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20 Tech Experts On The Tools And Trends That Will Dominate 2024

by Forbes Technology Council

If you ask anyone with even a passing interest in technology which tool captured the most headlines in 2023, they’d certainly name artificial intelligence (perhaps, more specifically, generative AI). Looking ahead into 2024, many tech leaders and watchers say AI will still dominate conversations and company initiatives; however, the focus will be not only on its extended capabilities, but also on its limitations—and even its consequences.

Still, even the powerhouse that is AI isn’t the only intriguing and exciting tech development experts predict for 2024. Below, 20 members of Forbes Technology Council share their predictions for the top tools and trends they see emerging and expanding in 2024 (including what’s next for AI), as well as how these developments could impact how we live and work.

1. AI

AI will continue to be a trending topic. Organizations that realize too late that AI models must be built on real-world, relevant business operational data will fall significantly behind their competitors. In essence, data is king. It’s what fuels innovation. If an enterprise wants competitive differentiation, it must leverage its own unique data—not just what’s readily available online. – Jamie Lerner, Quantum Corporation

2. Generative AI

We’ll continue to hear a lot about generative AI in 2024, because it’s the most disruptive technology since the internet. While 2023 was the year of AI creation and experimentation, 2024 will be the year organizations practically apply AI in their processes and practices, elevating it beyond just a marketing buzzword to a valuable solution that drives productivity and innovation. – Todd Fisher, CallTrackingMetrics

3. ‘AI Plus’

In 2024, we’ll see a lot of what I call “AI plus”—AI plus cloud; AI plus security; AI plus data science. Existing foundational tech skills will be enhanced through effective applications of AI, and AI skill sets will become more niche as technologists in every domain gain expertise in applying AI tools to their technology problems. This will represent a shift from AI adoption toward AI maturity. – Aaron Skonnard, Pluralsight

4. Customer 360

Customer 360 will be a top trend. Leveraging data will be core, followed by layering AI on top of the data to fully understand and know your customer. Every team across the company will have “single source of truth” access to information about a customer, from a question asked on the website to a product purchase to a service ticket—and beyond. – Terry Mirza, Compugen Systems, Inc.

5. Automation

Automation will take center stage in 2024, as IT teams are expected to do more with less. We’ll see this in action within the IT help desk. If businesses reduce the number of incidents, the volume of tickets reaching service desks will go down, cutting costs and giving time back to users. We’ll also see vendors focus on personalized customer service—specifically, providing concierge-style services. – Ian van Reenen, 1E

6. Protecting The Data Used By Generative AI

As the use of generative AI expands, effective cybersecurity is even more essential. In many cases, generative AI algorithms depend on either proprietary data from the company developing the program or data generated directly from users. By moving processing to the edge, sensitive data can be analyzed at the source rather than at a data center, where there is greater risk of a security breach. – Christine Boles, Intel

7. Proprietary AI Agents

Now that companies have explored foundational AI applications, we’ll see the introduction of proprietary AI agents to manage all of the AI tools a company has deployed across the organization. These autonomous agents will interface between humans and tools—equipped with the ability to speak the language of both—streamlining workflows and creating entirely new ones between humans and their new AI colleagues. – Marco Santos, GFT

8. Deceptive Marketing About AI

AI is going to be marketed as being embedded in everything we use, but these claims will be partly snake oil. For example, AI may be used in the design, marketing or sale of a product, but not in the product itself. “AI” will be the new “turbo”—a common marketing term of the 1980s and ’90s that literally meant nothing. – Peter Gregory, GCI Communications

9. Decentralized Finance

In 2024, many people may be talking a lot about new ways to handle money utilizing computer systems—collectively dubbed “decentralized finance” or “DeFi”—and specifically, blockchain. These developments may make it easier for everyone to borrow, invest and undertake other financial transactions without relying on large banks. It’s changing the way we manage money. – Neelima Mangal, Spectrum North

10. Dark AI As A Service

In 2024, we’ll see the emergence of dark AI as a service. Global threat actors will call upon a ChatGPT-like solution to craft malicious attacks inclusive of the recommended target organization, custom malware, and bespoke phishing messages addressed to the correct organizational stakeholders. – Tim Femister, NetXperts

11. Immersive Learning Technologies

In the education realm, I anticipate the continued rise of immersive learning technologies, particularly virtual and augmented realities. These tools have the potential to transform traditional learning by creating engaging, interactive experiences that transport students to virtual worlds or enhance their real-world surroundings. Expect to see them integrated into various subjects, from history to science. – Shelli Brunswick, Space Foundation

12. Blending AI And Human Effort For Competitive Advantage

Artificial intelligence will fundamentally change nearly every aspect of business, from operations to revenue growth to customer experience to business model reinvention and more. Through its accessibility and scalability, AI can help companies get work done in more powerful ways. Those companies that are tech-powered and human-led can create a competitive advantage. – Matthew Lieberman, PwC

13. Dedicated AI Competency And Compliance Efforts

As machine learning continues to mature, large language models will consolidate as generative AI becomes a standard development tool—as ubiquitous as the cloud for enterprise operations. Organizations will need robust AI competency centers and dedicated compliance officers. The public will increasingly trust digital service touch points, and next-generation customer service levels will arise. – Nikola Mrksic, PolyAI

14. Brain-Computer Interfaces

In 2024, we can expect a surge in innovation associated with brain-computer interfaces due to ongoing developments in neurotechnology. Enhanced techniques for controlling devices directly through thoughts will lead to more immersive VR experiences and assist individuals with disabilities. However, such technologies may raise ethical and privacy concerns. – Cristian Randieri, Intellisystem Technologies

15. Instant Payment Systems

This year will see the dawn of the era of instant payments. The trend toward increased use of digital payments will accelerate as pay-by-bank and account-to-account transactions gain traction, reducing debit and credit card use and forcing an overhaul of traditional banking and merchant services business models. – Vivek Jetley, EXL

16. Faster Product Development Through GitHub Copilot

It’ll be interesting to see how the GitHub Copilot chat feature progresses throughout 2024. You can now write a full prompt, and Copilot takes into account more context about what you want to do, explains what needs to be done to accomplish that and why, and drafts a more complete code outline than ever before. The chat function improves efficiency, allowing tech teams to bring products to market faster. – Ryan Barone, RentRedi

17. Commonsense Tech Tools

Both industry insiders and regular people are tired of hearing about the “innovation economy.” They will be looking for tools and technology that promise to improve workflows, save money and time, and reduce friction. 2024 will be a year of commonsense tools for improving lives and operational outcomes, rather than lofty expectations and speculation. – Lewis Wynne-Jones, ThinkData Works

18. Reduced Funding For ‘AI Companies’

2023 was the year of AI. Yet, for every genuinely new idea, there have been five marketing tools or scheduling software suites that “run with AI.” In 2024, we will see many of these companies falter once VC funding for “AI companies” returns to matching the industry average. Consequently, in 2024 we will hear about “AI companies” failing—along with accompanying predictions about the end of AI. – Kevin Korte, Univention

19. Quantum Computing

IBM recently unveiled the first quantum computer, a potential landmark moment. Quantum computing will continue to be a major tech development as research becomes more solidified and actual applications develop. The impact that kind of computing power could have on various industries, from healthcare to finance, would be groundbreaking, and we’re on the cusp of finally breaking that ground. – Tal Frankfurt, Cloud for Good

20. Digital Twins

I believe 2024 will be the year of the digital twin—my team is tracking news coverage and analyst data weekly, and the number of articles increases every week. What is a digital twin? It’s a digital interface that allows operators to review, explore, decide and orchestrate the physical and digital aspects of their business at many levels. The great promise of the “single pane of glass” is finally here. – Jim Barrett, Edge Total Intelligence

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