3D rendering of robot and human hands catching 2024 compass on a digital background

2024: Technology Experts' Predictions

The past year has brought momentous changes to the technology landscape. For many, 2023 was the year of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, with platforms like ChatGPT and BardAI exploding in popularity. It was also the year in which companies globally started to consider the long-term viability of hybrid and remote working arrangements, dealing with questions around remote collaboration, productivity, and cybersecurity.

The many exciting developments of 2023 can make it hard to see what lies ahead for technology in 2024. Will we continue to see staggering developments in AI? Will immersive technologies make a long-lasting impact on businesses, and our daily lives? To answer these questions and many more, we spoke to our community of experts, who shared their insights and predictions for technology in 2024.

Innovation and Immersive Experiences

An engineer holding a tablet showing an engine design in an augmented reality app

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) have already undergone many improvements and transformations since their introduction. Rob May foresees these developments continuing into 2024, stating that “immersive digital experiences will be revolutionized by advancements in AR/VR, offering more realistic, interactive environments and seamless integration with real-world elements, enhancing education, entertainment, and remote work.”

It is undeniable that the integration of AI and immersive technologies will result in better immersive experiences for users, thanks to AI’s potential for personalization. Elena Carstoiu notes the possible commercial applications of this: “A study revealed that 58% of consumers see immersive experiences as influential in their purchase decisions. Thus, providing a personalized immersive digital experience has become increasingly important for the sales process. Harnessing the power of AI is the sole means to captivate and engage effectively.” Indeed, growing consumer expectations for personalization mean that immersive experiences are no longer enough to generate excitement and engagement; they must also be personalized for their users.

Though immersive experiences occur in the digital space, it would be remiss to ignore the impact of innovations in the physical space. “CPUs, RAM, GPUs, SSDs, networks, and data buses are getting faster, allowing an improvement in the experience of AR/VR application users, as graphic resolutions and FPS keep increasing,” says Geoffrey Petit. Simon Besteman adds that the Apple Vision Pro, announced earlier this year and scheduled to release in March 2024, is just the beginning of next-gen Mixed Reality (MR) headsets: “Next-gen devices like Apple's headset are aiming to have a much deeper interaction with the user. Analyzing eye movement, temperature, even electrical activity of the skin.” All these added data points not only personalize the immersive experience but may also provide added dimensions beyond just sight and sound.

Providing a personalized immersive digital experience has become increasingly important for the sales process. Harnessing the power of AI is the sole means to captivate and engage effectively.
Elena Carstoiu

Technology and Hybrid Working

Though much of the world has returned to the office since the COVID-19 pandemic, hybrid and remote working are still at a greater level than pre-pandemic. In turn, this has sparked debates about the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid work. Often, technology is at the core of these discussions, as an element of both risk and opportunity.

In 2024, we could start to see a greater focus on personalizing and improving the employee experience for hybrid workers, creating a more inclusive and flexible work environment. According to Frank Jennings, we can expect to see “enhanced collaboration and decision-making tools using real-time data to focus on a particular employee’s workload and strengths while looking after their mental wellbeing (...) It could make employees more efficient and happier.” Kate Sukhanova looks even further when it comes to personalization: “We’ll see more avatars (metaverse or otherwise) in the workplace, making it more efficient.”

Of course, AI will also play a pivotal role in the future of hybrid working, particularly around task automation. “Automation and artificial intelligence technologies will continue to develop to automate repetitive tasks and improve productivity. They will be used to analyze data, make decisions, and optimize processes,” predicts Dr. Philippe Vynckier. AI tools are already being used by businesses to automate tasks, though there are still debates around exactly what kinds of work should be automated—and what the impact of this will be on human employees, who may find their jobs at risk.

But perhaps an even more important question—is hybrid work truly here to stay? Simon Besteman suggests that it is too early to tell, yet the long-term viability of hybrid work depends on the development and deployment of technology: “The resistance from both employers and workers will need to be addressed through technical solutions. The quality of the tech will determine the future of hybrid work.” On the other hand, Mike Gillespie is more optimistic about hybrid work but agrees that getting technology right can make or break an organization’s hybrid work approach: “The current reliance on old ways of working—i.e., forcing people through VPN conduits to access systems, services, and information—needs to be reappraised.”

Memory and Storage

The future of emerging technologies, from AR and VR to the Internet of Things (IoT), relies on innovations in memory and storage. As Artificial Intelligence becomes increasingly used for a variety of industries and applications, its memory requirements will become an unavoidable challenge for organizations that want to make the most of this powerful technology. Elena Carstoiu explains: “AI and machine learning applications extract the information they require by processing substantial volumes of data (...) The storage infrastructure is crucial in ensuring a continuous supply of data to these GPUs to maintain uninterrupted usage.” As such, without the necessary developments in memory solutions, the full potential of AI may remain untapped.

Concurrently, global data volume has not slowed its growth—in fact, it has continued to increase year after year and is predicted to approach* 147 zettabytes in 2024. Memory and storage solutions will play a pivotal role in ensuring that data can be stored, used, and shared, says Ian Moyse: “With the exponential creation of data and the demand for engines to process it quicker, processing and storage needs and methods must expand to support demands.”

Fortunately, we are seeing many innovations and improvements in memory and storage solutions, which will likely continue over the coming years. Geoffrey Petit notes that “DDR5 and SSDs are getting faster and more efficient year over year, improving the overall performance of HEDT, AI-optimized servers, cloud servers.” Ultimately, it may be innovations in the memory and storage space that will drive the most exciting and significant new technologies in 2024.

Challenges in 2024

A hand placing a 2024 wooden block on sustainability ones

Many challenges that businesses and governments faced in 2023 will continue into 2024, emphasizing the need for effective and sustainable solutions.

Supply chain issues that have arisen in recent years, caused by a number of factors including global conflicts and climate change, continue to impact all industries and sectors—and the technology landscape has not been immune. Rafael Bloom notes that “global supply challenges in semiconductors are easing but still a factor.”

More broadly, the effects of global inflation and economic instability will continue to impact data centers into 2024. Simon Besteman highlights the additional pressures placed on data centers by both new technologies and new regulations: “Already now, we see the demand for AI and machine learning solutions exceed the capabilities of manufacturers of hardware and of the housing providers in the data centers. The pressure to work more sustainably and the pressure to deliver higher-intensity computing are not easy to combine.”

Cybersecurity has been a leading concern for organizations in 2023, particularly due to the continued demand for hybrid and remote working, and this will certainly continue into 2024. Elena Carstoiu highlights the prevalence of cybercrime in recent years: “Studies indicate that 50% of businesses have fallen prey to a successful cyber-attack within the last 3 years. The projected cost is anticipated to surpass** $10 trillion by the end of 2024.” And while technological advances—including artificial intelligence—can certainly help prevent and mitigate the impact of cybercrime, one of the biggest cyber challenges businesses will face in 2024 will be around talent. “Talent availability to address security, transformation, and new tech will continue to outpace demand, and retaining the needed talent for small to mid-firms will be a big challenge,” predicts Ian Moyse.

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