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Tech Outlook 2024: Technologies to Watch For!

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The yesteryear, 2023, bore witness to the rapid evolution of technologies that remarkably changed governments, the public sector, businesses, and even the life of commons across the globe. Trends saw a surge in the adoption of green data centers to Large Language Models, the metaverse, and Generative AI which became the talk of the town and seems to be in the spotlight still. Now, the bigger question is, what technologies might reshape businesses in 2024?

Evolution of Generative AI

Gartnering popularity across tech and non-tech forums ‘Generative AI’ became a term of the commons in the yesteryear. Technocrats named it ‘the turning point’ from Industry 5.0 to Industry 6.0. The tech revolutionised work by creating human-like content and realistic data. It took a step ahead of the Analytical AI and showed abilities to interpret data and ditto art styles, writing styles, and even producing unique content by interpreting data available across the internet. However, the authenticity and the uniqueness of AI-generated content is still in question. 

In 2024, the technology is expected to mature its ability to interpret data and fetch business-specific insights to produce authentic output. Also, the maturation of the interpreting model may find a smart balance making the Machine Learning capabilities more intellectual and AI analysis simpler giving out better data insights for effective decision-making.

Going ahead, developers may add emotional intellect to Gen AI models. This may not only improve user experience, especially in the customer service sector but also make the machines fetch realistic human-like insights that will include emotional aspects linked with particular data sets.    

Metaverse creating experiences

Did someone just mention customer experience? We live in an era where the definition of a good product or a service is no longer limited to just quality and quantity. User experience has become an indispensable parameter to make any product or service a ‘preference’ for customers. And, technology got us covered here. Taking customers to a completely digital realm with a digital avatar, from the comfort of their home, is crafting experience at the next level. This is the metaverse. 

In 2023, organisations started introducing Large Language Models (LLMs) to their AI-powered chatbots to enhance the experience and reach out to the people at the grassroots. Especially, in a country like India where language matters much. However, in 2024 and further, we may see the integration of LLMs in the metaverse to create real-like digital experiences. This technology finds relevance in redefining user experience across industries. The day is not far when we may plan to travel for our annual vacations in the metaverse using VR headsets. Moreover applications like educational institutions taking students on digital field trips, people attending conferences virtually, real-life like gaming experiences, digital visits to a bank, virtual job interviews at an office, meetings in the metaverse, product testing, formulating medicines and conducting clinical tests, and whatnot. The future seems to hold unimaginable scenarios with a technology like the metaverse.          

Zero Trust Models & rise of social engineering

The renaissance of emerging technologies and their rapid adoption has also triggered the evolution of the cyber threat landscape. Threat actors are developing complex attacks leveraging AI, posing a major challenge for businesses and governments in the present era. This makes it imperative for governments and businesses to be future-ready. Hence, the ‘Zero-Trust’ models have gained traction in recent times. IT leaders across industries have been quite vocal about Zero-Trust models and developing a comprehensive cybersecurity framework to secure all the endpoints by proactively identifying vulnerabilities and plugging the gaps.

The year 2024 is expected to witness businesses increasing investments in bolstering their security. A PwC Report, released on 10th November 2023, reveals that investments in cybersecurity are expected to rise to 14 percent in the year 2024 from 11 percent in the yesteryear. Further, the report highlights that though more and more companies are investing in cybersecurity solutions to tackle new-gen cyber threats, it is also important to reduce the complexity of IT infrastructure to be able to protect it better.

One such complex cyber threat that emerged is social engineering. These attacks are designed to manipulate people into sharing critical information or downloading software/ files holding malicious links. Social engineering has become a major concern recently as these attacks do not target your system or software but the psychology of the user. It leverages loopholes like human error and exploits the user’s emotional aspect to manipulate him/her into sharing critical information or transacting money or getting his/ her system hacked.

In times to come, it’ll be interesting to vouch for AI capabilities and machine intelligence to track such attacks and enable a human user to stay cautious and avoid falling for such traps.       

Quantum Computing: Out from theory to on-ground approach 

For more than a decade now, Quantum has been a part of tech conversations, and mathematical and theoretical presentations across forums. However, in the recent past, we’ve seen the technology getting on-ground. It can play a critical role in transforming industries like pharmaceuticals, healthcare, polymer, fintech, banks, and many more. 

Tough Quantum Computing holds immense potential but it comes with security and ethical challenges as it threatens existing encryption standards.

In an interview with the University of Michigan – Dearborn, The Associate Professor for Electrical and Computer Engineering, a specialist in AI, Samir Rawshdeh highlighted that just like a human brain, deep learning systems do recognise data points and make decisions, but how exactly they learn, develop, and act accordingly, is still not known. This is known as the ‘Black Box Problem’. 

Quantum Computing might have an answer to the ‘Black Box Problem’. It will provide the much-required transparency in AI algorithms and improve their traceability. This will further enhance AI-based decision-making while rectifying errors and providing a peephole for us to actually view and understand how deep-learning systems make decisions. 

What do tech leaders say?

Tata Technologies’ EVP and Global Head (ER&D), Shailesh Saraph says, “Generative AI will play a significant role in the future of automotive engineering, offering practical advancements. In vehicle design, it can efficiently generate and assess numerous design iterations, optimising factors like aerodynamics and safety features. In simulations, Generative AI aids in predicting and modeling scenarios for enhanced safety and reliability testing. This technology also contributes to the development of intelligent driver assistance systems, improving real-time decision-making on the road, and supporting predictive maintenance for prolonged vehicle lifespan. Additionally, in software development, Generative AI helps create user-friendly interfaces and personalised driving experiences. While these advancements bring value, it’s essential to address ethical considerations and cybersecurity to ensure responsible integration. Striking a balance between practical innovation and ethical deployment will be crucial for Generative AI to make meaningful contributions to automotive engineering, enhancing efficiency and safety without undue exaggeration.”

While Manish Gupta, Vice President for Infrastructure Solutions Group at Dell Technologies says, “As Big Data and AI remain to be at the center of our future, extracting value from it will be crucial in unlocking transformative business opportunities. The first wave of Gen AI enterprise projects will mature by 2024, revealing significant aspects of the technology that were not previously known in its early stages.”

“As Gen AI continues to gain attention and investment, it will become the interface between AI and everything else, like engineers, designers, and robotic systems being trained by Gen AI. This has the potential to revolutionise AI engineering and create new systems that better mimic human behavior and action in the physical world,” says Shanti Kurupati, Director – Product Development at Intuit.  

Meanwhile, the Head of AI at Meesho, Debdoot Mukherjee, highlights, “Generative AI technologies can revolutionise the e-commerce industry by enhancing customer experiences, improving operational efficiency, and providing valuable insights for business growth. We have already seen massive wins from Gen AI adoption in areas like customer service, cataloging, merchandising, search relevance, and more. Going ahead, Gen AI can fundamentally change how users interact with e-commerce platforms as they shop online; the shopping experience is expected to become much more conversational and intuitive.”

“Generative AI empowers daily use, but in the enterprise, challenges like hallucinations, compliance, and model sustainability arise. Fine-tuning Large Language Models (LLMs) is the key—mitigating complexities and driving sustainable efficiency and innovation. With precision tuning, Generative AI evolves from a challenge to a catalyst for transformative enterprise solutions,” states Sanjeev Menon, Co-Founder and Head of Product and Tech, E42.ai

Extending a foresight on cloud technologies, Srikanth Doranadula, Group Vice President for Technology and Systems at Oracle India mentions, “As we approach the year 2024, the widespread adoption of cloud technology is poised to significantly reshape the landscape for organisations of all sizes in India. This surge in cloud adoption is attributed to various factors, including concerns related to data sovereignty, scalability, data residency, and the need for low-latency connectivity.”

“The contemporary cloud models are anticipated to empower businesses further, driven by government initiatives in digital technology adoption. Responding to the growing concerns about data security and privacy, enhanced security measures will take center stage. Scalability and flexibility are identified as paramount features in modern cloud solutions, prompting organisations to embrace elastic infrastructure and services for seamless adjustments to evolving business needs,” he adds.

In a wrap

The year 2024 is going to witness ground-breaking innovations across industries, especially considering the rising likes of Generative AI.

As Ganesan Karuppanaicker, Chief Technology Officer, Birlasoft says, “Gen AI’s unparalleled data analysis cognitive capabilities are set to fuel innovation in various sectors. In BFSI, it shapes financial strategies through simulated data for stress testing and scenario analysis, foreseeing and mitigating potential risks. Within Life Sciences, it expedites clinical trials and optimises protocol design. For Manufacturing, Gen AI simulates production processes, identifying quality enhancements, optimising maintenance, and boosting predictive accuracy. With a global priority for decarbonising and optimising energy needs, Gen AI assists in demand forecasting and grid management and optimisation.”

Moreover, the maturation of AI further impacts the development of other technologies like the metaverse, automation, machine learning, robotic processes, and more. Besides, looking at the developments in Quantum Computing, the understanding of the actual functioning of AI may open up an ocean of opportunities and a new domain altogether to explore machine intelligence in-depth. Best kept for the last, organisations are constantly investing to innovate and evolve security solutions as the threat landscape is expanding with novel cyberattacks coming up almost every day.

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