Once again, we arrive at the time of year where we look ahead to what technology has in store for us in 2024. Digital transformation doesn’t stop: it’s an ongoing process, and the revolutionary trends that have made it 2023 one of the most promising years. Exciting years for innovation will continue to reshape our world in many exciting ways.
Artificial intelligence, the blurring of boundaries between the real and the virtual, and the continued evolution of the Internet will all have a radical impact on our lives. But perhaps most important will be finding ways to continue to grow and prosper while minimizing the damage we do to the environment – and perhaps even repairing some of the damage done in the past.
So here is my overview of these game-changing trends, along with my predictions about the impact of each on life, society and the planet.
Generative AI – Everyday Automation
2023 was the year that generative AI hit the mainstream. 2024 will be the year the world understands how powerful and useful this technology can truly be. Today, if you are not a technician, just the phrase artificial intelligence (AI) can cause a thrill of fear – if you don’t fear it will take over the world or destroy the human raceyou may be nervously waiting for it to happen steal your job and fire you.
But as generative AI takes hold in more of the applications we use every day, from search engines to office software, design software packages and communications tools, people will understand its potential. Used correctly, it’s like having a super-intelligent personal assistant at our fingertips 24/7, making us more efficient, faster and more productive.
More importantly, by putting our daily lives back menial intellectual work – obtaining information, planning, managing compliance, organizing ideas, structuring projects – thanks to AI, we will find ourselves with more time to exploit our truly human skills. We will spend more time being creative, exploring new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking, or communicating with humans rather than programming machines. The genie is out of the bottle, and while there are undeniable challenges around ethics And regulation that still need to be solved, I think 2024 will be the year when everyone begins to understand how generative AI will transform our lives.
The real and the digital are more and more closely linked. Technologies such as augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and Immersive Internet are breaking down the barriers between the physical world and the digital realms where we spend more and more time. More than ever, we exist as digital avatars within virtual environments. This is true for work, where we collaborate remotely through platforms like Zoom, Teams, and Slack, and for play, where online gaming and esports are more popular than ever. We use social apps like TikTok and Instagram to create virtual spaces where we share moments from our “real” lives – curated and filtered to create digital personalities that become our virtual self.
Across all sectors, we see this concept emerging in the form of Double foxglove – a virtual representation of a real-world object, system or process. This can be as simple as an individual component or as complex as an entire city or even an ecosystem. It is important to note that the digital twin is built from data captured from its real-world counterpart. Advances in genomic science allow us to break down the fundamental essence of life into digital code, which can then be manipulated and reconstructed in the real world to design new medicines and eradicate diseases.
In 2024, we will continue to see less and less distinction between the real world and the virtual world. This means that digital is becoming more and more realistic and that reality is becoming as flexible and malleable as digital.
Sustainable technology will continue to take center stage in 2024, as countries and companies continue to work to meet their net zero emissions commitments. At the same time, individuals will increasingly leverage technology to minimize their personal impact on the environment.
Sustainable technology includes more environmentally friendly ways of doing things we already do – like electric cars, bikes and public transport which will continue to increase their market share in 2024. It also includes new solutions to environmental problems, such as carbon capture and storage, as well as green and renewable energy technologies. THE circular economy will become an increasingly important concept as sustainability, recyclability and reuse are built directly into products from the design phase. And the tech world will further embrace ideas like green cloud computingwhere infrastructure and services prioritize the reduction of energy consumption and carbon emissions and sustainable applications – software tools designed to help us live more ecologically.
The challenges facing developers and users of sustainable technologies in 2024 will include the need to develop ethical and sustainable methods for sourcing and extracting materials needed to manufacture devices, the demands for infrastructure created by changing consumption habits such as the adoption of electric vehicles, and potential disparities between different geographic or socio-economic groups in their ability to access green alternatives. We will also become more and more attentive to the presence of greenwashing – superficial efforts intended only to generate positive public relations around a particular technology.
Research suggests that one in two Businesses have been victims of a successful cyberattack in the past three years, and the cost of these attacks to the industry is expected to reach more than 10 trillion dollars by the end of 2024. In the face of this rapidly growing threat, technology solutions designed to strengthen defenses and give us a fighting chance are high on every organization’s must-have list.
However, cyber resilience goes beyond cybersecurity, as it also encompasses measures that can be taken to recover and ensure continuity when defenses are breached or due to circumstances beyond our control. This could involve implementing remote working procedures to ensure businesses can operate when staff cannot travel to central locations – a technology solution that may not be traditionally considered an element of cybersecurity .
Automation of cyber defense through AI and machine learning, integrated frameworks that merge security measures with continuity protocols, and awareness of societal factors ranging from social engineering attacks to countering Public relations fires are all essential elements of any cyber resilience strategy.
Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and competition to bring new solutions to market leveraging revolutionary technologies like AI is intensifying. This ensures that cyber resilience will become an increasingly important trend throughout 2024 in business and consumer technology.
There has been a growing buzz around quantum computing for some time now, and I believe 2024 will mark the year when this should result in tangible benefits. Quantum computers are capable of performing large numbers of calculations simultaneously by exploiting weird and wonderful elements of quantum physics, such as quantum entanglement and superposition. This allows them to operate using quantum bits (qubits) that can exist in multiple states simultaneously, rather than in a 1 or 0 state, like traditional computer bits.
Early investors in quantum technology include banks and financial services organizations which hope to be able to enhance the power of AI systems developed in recent years for the purposes of fraud detection, risk management and high-frequency trading.
Quantum computing doesn’t accelerate all the work we use computers for, but in 2024 I think we’ll start to see the benefits as it’s applied to a variety of compute-intensive fields, including discovery medicines, genome sequencingcryptography, meteorologymaterials science, optimization of complex systems such as traffic flow through major cities, and even searching for extraterrestrial life.
These are all areas that hold enormous potential to solve the challenges we and our planet face, and I am very excited to find out what advances will be made with the help of quantum computing in the near future.
Learn more about these topics in my book, The future Internet: how the metaverse, Web 3.0 and blockchain will transform business and society And ‘Business trends in practicewhich won the 2022 Business Book of the Year award. And don’t forget to subscribe my newsletter and follow me X (Twitter), LinkedInAnd Youtube to learn more about future trends in business and technology.