In preparation of what to expect in 2024 in the tech industry, a global IT research firm called Info-Tech Research Group has released its annual tech report on Tech Trends for 2024.
The firm identified the following six AI-centric tech trends that will dominate the tech space for 2024 as: AI-Driven Business Models, Autonomized Back Office, Spatial Computing, Responsible AI, Security by Design and Digital Sovereignty.
According to the report published by PRNewswire, the boundaries of technological possibilities expand and the implications become more pronounced. IT faces the dual challenge of harnessing the raw power of emerging technologies and setting the ethical and operational compass for AI’s expansive influence. It added that IT leaders across the globe find themselves navigating both the transformative innovations and the ethical considerations they bring.
Brian Jackson, principal research director and research lead for the 2024 Tech Trends report, stated that there are significant opportunities for technology leaders to consider and seize, including creating new revenue-generating business models or optimizing existing operations.
He added that, “the Tech Trends 2024 report is informed by the firm’s recent Future of IT survey, which includes data from 848 industry professionals in IT or those directing IT functions. The underlying metrics for the 2024 report are diverse, with insights from 15 countries and regions spanning North and South America, Europe, and the APAC region. Additionally, the perspectives captured encompass 16 industries, including government, professional services, manufacturing, education, healthcare, financial services, telecom, and the retail sector.”
Info-Tech Research Group explaining how each of the trends will work, said for AI-Driven Business Models: IT organizations are making plans for AI to drive strategic aspects of their business in 2024. Of companies choosing to invest in AI before the end of 2024, 66% expect AI to positively impact their company, compared to 38% of companies not investing in AI. Only 3% feel they face an existential threat from AI. AI adopters have said they will use AI in several strategic areas by the end of 2024: 77% for business analytics and intelligence and 71% to identify risks and improve security, while most skeptics won’t apply AI in any of these areas. AI will define business strategy by the end of 2024, according to 68% of respondents.
Autonomized Back Office: Its role has traditionally been to autonomize business systems by providing capabilities that allow systems to self-execute and self-regulate toward company goals in the name of efficiency. With generative AI, a wide range of new tasks become possible to automate toward this goal. AI models are adaptable and flexible, able to process large volumes of unstructured data and provide classification, editing, summarization, new content creation, and more.
Spatial Computing: Spatial computing promises to bridge the digital and physical worlds, allowing users to interact with digital content in the space around them. Moving beyond traditional interfaces like keyboards and mice, spatial computing employs natural interactions such as gestures, voice, and gaze facilitated by devices like augmented reality glasses or virtual reality headsets, as recently introduced by some of the big tech giants.According to the firm’s research, AI adopters are 42% more interested in using a generative AI-based interface than skeptics. About one in five adopters have already invested in mixed reality, whereas only one in 15 skeptics has done so.
Responsible AI: Lawmakers worldwide have typically been slow to respond to emerging technologies. In recent years, there have been various examples of Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” approach, where a company quickly enters the market and worries about sorting out the situation with lawmakers years after the fact. Fears of AI’s misuse or neglect surround its potential to manipulate people’s behavior using misinformation, to cause mass unemployment, or even to pose an existential threat to humanity.
Security by Design: This trend underscores the integration of security measures right from inception, as opposed to being tacked on as an afterthought. By anticipating vulnerabilities and integrating robust defenses – vital in the AI era with its inherent software complexities – developers can craft software that is intrinsically secure. Historically, the onus of risk mitigation falls on users due to legacy code vulnerabilities, necessitating frequent patches. This reactive approach isn’t always sufficient, underscoring the need for organizations to prioritize proactive cybersecurity.
Digital Sovereignty: Digital sovereignty, particularly in the context of data, is becoming increasingly paramount in the age of advanced technologies. As generative AI technologies are trained by scraping the web to compile massive data sets for their models, questions arise about who truly owns, controls, and has rights to that data. As courts and lawmakers catch up with the new capabilities of generative AI, organizations are questioning how to protect their data and key aspects of their digital identity, incentivizing them to set up infrastructure and deploy protections that preserve their digital sovereignty and prevent third-party AIs from training on their data.