2023 was the year of the breakthrough of artificial intelligence. What awaits us in 2024? Ten IT experts surveyed by InformationWeek predict how they think AI will develop.
As 2023 rolled around, few observers focused on the profound impact AI would have on IT, business, and the world at large. Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to look into the new year and look at the trends that will shape AI’s progress in 2024
1. LLMs lead to AGIs
The defining AI trend in 2024 will be the widespread integration of large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT, leading to the emergence of AI general purpose (AGI), predicts Avi Gruska, senior director of AI at analytics technology company Sisense. “This trend highlights changes in workforce dynamics, where AI is expanding job roles to support core skills and creativity, especially in data analytics,” he notes.
2. Stronger cyber defenses, more sophisticated attackers
AI is already delivering enormous benefits to our cyber defenders, allowing them to improve capabilities, reduce labor costs and better defend against threats, says Phil Venables, CISO at Google Cloud. “We expect these capabilities and benefits to increase in 2024 as advocates gain ownership of the technology and are therefore able to guide its development based on specific use cases,” he explains.
On the other hand, Venables expects attackers to use generative AI and LLM to personalize and incrementally scale their destructive campaigns: “They will use everything they can to blur the line between benign and malicious AI applications, so defenders must act faster and more efficiently.”
3. AI becomes multimodal
The most important AI trend in 2024 will be the emergence of multimodal search/retrieval architectures and multimodal inference, which will take center stage in AI products, predicts Rak Garg, director at Bain Capital Ventures.
Most of the 2023 AI products inspired by ChatGPT were text-based. “But users prefer more expressive software that interacts with them in all modalities—voice, video, audio, code, etc.,” says Garg. “If we can make these architectures work at scale, which requires a specialized set of advanced search tools for multimodality innovation, we can open up a new category of software that provides much more accurate results.”
4. A new stage in the development of generative AI
The most notable trend of 2024 will be the second act of generative AI, predicts Nick Magnuson, head of AI at analyst firm Qlik. “Early signs indicate that it is moving from being a conceptually stimulating technology in a speculative cycle of experimentation to one that has a practical impact on organizations at large,” he says.
Magnuson predicts that generic, one-size-fits-all models will likely fall out of fashion, to be replaced by domain-specific applications. “This evolution will be particularly noticeable in the B2B context, where the need for specialized AI solutions is paramount.”
5. AI is revolutionizing data analysis
The biggest AI trend in 2024 will likely be generative AI disrupting traditional data analytics practices, says Bob Brower, founder and CEO of consulting firm Interzoid. “The face of analytics, visualization and data management will change dramatically,” he predicts.
Conversational analytics, along with advances in natural language processing (NLP), will make many current and traditional approaches to business intelligence obsolete, Brauer warns. “As these AI-powered conversational tools evolve and become more simple and easy to interact with, they will become increasingly better at interpreting the nuances, context and complex questions asked in natural speech,” he believes. Meanwhile, sophisticated interfaces such as voice and image input will open the door to faster, deeper and more well-articulated data queries. “All this will allow for deeper and more useful analytics in real time, which will become the basis for decision-making and business strategy development,” says Brouwer
6. AI goes shopping
Generative AI will impact how people discover products and make purchases, said Rachel Moore, senior vice president and head of incubation at financial services company Synchrony. “This includes the potential evolution of product search, budgeting and payments into immersive experiences using spatial computing,” he notes.
In fact, augmented reality and spatial computing could revolutionize commerce like we haven’t seen since the advent of online shopping. “When search becomes more realistic and intelligent, imagine how strong the urge to buy something (and pay with the powerful built-in payment system) will be,” Moore says. “It will be a seamless experience with generative AI powering its core parts.”
7. Deepfakes are on the rise
Deepfakes will proliferate and become more sophisticated, predicts Lance Hood, senior director of omnichannel authentication at TransUnion. “Tools to create believable deepfakes using AI have only recently become widely available, but there are already dozens of offerings on the market that can fool identity verification decisions and gain unauthorized access to digital assets and online accounts,” he laments.
In particular, deep voice spoofing technology has become very advanced in a short period of time, Hood notes. “After listening to just a few seconds of someone’s voice, these tools can convincingly synthesize a full voice profile and say anything with that voice,” he explains. “Other AI tools are allowing criminals to create increasingly convincing fake images and documents, posing a serious threat to industries that handle large amounts of personal information and customer assets.”
8. Professional content creation is gaining momentum
Jeremy Tuman, CEO of AI video editing company Aug X Labs, believes 2024th will be the year when AI actually starts working for content creators. “We can expect that as the technical, financial and legal barriers to properly using this technology are overcome, big brands will begin to use AI-generated media rather than just quick replies to emails or iterations of humorous images,” he believes.
AI for professional content creation will allow companies to interact with their customers in a much more targeted and engaging way, says Tuman. “Increasingly personalized and tailored content will target audiences on every screen,” he says.
9. AI is revolutionizing software development
The rapid evolution of centralized platforms and the integration of AI/ML into all stages of the software development lifecycle—from ideation and planning to managing deployment to production—will lead to a revolution in software development, said Sandhya Sreedharan, head of engineering, platforms and experience at JPMorgan Chase.
These trends will streamline and speed up every aspect of an engineer’s workflow, reduce cognitive overload, enable the creation of reusable code, make code easier to find, and enable faster troubleshooting. AI will even generate test code, allowing developers to focus on the creative aspects of software design and bring solutions to market faster. “The new relationship between platform engineering and AI/ML will usher in an era of development in which intelligent automation and human creativity come together to deliver exceptional products and services at an unprecedented scale to customers and users around the world,” predicts Sreedharan.
10. AI administration intensifies
According to Tarun Chopra, vice president of product management, data and AI at IBM, enterprises will increasingly invest in AI administration in 2024. “We will see companies focusing on their data strategies, with a particular focus on AI regulation and data quality,” he explains. Organizations will use automation and digital workers to give employees more time to do things like upskill, develop their own work and find new ways to use AI to their advantage, he said. In doing so, they will focus on being prepared to comply with upcoming security and transparency regulations, proactively mitigating risks, and monitoring fairness, bias, and model drift.