With the emergence of AI and super-powerful new computers, the tech world could be in for a truly revolutionary year. The next 12 months could change the face of computing as we know it, and as such, world-renowned tech futurist Bernard Marr has outlined five trends that are most likely to impact our lives.
1. Everyday automation
As Marr notes, 2023 was the year of generative AI, as new tools hit the market that took the world of machine learning forward in leaps and bounds. He says that if the year just gone was all about showing what these tools can do, 2024 will be about their real-world application.
Writing for Forbes, Marr says that automation will give us a “super-smart personal assistant on hand 24/7”. One benefit would be the automation of menial jobs, allowing people more freedom to be creative and explore new ideas.
Augmented reality tools, which merge the real and the virtual, are already in widespread use. However, Marr says this will go further still in 2024, with ‘digital twins’ allowing modellers to create realistic virtual worlds that mirror our own. With this huge dataset, machines can run millions of tests with the aim of improving our lives, increasing efficiencies or even engineering new drugs.
Manufacturers across all industries are under pressure to develop more sustainable ways of working – and tech is no exception. Marr anticipates this to continue in 2024 as businesses vie to become carbon neutral. But not only that, AI tools could be leveraged to develop greener ways of living and renewable energy technologies that could quickly be rolled out at scale.
Cybercriminals continue to develop new and worrying ways of scamming people or extorting businesses. In fact, around half of all businesses say they’ve been the subject of an attack in the past three years, with cyber crime said to cost £7.9 trillion every year. To combat this, cyber defence automation could be a major trend for 2024, as cutting-edge technology is used to not only improve security but also inform continuity processes were the worst to happen.
5. Quantum computing
This is one that has been on the periphery for some years, with quantum computing expected to mark the next great shift in the tech world. Marr thinks the time for quantum computing could well be now.
He noted that banks and financial services organisations will likely be the first to reap the benefits of quantum computing as they were the earliest investors. However, Marr said he still expects other fields to benefit over the coming 12 months, including “drug discovery, genome sequencing, cryptography, meteorology, material science, optimization of complex systems such as traffic flow through large cities, and even the search for extraterrestrial life.”