The future of AI: which 5 trends make their mark on 2024?

23 January 2024

2023 marked the beginning of a new economic era with AI and automation as driving forces. Customer interaction was radically transformed, and the rise of generative AI heralded one of the biggest revolutions ever. As far as AI is concerned, 2024 is still a bit unpredictable, but one thing is certain: companies that really want to make a difference should resolutely opt for a digital strategy built upon resilience, productivity and efficiency. Let’s delve into the five most remarkable AI trends for 2024.

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Trend 1: Clear the path for multimodal AI

2023 was dominated by AI developments for specific purposes. ChatGPT gained ground at lightning speed as chatbot 2.0. Meanwhile, over 180 million users deploy the popular AI app, which can write just about anything for you, on an almost daily basis. Midjourney is a revolutionary AI tool that transforms text into unique, high-quality images. ElevenLabs, in turn, does mindblowing stuff with speech. For instance, VRT journalist Tim Verheyden tested the AI app on the tv programme Laat. He had US President Joe Biden proclaim a statement in an uncannily natural voice. 'Hi, I am Joe Biden. I declare war to Russia' sounded amazingly real ... and yes, a little unsettling.

In recent months, we have seen these separate entities slowly merge into a single interface. That shift will further evolve in 2024 into apps that allow you to generate not only text, but also images, audio, video and perhaps much more.


Trend 2: The smart app assistant as a loyal sidekick

In 2024 we’ll see more and more existing apps integrate AI. Thus, we will have to learn to interact differently with the apps we already know. The main goal: making the use of those apps more efficient and let them take simple, repetitive work off our hands.

At major corporations, we can already see this evolution creeping in. Office 365 and Windows have

introduced Microsoft Copilot. Shopify Sidekick and Adobe Sensei GenAI are steadily on the rise. And OpenCopilot, an open-source AI chat assistant is already improving the user experience of a wide array of products.

Trend 3: AI goes local

AI apps are primarily deployed online. The reason is quite obvious: it takes particularly powerful hardware needed to run AI models locally. But we notice a clear trend here as well.

Developers are feverishly searching for a clear answer to the question 'how big - or how small - should a qualitative language model be?' For instance, GPT-4 is an advanced AI model that can handle many complex tasks. But that kind of firepower is unnecessary for most simple, everyday tasks.

We can already see several smaller AI models emerging. And these can perfectly perform relatively simple tasks locally - i.e. on your PC, independent from the internet. The huge advantage of this is that you use can AI safely and efficiently, without sharing your data with third parties. Those same light models will also become available on smartphones. This means they will be able to work together with your favourite apps or put themselves at the service of AI assistants like Siri and Google.


A few examples?

  • Mistral, the French open source model that takes up only 4% of GPT 3.5's space (7 versus 175 billion parameters), works more efficiently than its big cousin in many ways.

  • The multimodal AI app Google Gemini exists in three different versions: Ultra, Pro and Nano. The smallest, Nano, works smoothly on any Android-powered smartphone.

  • Apple published the paper LLM in a flash, announcing AI language models specifically developed for the iPhone and Mac.

  • Tools like Ollama and LM Studio already allow you to run AI models locally.


Trend 4: A shift in the use of internet and apps

With the introduction of the internet, there was a great need for targeted queries and smooth information retrieval. The advent of search platforms like AltaVista, Yahoo and Google largely met that demand. For every query, every type of information and every functionalapplication, there is a website or an application available today.

But this proliferation of applications doesn’t make searching the web more efficient. On the contrary. Have you ever checked how many apps you have on your phone? Well, in 2024 we’ll see that number shrink significantly. After all, online platforms are increasingly integrating AI assistants that can interact with different apps or services in the background. Thus, the use of autonomous apps is shifting towards fulfilling a functional task for search platforms.

Say you want to order groceries, but don't feel like launching the supermarket's app. Looking up all your products and manually going through the ordering process: what a waste of time, right? But what if you could order certain products automatically and have them delivered wherever you want, whenever you want them - without any hassle? This is where an AI assistant could take over a lot of boring and repetitive tasks, combining the shopping app, your calendar and Apple/Google Pay.

We already see a first glimpse of this in Perplexity AI, which replaces time-consuming internet searches with a chat assistant, and Rabbit r1, a new AI-driven device that can communicate flawlessly with an omnium gatherum of services.

Trend 5: New apps, new rules

These emerging trends will undoubtedly bring a lot of new regulations for the proper and ethical use of AI in their wake. The EU is at the forefront, with its trans-European AI Act. However, these rules will not only apply at national and international level. This evolution is also noticeable internally at companies and corporations. An increasing number of them are training their employees on-site to use AI efficiently in business applications. With Microsoft guidelines for human-AI interaction and Google AI Principles, a few large corporations have already taken the lead.


Prototypes and AI novelties at CES in Las Vegas

In January 2024, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the latest developments in integrated AI were showcased. A self-driving pram that rocks your tossing and turning toddler to sleep? Check! A smart dog mat that diagnoses illness in your dog and contacts the vet itself? Got it. A mouth mask that protects its wearer from spying? The US military has already ordered a whole arsenal of them.

Are you ready for the future of AI?

We see these pioneering AI trends radically change the business world in the foreseeable future. Do you want to benefit from this revolution too? Get in touch with iO and find out how we can take your business to new heights together with tailor-made AI solutions. The future doesn't wait: with iO as your partner, you'll be all set for exciting challenges.

Justin van Grootveld
Justin van Grootveld
Lead Developer

With over 10 years of experience in software development, Justin has grown to become Lead Developer at iO. He helps organisations in a range of industries prepare for the future through thoughtful technology choices. Justin is also an avid AI evangelist. He supports clients and colleagues within iO with consulting, development, conceptualisation, workshops, and more.

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