingly automated business landscape.
3. AI's Energy Usage
With the advancements in AI, there's a growing concern about its energy usage. AI giants like Anthropic and Microsoft are exploring energy-efficient ways of running their ships. Companies are beginning to adopt smaller, specialised, more efficient AI models to reduce energy consumption, which also contributes to sustainability efforts.
4. IT Spending Focused on Business Outcomes
Businesses continue with digital transformation seeking to derive more value from their IT spending. Not viewing IT as a "cost center", I guess. This involves demanding more operational flexibility and predictability in cash flows. IT deployment is directly tied to business outcomes, check the C-Suites. Traditional companies are getting CTOs now! It is leading to a shift from legacy infrastructure to next-generation technology like hybrid cloud and interconnected IT environments.
5. Quantum Computing and Cybersecurity
2024 is witnessing advancements in quantum computing, particularly in post-quantum cryptography (PQC). PQC, even before standardization, is being adopted to protect data against future quantum attacks, never knew that was a thing. Quantum networking is also gaining attention for its potential to enable scalable quantum solutions through phenomena like entanglement and superposition.
6. New Types of Social Engineering Attacks
Identity-based attacks continue to be a major cybersecurity threat. Businesses are emphasizing the need to educate employees about recognizing and preventing such attacks. Generative AI throws a spanner into the works. You can impersonate real people. Just take a look at fake AI influencers! This makes identity protection a critical focus area in 2024, just like any year.
7. MIT Technology Review highlights
Breakthrough Technologies with Broad Impacts. Several technologies are poised to significantly impact various sectors in 2024:
- Passwordless Login and Covid Variant Tracking: Innovations in cybersecurity and health technology.
- Weight-loss drugs: Offering new solutions in healthcare with potential cardiovascular benefits.
- Enhanced Geothermal Systems: Advancing clean, sustainable energy with new drilling techniques.
- Chiplets: Addressing the challenges in computing efficiency as Moore's Law reaches its limits.
- Gene-editing Treatments: Breakthroughs like CRISPR for treating conditions like sickle-cell disease.
- Exascale Computers: Enabling sophisticated scientific simulations with unprecedented computing power.
- Heat Pumps: Contributing to building decarbonization and energy efficiency.
- Alternatives to Twitter: Signifying changes in social media landscapes and user preferences.