20 December 2023

For a year that began with artificial intelligence in its infancy, by the end of 2023, every major tech company (and many smaller players) was in an all-out sprint to leverage the capabilities of this rapidly maturing technology. After all, McKinsey & Company estimates that across 63 business use cases they studied, AI could add between $2.6 trillion and $4.4 trillion annually to the global economy.¹

As we enter the second full year with AI, what should we expect to see from the field in 2024? How will artificial intelligence adoption grow and change? What will be the catalysts? And how will such changes affect users and consumers of AI?

Examining what leading experts have to say about the near-term future of AI, 2024 promises the emergence of AI frontrunners poised to redefine the industry, the inclusion of new processing technologies that will help AI be more accurate in its output, convergent modes of input that will add greater functionality and depth to AI results, and even the fusion of AI with the quantum realm to produce the biggest innovations in computing in a generation.

So, join us as we peer into our crystal ball for a look ahead at what might await the field of generative AI in 2024.

Emergence of the AI Winners

In 2024, venture capitalists (VCs) are expected to shift their focus from the hype around AI to tangible results.

The widespread rollout of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in 2023 led to a surge in AI startups, making them attractive targets for investors seeking to capitalize on the hot new technology trend. But in 2024, expect a shift from experimentation to implementation in the AI space and an emphasis on data that backs up sustainable results. VCs will be keen to see clear, sustainable business models that both support the technology’s cost and include a path to monetization. Startups that can’t produce these kinds of results will see their funding dry up.²

Likewise, industry observers expect a rise in the price of enterprise AI as the products become more robust and look for sustainable funding. Overall, in 2024, generative AI is expected to heavily impact areas like customer service, while other AI aspects, including optimization, data mining, and machine learning all make gains.³

From RAG to Riches

In 2024, retrieval-augmented generation (RAG) is set to revolutionize large language models (LLMs). RAG will enhance generative AI accuracy and be a key strategy in eliminating “hallucinations,” in which an AI generates nonsensical or inaccurate information based on inputs received.

RAG allows the linking of generative AI to sources outside its LLM code, giving these models the ability to fetch relevant information from external resources (such as the Internet) in real-time and fill in the gaps in what an AI ‘knows.’ This means the AI can generate more reliable replies that draw on the most accurate current information.⁴

The combination of RAG and last-mile fine-tuning of LLMs is expected to enhance production-level performance for companies, offering more sophisticated, context-sensitive generative AI applications in sectors like healthcare, finance, retail, and manufacturing.⁵ Leading companies like Amdocs, Dropbox, Genentech, SAP, ServiceNow, and Snowflake are already leveraging RAG to improve their offerings.

In 2024, expect developers to incorporate AI microservices like RAG in custom, off-the-shelf LLMs. This shift will empower enterprises to maximize AI-driven productivity through assistant algorithms and summarization tools with access to real-time business data.⁶

Multimodal AI Will Boost Productivity

The shift to multimodal AI will begin in earnest in 2024, according to experts, and by the end of the year we might think of text-only AI as so 2023.

Multimodal AI combines multiple types (aka modes) of data as input, such as audio, video, still images, natural language processing and, yes, even text, to draw conclusions, make predictions, and produce more accurate representations of the real world and its challenges. The shift to multimodal AI will allow consumers to utilize a combination of text, speech, and images for more contextually relevant responses.⁷

Google’s recently announced foundation model Gemini is an entire family of multimodal LLMs that will soon be included in its Bard chatbot and rolled out across its offerings. This means that in 2024, multimodal generative AI will be a baseline feature in Google products and spur competitors to do likewise.⁸

The rise of multimodal LLMs will prompt the need for versatile multimodal databases to allow for efficient querying across diverse data types. As these AI workloads become more demanding, there will be a heightened need for agile and adaptable data centers to support these applications effectively. Industries such as healthcare, robotics, e-commerce, education, retail, and gaming will all benefit directly from a multimodal approach.⁹

Additionally, the development of agentic AI—AI “agents” that can pursue complex tasks or outcomes but with limited direct supervision—is expected to mark a substantial leap in AI in 2024. Applications that are capable of understanding context and taking actions based on multimodal information have a wide variety of applications, particularly in customer support.10

AI Will Take a Quantum Leap

In what sounds like something straight out of science fiction, many experts anticipate AI-driven breakthroughs in quantum computing in 2024.

Quantum computing takes advantage of the sometimes odd laws of quantum mechanics (especially at ultrasmall scales) to solve problems too complex for the traditional computers we are familiar with.11 And many of those who watch developments in this field feel that a transformative synergy between AI and quantum computing is on the horizon, promising accelerated problem-solving. Experts like Robert Liscouski and Brian Lenahan predict practical applications of quantum computing during 2024, surpassing previous timelines for this technology.12

Mark Neufurth, Lead Strategist at IONOS, sees generative AI influencing quantum computing in IT security. This fusion has the potential to reshape cryptography and encryption technologies, allowing for data to be secured and transmitted in ways that cannot be hacked.13

By harnessing the quantum, AI is poised to help make breakthroughs in healthcare, materials science, weather prediction, and finance, amongst others, enabling unprecedented speed in addressing complex challenges.14

Emphasizing the urgency of preparation for the forthcoming AI-driven quantum era, experts advocate increased investment in research and development. “Quantum education” and workforce development are deemed essential to navigate the exponential changes quantum technology could begin ushering in throughout 2024.15

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  1. Chui, M., Hazan, E. & Roberts, R. et al., “The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier,” McKinsey Digital, June 14, 2023; https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#key-insights
  2. Russell, M., Persaud, V., Bergman, B., Renbarger, M. & Stokes, S., “VCs say 2024 tech trends to watch include more startup shutdowns, a defense-tech renaissance, and the rise of AI winners,” Business Insider, December 14, 2023; https://www.businessinsider.com/2024-tech-trends-predictions-top-vcs
  3. Clarke, M. & Donnellan, A., “New year, new models: AI predictions for 2024,” CSIRO, December 12, 2023; https://www.csiro.au/en/news/All/Articles/2023/December/AI-predictions-2024
  4. Merritt, R., “What Is Retrieval-Augmented Generation, aka RAG?,” Nvidia, November 15, 2023; https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/what-is-retrieval-augmented-generation/
  5. King, T., “The Definitive Guide to Artificial Intelligence Predictions for 2024,” Solutions Review, December 7, 2023; https://solutionsreview.com/artificial-intelligence-predictions-from-experts-for-2024/
  6. Edwards, C., “17 Predictions for 2024: From RAG to Riches to Beatlemania and National Treasures,” Nvidia, December 6, 2023; https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2024-ai-predictions/
  7. Lawton, G., “multimodal AI,” TechTarget, May 2023; https://www.techtarget.com/searchenterpriseai/definition/multimodal-AI
  8. Sutner, “Google strikes back at OpenAI with Gemini foundation model,” TechTarget, December 6, 2023; https://www.techtarget.com/searchenterpriseai/news/366562298/Google-strikes-back-at-OpenAI-with-Gemini-foundation-model
  9. King, T., “The Definitive Guide to Artificial Intelligence Predictions for 2024,” Solutions Review, December 7, 2023; https://solutionsreview.com/artificial-intelligence-predictions-from-experts-for-2024/
  10. Ibid
  11. “What is quantum computing?,” IBM, n.d., https://www.ibm.com/topics/quantum-computing
  12. Brooks, C., “Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, and Space are 3 Tech areas to Watch in 2024,” Forbes, December 12, 2023; https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2023/12/12/artificial-intelligence-quantum-computing-and-space-are-3-tech-areas-to-watch-in-2024/
  13. Gillis, A.S., “quantum cryptography,” TechTarget, January 2022; https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/quantum-cryptography
  14. “How Quantum Computing Will Transform These 9 Industries,” CBInsights, February 23, 2021; https://www.cbinsights.com/research/quantum-computing-industries-disrupted/
  15. Brooks, C., “Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing, and Space are 3 Tech areas to Watch in 2024,” Forbes, December 12, 2023; https://www.forbes.com/sites/chuckbrooks/2023/12/12/artificial-intelligence-quantum-computing-and-space-are-3-tech-areas-to-watch-in-2024/
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Tags arti etf  chat gpt  chatbot  cyber security  generative ai 2024  multimodal ai  quantum computing and ai  rag technology