What will be the big tech trends of 2024?

27 December 2023, 00:04

Artificial Intelligence
YE Artificial Intelligence. Picture: PA

A new wave of generative AI, Apple’s augmented reality move and misinformation around elections will be major talking points of the next 12 months.

The next wave of AI models, Apple’s move into the augmented reality space, and online security are expected to be among the biggest talking points of 2024 in the tech sector.

With elections expected in a number of countries, the focus is also expected to be on cybersecurity and the ability of social media platforms to combat misinformation.

Here is a closer look at what are likely to be the key tech issues of 2024.

– The next wave of generative AI models

While 2023 saw generative AI models behind apps such as ChatGPT and Google Bard become ever-increasing parts of daily life, next year is likely to see further expansion of their use as the next generation of models begin to appear.

Many experts are already predicting that these will be substantially more powerful than those currently in use, meaning AI apps will be able to take on even more complex tasks.

This will likely mean an increase in usefulness in assisting in tasks, but concerns around the impact of such models on education and the job market will also likely increase as a result.

In response, greater scrutiny of how and where AI is used in professionals settings is likely around the world, with many governments already debating how to begin regulating the rapidly expanding and evolving sector.

– Apple’s Vision Pro and mixed reality going mainstream

Virtual and mixed reality technology have been around for some time, with varying degrees of success – from the PlayStation VR to Meta’s Quest headsets.

But in 2024, the technology will arguably enter the mainstream for the first time when Apple is expected to begin rolling out the first of its Vision Pro headsets.

With the device on, users are able to see applications floating in front of them, overlaid on the real world, and interact with them using hand gestures.

While some aspects of this approach are not new, many experts predict that the familiarity of Apple’s tech and its habit of grabbing the public’s attention on a technology even if it is not the first one into that space, could be a key moment for virtual and mixed reality.

The rollout of Vision Pro is expected to be slow and steady, with only a launch in the US confirmed so far, but that could ramp up should the Vision Pro be an early hit with consumers.

– Ongoing cybersecurity concerns

The UK and other countries have been warned they face an ongoing and ever-evolving threat from state-backed bad actors in cyberspace, particularly with continued global instability because of the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned of the rising threat of ransomware in its annual review of 2023, while it also raised concerns about the impact AI could have on cybersecurity – in particular its potential to help criminals create more convincing scams or social engineering techniques.

A joint committee of Parliament claimed the UK was unprepared for a large-scale ransomware attack and warned the country could be brought to a standstill if major changes to planning were not made.

And with major elections taking place in a number of countries in 2024, including the US and likely the UK, robust cybersecurity will be a key focus for many.

– Elections and misinformation

The large number of elections in 2024 are likely to be a key topic for the tech sector beyond cybersecurity issues.

The previously noted impact of social media platforms to influence voters will be in sharp focus again, particularly given Elon Musk’s ownership of X, formerly Twitter, and his push towards allowing more unfiltered free speech on the platform.

The rise of AI will play a part in this area too, with deepfakes of a number of prominent politicians having already circulated online, the need to combat the spread of AI-generated misinformation is already being discussed in the UK.

Earlier this month, Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan told MPs there would be “robust mechanisms” in place by the time of the general election, expected during 2024, to fight deepfakes appearing and spreading on social media.

Fact-checking charity Full Fact has warned that AI-generated content is reducing the public’s trust in everything they see online, and has called on the Government to put more funding into media literacy to help people better spot fake content.

By Press Association

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