Artificial intelligence (AI) became the most talked about technology theme in 2023. Businesses across every sector started to explore how AI, and more specifically generative AI, could drive greater growth and efficiency. The dizzying speed of large language model development has caught some companies by surprise while it has given others a first-mover advantage. With AI now firmly in the line of sight of any board-level executive, Verdict asked a cross section of industry leaders about their AI predictions for 2024.

Chris Sharp, CTO, Digital Realty

“In 2023 AI went mainstream – 2024 will see AI completely transform the way we live and work. AI’s impact will increase exponentially as businesses begin to embed multi-modal generative AI tools. AI workloads will become more demanding, and there will be a greater need for the infrastructure that houses these applications and enables their smooth operation: data centers. They will have to flex to respond to these changing demands – being agile, adaptable, and providing customers with options that allow them to scale or shift direction to make the most of the opportunities AI offers, will be critical.”

Zahra Bahrololoumi, CEO, Salesforce UK & Ireland

“AI innovation is accelerating and unlocking new opportunities for customers and citizens. We need a skilled workforce with the right training and guardrails to ensure this technology is rolled out responsibly, and effectively. Yet, we know there is a digital skills gap that needs to be closed. This is particularly acute in the UK where over a third (38%) of workers are already using or planning to use generative AI at work but most (62%) say they lack skills to do so effectively and safely. This needs to change.

It will take investment and close collaboration between all stakeholders. That’s why we’re urging the UK government to establish a national online digital skills platform. In 2024, organisations all over the world need to commit to upskilling people in AI and digital skills to make sure we don’t create a new digital divide.”

Sridhar Ramaswamy, SVP of AI, Snowflake

“Generative AI’s negative impacts will be hard to manage early on including job loss, deep fakes, and a deepening digital divide. Although generative AI is reimagining how we interact with machines, there are some immediate concerns that will be particularly challenging in the early years of widespread AI and language model adoption. For a lot of people involved in what we loosely call “knowledge work,” quite a few of their jobs are going to vaporise. Rapid change makes it hard to quickly absorb displaced workers elsewhere in the workforce, and as a result both the private sector and governments will need to step up.

“Deep fakes are also another hurdle and we can expect increased attacks on what we humans collectively think of as our reality — resulting in a world where no one can, or should, trust a video of you because it may be AI-generated. Finally, advances in AI will exacerbate the digital divide that has been happening over the past 20-30 years between the haves and have nots, and will further increase inequality across the globe. I can only hope that by making information more accessible, this emerging technology leads to a new generation of young adults who better understand the issues and potential, and can counter that risk.”

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Chris Clark, distinguished engineer at Slack

“In 2024, AI will continue to impact how we work. We’ve already seen how AI technology can help worker’s productivity by freeing them up from labour intensive, low-value tasks like researching information or note taking. In fact, our research shows that globally 90% of workers are more likely to report higher levels of productivity than those who have not adopted AI. The AI revolution we’re living through is also a productivity revolution. 

However, like with any new technology, business leaders will need to ensure that they mitigate any potential risks that could arise through AI implementation. It will be critical when using AI for decision makers to ensure it’s not based on incorrect or outdated information, as this will have meaningful consequences. Any AI should therefore be based on trusted information that can be verified. Because of this, it will be critical to keep humans in the loop to verify responses, ideally using citations provided by the AI.”

Josep Bori, thematic research director, Global Data

“Generative AI will impact every industry and become a catalyst for broader AI capabilities such as machine learning, computer vision and autonomous robots. We forecast the generative AI market to reach $33bn by 2027, at a 80% compound annual growth rate from 2022-27, whereas the total AI market will be worth $908.7bn in 2030.

AI will fuel an information battle in 2024 and beyond, driving geopolitical tensions. Several frontier large language models will launch in 2024, such as OpenAI’s GPT5, Meta’s Llama 3, Anthropic’s Claude 3, and Inflection AI’s Pi 2.

Competition between leading cloud providers will shift from availability and regional coverage to AI capabilities. Companies will explore using open-source models in controlled private cloud infrastructure to protect their intellectual property while investing in training models with proprietary company data.”

Nicole Carignan, VP of strategic cyber AI, Darktrace

“Over the past few years, we’ve seen a rush of AI product innovation – from general AI companies introducing business products, through to promising British startups using AI to solve very specific problems. I remain hugely optimistic about what AI can do for society and predict that the pace of innovation will only heighten in 2024. However, innovation will also come from bad actors, who will use products that were created in good faith to break through systems. That makes 2024 a crucial year for getting AI security right, so we can realise the opportunities, spot novel attacks, autonomously defend against them, and build trust in AI.”

Steve Collins, CTO, King Digital Entertainment

“As the most significant and fastest developing technologies of this generation AI and machine learning will play a huge role in the future of games. An example of AI use at King is in level design; by using AI-players simulating hundreds of millions of players, we can make the levels even better, testing the level quality and difficulty, giving games teams more time to be more creative with game development and making the world playful for our players. As we head into 2024, we will continue to explore how we can deploy AI at scale in our business.”

Jan Stappers, European AI Alliance member and GRC specialist at ESG platform NAVEX

“Rapid advances in technology such as AI are useless without the existence of proper and robust corporate governance and risk management controls. This highlights the importance of a holistic approach, one that involves both leadership and technology. The supreme calculating power of AI adds a level of complexity to many elements of governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) management – making it possible to untap data and conduct risk analysis and predictions. It facilitates report composition and the identification of effects of legislative obligations.

“However, AI also brings along a growing number of regulations, imposing checks, and balances to govern its application. It is likely to uncover current shortcomings within many organisations as well, so business leaders will need to step up their game to ensure they are fully compliant. In 2024, we will see more organisations gearing up and making sure that their organisation can maintain itself in the much more technologically sophisticated GRC playing field created by AI.”

Hywel Carver, CEO and co-founder of learning platform Skiller Whale

“AI will become even better, and we’ll continue to see businesses become unviable as their core model is replaced by AI. We’ll get the first legal decisions concerning AI and copyright (and whether an AI that’s trained on data can be considered to contain a copy of that data). However, we’ll also see a cooling off on the fears around artificial general intelligence and existential risk as these will continue to not come to fruition. In addition, AI will replace some forms of passive learning and AI-based solutions for learning will leach traffic away from content sites like YouTube, Udemy and Coursera.”

Anup Rege, VP and chief business officer at software company Zensar

“The launch of the wearable AI Pin indicates that 2024 is going to see movement towards trying to find a game-changing applications for devices that converge AI and the physical world. We could see totally new devices hitting the market, or we could see augmentations of existing ones. Irrespective, AI pin is an interesting first step that starts to open up ideas for applications that change how we interact with the world around us.”

Ghazi Ben Amor, VP for corporate development, Zama

“As we step into 2024, there looms a shadow of concern – the potential for major breaches. The more data we entrust to AI systems, ranging from patient records to voice recordings, the higher the likelihood of breaches. It’s imperative for the industry to prioritise confidentiality as it continues to develop. In 2024, a paradigm shift is expected in how these models are evaluated. No longer will the effectiveness of AI be measured solely by its predictive capabilities or processing speed. Instead, the spotlight will be on security measures and the ability of these models to safeguard critical IP and end-user data.”

Matt McLarty, CTO at US software company Boomi

“The AI re-thinkers will be the AI economy winners. AI will create more jobs than it replaces. One of the big issues the global economy has faced in its transition to digital is the displacement of high scale jobs through automation. And until now, the barrier of entry to becoming a digital builder has been high, as it has generally been the realm of highly skilled software developers. AI can lower that barrier, and has the potential to open up a new class of ‘digital manufacturing’ jobs”

Adam Zobler, general partner at VC firm Foundamental

“There are three essentially layers: foundational models, AI infrastructure, and AI applications. Breakthroughs in foundational models provide the tools to address some core industry problems with tailored solutions on the application layer.

The efficient frontier has never been closer. Using generative AI, teams can now access detailed, up-to-date Life Cycle Assessment reports and identify potential areas of improvement to reduce emissions – important when the industry drastically needs to decarbonise. We’re excited to see more ways that generative AI will transform the built world into 2024 and we’re keeping an eye on visual-based AI and spatial AI to see where the biggest impact will be.”

Sonali Fenner, managing director at management consultancy Slalom

“Generative AI is a powerful aspect of AI and, as we move into 2024, it will begin to become much more intentional. Over the next year we’ll see less focus on throw-away experiences, and as a result, generative AI will be better woven into our holistic AI strategies, owned by technology rather than data teams. Alongside this, we’ll see a rise of AI open-source models, as well as the AI-powered chatbots, which will become a seamlessly integrated part of our CRM and ERP systems.   

The concept of ‘bring your own AI’ will flourish but will present a challenge as it further complicates shadow AI governance. And as more questions are raised about how AI systems are built, trained and tested, ED&I will be a key focus for businesses centred on innovation, competitiveness and fairness.”