Louisville Geek’s Tech Predictions for 2024

The past year surfaced many technology surprises. Generative AI–including the wildly popular ChatGPT and Google Bard chatbots–exploded on the scene and the MOVEit ransomware vulnerability surprised many with its reach and breadth, for example. While just what’s in store for the tech industry in 2024 is anyone’s guess, here’s what Louisville Geek thinks is likely to occur. 

On-Device AI Will Make Inroads

If AI chatbots were all the rage in 2023, we think it’s a safe bet on-device AI will gain widespread acceptance in the new year. Having artificial intelligence technologies installed locally on your smartphone, desktop or laptop will produce many benefits. In addition to proving more secure, since your data remains present on the local device, performance should also improve as well. Integrating AI locally within common everyday workflows–whether sorting and responding to messages, making sense of data packed within a spreadsheet or automatically responding to specific events–should prove a boon similar to that experienced with AI chatbots, although the splash likely won’t prove as spectacular as when ChatGPT and other AI chatbots first arrived on the scene. 

Microsoft Copilot will Improve the Way Microsoft 365 Shops Work

Known formerly as Bing Chat Enterprise, Microsoft Copilot is marketed as “an everyday AI companion providing AI-powered chat for the web.” Microsoft touts the technology’s ability to analyze data, produce insights, assist decision making, introduce efficiencies and power creativity. Built on the GPT-4 and DALL-E 3 large language models, the AI product further supports businesses by protecting customers’ prompts, responses and corresponding data and information. The technology works with popular Microsoft 365 tools, including Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and Teams, to help everyone from business users, managers, programmers and technology professionals simplify routines, improve teamwork and collaboration and automate production processes. The subsequent impact, especially as users become more familiar with and proficient using AI technologies, should help businesses of all sizes work more efficiently. 

Passkeys & Biometric Tech Will Begin Replacing Passwords

We anticipate businesses will increasingly adopt password-less authentication options in 2024. Passkeys–a Fast IDentity Online (FIDO) credential, such as the Windows Hello, Apple’s TouchID or Android and iOS facial recognition features, stored on your desktop, laptop, tablet or smartphone–in particular, are likely to grow in popularity. Passkey technologies can be employed to log in to devices, applications, online services and more, and odds are you’ve already encountered them using your Apple, Google or Microsoft products. Expect to encounter passkey technologies even more within your business organization throughout the next year. 

AI Developments Will Be Slowed By Chip Availability

The growth in adoption of artificial intelligence technologies–including in the form of chatbots, automated workflows and other AI and ML innovations and systems–will continue at an impressive pace in 2024. However, we predict some of that growth will be hampered by the availability of microchips necessary to test, develop and power these technologies. Manufacturers will likely struggle, especially throughout the first half of the year, to meet underlying chip demand. Increases in international tensions between the US and China won’t help resolve the problem, so expect suppliers to continue investing in new production factories in new regions, including the US. 

Congress Will Pass AI Regulations

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) has already issued a Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights. Expect that the increased rumblings suggesting Congress will act next to prove correct in the next year. Even Time magazine has reported on progress with (seemingly rare) bipartisan efforts to prepare AI regulations that both restrict the technology companies developing AI solutions and the businesses adopting those technologies within their everyday workflows and production environments. 

The US Will Enact A Federal Data Privacy Law

It’s fair to say the relationship between the US’ executive and legislative branches isn’t exactly, um, cordial. Regardless, we anticipate the parties will set aside differences to draft and enact legislation that creates new federal data privacy requirements. While such data privacy legislation might not extend to cover private businesses, it’s likely new data privacy regulations could be passed that determine how federal government information is collected, used and shared and potentially even how contractors working with US government agencies and the military might be further required to use and protect privacy information. While such data privacy regulation is sure to include components restricting AI technologies, as just reviewed above, it’s also possible separate data privacy laws could be enacted outside the scope of just AI technologies. This is especially true considering the President previously signed an executive order implementing European Union data privacy standards. 

Businesses Will Increasingly Adopt The Less Than Zero Trust Cybersecurity Model

First there was Zero Trust, now there’s Less Than Zero Trust. As we noted in October, Less Than Zero Trust is a cybersecurity approach in which no users, devices or services are automatically authorized to access an organization’s networks, applications and data. The tech-centric strategy differs from its more established Zero Trust sibling in that the Less Than Zero Trust model doesn’t assume users, devices or services are authorized just because they are located within the organization or connect via known trusted systems, such as through the company’s firewall or via its authorized VPN. We expect the trend to not only continue in 2024 but pick up steam as more businesses adopt increasingly stringent cybersecurity protections. 

Apple’s Vision Pro Will Set A New AR Standard

For years we’ve been hearing that augmented and virtual reality are going to change the way we live and work. And while AR and VR technologies are increasingly appearing within homes and businesses–the logistics industry is but one example of sectors implementing AR to assist training and production processes–we believe 2024 will be the year AR makes serious inroads. Apple’s Vision Pro headset will deserve the credit. The company, known for often waiting for specific industry segments to develop before introducing its own products but then having tremendous success when it does as with the iPod, iPhone and iPad–is poised to finally bring AR tech into the mainstream. The Vision Pro will untether users from their desktops by providing new augmented reality workspaces for collaborating with colleagues, interacting with apps, managing communications and more.