As we leave 2023 in the rearview mirror, we can safely say it was a pivotal year for AI advancement. Artificial Intelligence was the phrase on everyone’s lips and hit the headlines countless times.
Now forecasters are predicting the trends for 2024 that will redefine how businesses operate, how users interact with technology, and the overall landscape of AI innovation. So let’s dive into the top trends we expect to see in AI in the coming twelve months.
Next-gen gen AI
Generative AI tools support in the crafting of images, audio and text, and have become relatively common. Take ChatGPT, GPT-4 and Bard – they’ve each had their moment in the headlines over the last 12 months.
While the 2023 wave of gen AI tools has honed these specific capabilities, there are suggestions that the next 12 months will usher in a new era for gen AI: the arrival of truly intuitive multi-modal AI systems.
But, what does this mean? Multi-modal systems recognise text and images, and make decisions using contextual cues – your phone changing the orientation of the screen depending on which way it is being held is an example. But this year, we’re talking next-level stuff.
So why are we so excited about multi-modal systems? Well, their refinement will empower the development of sophisticated virtual assistants, capable of accurately tackling more complex queries. For example, advanced customer service bots that can understand emotions and intentions, unlike the “computer says no” approach of many current models that are unable to process queries outside of their domain.
Sounds like the next step towards an Ex Machina scenario, but these multi-modal AI systems, industry insiders say, will also pave the way for innovative educational tools, immersive entertainment experiences, and enhanced accessibility features, particularly beneficial for those with disabilities.
The use of artificial intelligence in medicine is already well-developed, in fact, it’s something I wrote about previously. However, experts suggest that this year will be revolutionary for AI developments in the healthcare sector.
From AI-powered diagnostics, imaging, surgical support and even drug development, the possibilities for AI are endless. The Da Vinci Robotic-Assisted Surgery – a tool that supports surgeons to complete complex but minimally invasive procedures – is just the beginning.
Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) are continually being developed to help diagnose numerous diseases like cancers and stroke through image analysis and radiology, plus much more.
And within pharmaceuticals, AI is likely to continue to play a starring role in reducing the cost and time required to bring new drugs to the market. Take, for example, the discovery of a new class of antibiotics for the first time in 60 years, thanks to the help of AI.
AI use is already widespread. If you open your phone with face ID, then that’s AI. If you make a Google search, you’re using AI. If you’re using digital maps to plan your journey, you guessed it – you’re using AI. The use cases are everywhere: online shopping, your banking app, social media algorithms, digital entertainment, the list goes on.
And increasingly, this widespread and relatively under-the-radar use of AI is coming under scrutiny. Last year we saw a concerted effort across nations to strike a balance between fostering innovation and ensuring accountability.
There have been rumblings from the European Union about regulatory changes for months, and only recently it announced that legislators agreed on a landmark deal on how to regulate AI after an exhausting 36 hours of talks.
While the EU say the finalised AI Act will make Europe “the best place in the world to do AI”, according to one EU legislator, as Sifted reported, startups aren’t convinced.
November 2023 saw the AI Safety Summit held in the UK – which was punctuated by a conversational interview between UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Elon Musk, where Musk terrifyingly “warned of humanoid robots that can chase you anywhere".
The Summit resulted in the Bletchley Declaration, an international pact establishing a framework governing safe AI practices. The declaration was a collective 28-country commitment to the responsible development of AI.
This is most definitely not the end of AI regulation. In the coming 12 months we’re expecting to see continuing international discussions on ethical AI deployment, risk mitigation and transparency, setting the stage for a more responsible and secure global AI landscape.
AI workforce collaboration
We’ve all read the headlines that AI is coming for our jobs. While we might not be out of work thanks to AI next year, what’s known as Augmented Work is most certainly going to rise in prominence in 2024.
Augmented Work is a concept where AI isn’t just a tool people use to support them in their roles, but is instead an indispensable collaborator. It combines the quick calculation abilities of AI and the emotional intelligence of humans to create a superior workforce.
It would be like an A&E doctor being able to triage more patients by using an AI-driven diagnostics tool, or a teacher being able to tailor lessons to the individual needs of their students to streamline learning while making it fun.
This year, we’re likely to see a bigger workplace reliance on AI, with the technology weaving itself deeper into our working lives. This mutual relationship between human ingenuity and AI proficiency looks to redefine the workplace even further.
A quantum leap
Quantum computing – like the programmes used to deliver us more accurate weather forecasts – is the fifth trend we think will be huge for AI in 2024. Quantum computing uses pattern recognition to draw conclusions through something called “qubits” – quantum bits capable of embodying multiple states concurrently.
But what does this mean for AI? Well, with the ability to process larger datasets faster than ever before, we’re likely to see much more powerful AI models with potentially limitless capabilities.
Could AI singularity – the hypothetical future time when tech growth becomes uncontrollable and irreversible – be coming faster than we think? Would it speed up the replacement of humans or just augment our capabilities even further? Only time will tell.
As Forbes contributor Bernard Marr suggested in a recent article, “The impact of qubits extends beyond theoretical possibilities”. Everyone from startups to blue-chip corporations are getting on the quantum solutions train, so we expect to see huge strides made in AI capabilities in this field.
Data processing, however, is where we’ll likely see the biggest impacts, especially within intricate problem-solving. With it, we could solve incredibly complex math problems within seconds or do computations in a fraction of the time a traditional computer takes.
And while on the face of it, neither of these examples seems like they’d change the world as we know it – despite being handy – it’s actually believed that quantum computing could lead to the breaking of encryption that makes up the foundations of the internet.
Artificial intelligence has already been transformative, but it shows no signs of slowing down as we leap into 2024. Understanding these technologies and how they intersect with the political and economic systems that form the world we live in is going to be paramount.
So far, humanity’s technological inventions have had to fit into our world, but 2024 could be the first year that we have to fit into AI’s world. While there are more questions than answers at this stage, it’s clear that the impact of AI will have the same – or even a bigger – impact on society than the car, printing press or the internet.
With two major elections on the horizon this year, the threat of AI being used as a tool for misinformation and manipulation through bot activity and fake accounts is high. But despite that, we expect 2024 to be a year of continuous learning, prioritising responsible development that balances innovation with ethical considerations so we can pave a future where AI serves humanity’s best interests.
If you’re interested in discussing these trends further, or you are an AI founder who is looking to understand how to best protect your tech in 2024, then get in touch with our AI-focused broking team.
This content has been created for general information purposes and should not be taken as formal advice. Read our full disclaimer.