Tech news has gone mainstream. AI went from promising niche news for the AI-fan crowd to one of the larger topics of the last two years. Leaks have gotten bigger, and data breaches are more common. Tech trends evolved massively through 2023, and 2024 will be just as exciting.
Our tech trend picks for 2024 aren’t an endorsement of exciting new technology. Half of the entries on this list are things to look out for, not to look forward to. That said, there’s always space for some new thrilling trend or timely, innovative legislation.
1. More backlash against improved deepfakes
For some, deepfakes are the worst side of artificial intelligence. Generative AI can certainly leave an impression, and many workers fear that increased automation will leave them out of a job. But nothing is quite as scary as deepfakes.
Generative AIs have only improved in the last year and will likely improve in 2024, too. Deepfakes will be harder to spot and pictures harder to trust. Traditional media will make more and more mistakes. Verified digital identity will be ever more important.
2. User-friendly AR and VR
Now, let’s make something clear. User-friendly doesn’t mean affordable, and VR isn’t ready to go mainstream yet, despite Mark Zuckerberg’s hopes for it to ensure Meta’s future.
That said, easy-to-use, portable tech without cables dangling everywhere might be enough for less tech-savvy people to get on the VR wagon.
The Quest line of headsets is still going strong, and the future of VR is likely in standalone devices. Something that doesn’t need to be connected to a powerful PC via cable. And while augmented reality hasn’t quite caught on, device sales keep growing year by year.
3. Accessible, on-device AI
Usually, when we say AI, we mean generative AI. But artificial intelligence is far more common than we give it credit for. Some of the more complex algorithms can be defined as AI, as can voice assistants that aren’t connected to a massive LLM AI.
On-device AI will marry generative AI with cost and energy efficiency by not relying on a costly far-off server. Think Siri or Google Assistant, but with a little bit of the power of ChatGPT.
4. The AI Act and AI responsibilities
We’re almost certainly going to see legislation trying to put a harness on generative AI. And it will likely happen in 2024.
Already, in late 2023, the EU reached an initial agreement on its AI Act, thus achieving something of a historic first, and the legislation is being actively discussed.
Currently, the AI Act differentiates between different AI systems based on the risk they pose. Less risk means less regulation, while AI technology ripe for abuse will be kept under tight control.
5. More hacks and breaches
2023 was a great year for technology innovations but a bad year for working in tech. The average cost of a data breach in 2023 was $4.45 million, slightly up from 2022. Meanwhile, the number of accidents and broken records grew significantly.
In 2022, about 480 million accounts records were breached. In 2023, that number grew to almost 6 billion, an astonishing number.
Unless we start investing more in cyber security, this upward trend will continue in 2024.
Related Articles: The Challenges Ahead for Generative AI | Artificial Intelligence – Should We Be Frightened? | Top 3 AI Productivity Tools of 2023
6. Gaming-friendly Apple devices
New Apple devices will be more gaming-friendly, announced the company in 2023. New MacBooks will be equipped with GPU chips, the M3 family, which supports hardware ray tracing.
It also helps that Apple released a tool that makes it much easier to release games on Mac, even if it still requires some work on the software side.
We’ve already seen some of the effects of the company’s push towards gaming with ports of console titles to iPhone 15, and we’re likely to see even more in the future.
7. More sustainable tech and gadgets
Sustainability as a guiding concept and overall societal goal will continue to be one of the biggest trends in 2024, just as it has been since the turn of the century. How this will relate to tech is hard to say. We know the USA’s Inflation Reduction Act will help build more sustainable infrastructure.
Overall, renewable energy technology will get better and more common. But how about consumer technology?
Electric vehicles appear set to become more common despite difficulties. New markets may open up. Some of their components (especially the batteries) still have room for improvement. There will no doubt be new gadgets and trinkets that promise incredible efficiency and sustainability, with varying degrees of success.
As always, it’s important to remain vigilant. Sometimes, positive advertisement is just that, with no effect on the product. However, there are encouraging trends towards sustainability in technology. Sustainable batteries, for example, seem promising, as do the AI models that “help tackle environmental challenges”.
8. Better access to broadband internet
Project Kuiper follows Starlink’s blueprint for wireless broadband internet. Amazon’s new satellite network might become operative by late 2024. And all of this is happening despite dire warnings that commercial satellites could become easy targets in cyber-warfare, a subject that began worrying military experts with the onset of the war in Ukraine and the possibility of Russian attacks.
The project will help expand internet coverage to remote regions, as well as cover countries that do not have the infrastructure necessary for cable internet.
Project Kuiper’s rival, Starlink, will continue to dominate the satellite internet market for a while. Project Kuiper announced in 2023 to have successfully planned a bulk launch of 83 satellites for 2024. Meanwhile, Starlink currently has about 5,000 satellites in service.
9. New social media regulation
2024 might be when the monumental public pressure toward Meta (formerly Facebook) finally gives in. Of course, no one knows what that would entail or if it will happen. What’s certain is that Meta is under a lot of scrutiny.
A group of some 83 Spanish media outlets has filed a 550 million euro ($600 million) lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta Platforms. The allegations tell the story of a company that knowingly advertises to children under 13. Children who, by law, shouldn’t be on the platform.
Of course, Meta isn’t the only social media to be seen with suspicion. TikTok might get outright banned in 2024 as Montana passed a total statewide ban on TikTok in May, to start on 1 January 2024, thus setting the stage for a federal one. So far, a bipartisan proposal to achieve just that has been sitting in Congress since 2022. While the proposal reportedly still doesn’t currently have enough votes to pass, that doesn’t mean it won’t in 2024.
10. More tech layoffs
Last but not least, and painful for many, layoffs hit tech hard in 2023.
In the USA alone, the technology sector let go of over 100.000. Tech Startups saw layoffs increase by 15% compared to the previous year, most of which took place in the US.
Of all the tech workers who lost their jobs, only half returned to the sector.
Some are taking a break to recover from the experience, but just as many decided to leave tech altogether. Hopefully, the layouts won’t continue through 2024, but, as of now, the facts don’t support that kind of hope.
Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed here by the authors are their own, not those of Impakter.com — In the Featured Photo: Four people wearing virtual reality headsets. Featured Photo Credit: Lucrezia Carnelos.