Five technological anti-forecasts for 2024

This time of year, analysts everywhere are busy making their annual forecasts for upcoming technology trends. While such predictions are very valuable, I thought it would be fun to look at the situation from a different angle. Instead, I made my list of anti-predictions – these are predictions of trends that will not happen in 2024.

1. Tech companies will put AI on hold

The first counter-prediction is that technology companies will decide to pause their work on artificial intelligence.

In the spring of 2023, Elon Musk and others publicly called on technology companies to temporarily halt AI development until more effective controls were in place. Even if we put aside the risk of AI dealing a devastating blow to humanity, there are many examples of AI being very creepy or being used for nefarious purposes.

Despite all this, technology companies will not be able to slow down the development of AI. First, they are investing too much in AI, and CEOs have practically bet on this investment. Stopping now would be a financial disaster for them.

Another reason tech companies won’t stop their AI efforts is because their competitors won’t. The current situation with AI is reminiscent of the ubiquity of cloud technologies a decade ago. Back then, manufacturers rushed to integrate cloud technologies into their products, simply because it was an industry trend. Likewise, software providers must implement AI to remain relevant; otherwise, they risk being left behind.

2. Working from home is coming to an end

With the coronavirus pandemic in the rearview mirror, some are advocating for an end to remote work, citing issues such as lost productivity and lack of accountability. Despite such calls, a full return to office work will not happen – at least not in 2024.

There are several reasons for this. First, employees will not want to put up with a mandatory return to the office. There are simply too many benefits to working from home. If an organization forces all its employees to work in an office, many of them will look for opportunities elsewhere.

In addition, there are economic considerations. Companies that continue to embrace remote work can reduce the need for office space, resulting in cost savings. Let’s not forget the huge investments that companies have made in the infrastructure that makes remote work possible.

3. Cloud providers will agree to data repatriation

In recent years, an important but not very noticeable trend has emerged – cloud data repatriation. Its essence lies in the fact that companies refuse to use cloud technologies because the promised cost savings have not materialized.

While bringing workloads back to on-premises may not impact the cloud provider too much, it will be in huge trouble if subscribers start returning their data.

Yes, data storage combined with withdrawal fees is a huge money maker for cloud providers. However, that’s not all. Hyperscalers have gone all-in on AI. But AI assistants like Microsoft Copilot can’t work without access to massive amounts of data. If customers choose not to use cloud storage for their data, providers risk losing the very thing that powers their AI engines. So I think we’ll see an all-out marketing blitz from cloud providers to convince customers to store their data in the cloud.

4. The Metaverse fades into obscurity

Not long ago, many considered the metaverse an epic failure.

However, in recent months there has been a resurgence of interest in augmented and mixed reality environments. For example, Microsoft dedicated a significant portion of its Ignite 2023 keynote to demonstrating Copilot for mixed reality. The company showed how Teams meetings can take place in the metaverse.

I believe the metaverse was initially set back by the pandemic. In 2019, there was a belief that the metaverse would be the next big thing. However, the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020 shifted priorities, directing resources towards technologies that enable remote work. Since then, the metaverse has been practically forgotten.

The problem is that tech companies have made large investments in the metaverse and want a return on that investment. They are now looking at ways to combine the metaverse with AI to create a completely new experience for customers.

Whether the metaverse will ultimately succeed remains to be seen, but in 2024, I think we’ll see a new push to get people to embrace the metaverse.

5. Passwords are returned

The final trend that we definitely won’t see in 2024 is the return of passwords. Users often complain that they already have too many passwords. At the same time, organizations are grappling with various password-related vulnerabilities.

In 2024 we’ll likely see more organizations move to passwordless authentication methods. In addition, technology companies are likely to promote the concept of universal digital identities, allowing users to transfer their digital identities from one site to another.

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