Who could have predicted that 2023 would see such a huge leap forward in Artificial Intelligence (AI)? That this was going to be the year industries decided that, this is the decade, we would solve AI. From the earliest research as far back as the 1940s, we’ve all been holding our breath, wondering when AI will live up to the expectations painted by science fiction writers and futurists.

With the arrival of ChatGPT from OpenAI, we’ve been catapulted into the next generation. Although we’ve seen other disruptive developments across the AI ecosystem over the past few years, OpenAI has made huge strides in accessibility, lowering the steep learning curve required to gain value from AI.

Addressing accessibility around AI and machine learning (ML) is such an important point. So many developers are struggling to use this technology to its full potential. Indeed, our research found that 48% of developers believe ML projects are too time-consuming. Tackling this problem will be critical in 2024, providing developers with the tools they need to generate insights, rather than managing the infrastructure required to get there.

So where are we headed in 2024?

Enhancing Large Language Models for Broader Applications

In 2024, I expect we'll see large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT become even more capable of searching large datasets and generating insights, leading to higher levels of adoption. This will, in my view, pave the way for new AI applications across many industries.

However, it will also make oversight and auditing of these complex models critical as they automate more decisions. Governance frameworks will be needed to manage risks around bias, security vulnerabilities, and lack of transparency from my perspective. This will come through action both internally at organizations and by governments themselves. A line will need to be walked between empowering innovation, whilst ensuring the safe and responsible adoption of this technology.

Democratizing AI: A Leap Towards Inclusive Technology

The democratization of AI will accelerate as more startups begin leveraging foundation models like GPT-3 and Llama2 out of the box. I anticipate growth in vertical AI apps tuned for specific industries on top of the general LLMs. This will spiral outwards into accelerating advancements in other fields of technology. Conversational interfaces and virtual assistants based on natural language will also transform experiences in areas like augmented reality and virtual reality. More human-like interactions will likely become commonplace, and generative AI will be used to create more realistic-looking video content than ever before. Consider the example of Runway, a startup whose approach to enabling users to create videos from image or text prompts has been recognized in its notable $1.5 billion valuation, indicative of the sector's potential and growth.

The Deep Fake Dilemma: Authenticity vs. Creativity

At the same time, the proliferation of this synthetic content media will make determining the authenticity and provenance of content a huge challenge. While technical solutions will emerge to detect AI-generated content, these won't be foolproof. New policies, regulations, and industry standards may be needed to tackle these problems head-on.

With the volume of AI-created art, media, and writing increasing, I expect heated debates around copyright, IP protection, and plagiarism to only escalate. The resolution of these issues will remain unclear in 2024, given the pace of technological change. Industries centered around intellectual property, like publishing, will continue to push back on unlimited AI content generation, leading to legal clashes. Many commentators pointed to a major case in October 2023 as kicking off this trend. A group of music publishers sued Amazon-backed Anthropic for “innumerable” copyright violations to train its chatbot, Claude.

AI in 2024

Overall, 2024 promises to be another exciting year for AI. I expect it to be marked by an acceleration of AI capabilities and democratization, coupled with rising concerns about ethical development and unintended consequences of the technology. Guidance and governance mechanisms will struggle to keep up with the technological shifts underway. Crucially, responsible AI practices will be needed more than ever in 2024.

On a final personal note, at such a momentous time for the field of AI, I was proud to join the team here at Civo this year as Chief Innovation Officer. With this brilliant team, I cannot wait to continue our groundbreaking ML work in 2024, helping build solutions that ensure developers can make the most of this technology.

If you want to read more about our predictions for 2024, Dinesh Majrekar (CTO) and Saiyam Pathak (Field CTO) have reflected on Sustainability and Wasm and given their thoughts on the future of these developments: