IEEE: AI, XR & cloud most important areas of tech in 2024

Report by IEEE finds that AI, extended reality (XR), cloud computing, 5G and electric vehicles are among the top five most important technologies in 2024

The rise of popularity in AI shows no sign of slowing down, with a report by global technical professional organisation IEEE finding it is set to be the most important area of technology in 2024.

IEEE has released the results of ‘The Impact of Technology in 2024 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study’, a new survey of 350 global technology leaders from the US, UK, China, India and Brazil covering the most important technologies in 2024 and future technology trends.

The report found AI will be the most important technology in 2024 – used in diverse ways, across the global economy. When asked what areas of technology will be the most important in 2024, 65% of respondents chose AI, including predictive and generative AI, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP).

Meanwhile almost one third (28%) highlighted the importance of extended reality (XR), including metaverse, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR), while 24% picked cloud computing.

Other important technologies in 2024 include 5G (22%), and electric vehicles (20%).

AI applications to be used in diverse range of ways

In 2024, AI applications and algorithms that can optimise data, perform complex tasks and make decisions with human-like accuracy will be used in diverse ways, the study finds. Of top potential applications for AI next year, technology leaders surveyed selected:

  • Real-time cybersecurity vulnerability identification and attack prevention (54%)
  • Increasing supply chain and warehouse automation efficiencies (42%)
  • Aiding and accelerating software development, automating customer service (38%)
  • Automating customer service (35%)
  • Speeding up candidate screening, recruiting and hiring time (34%)
  • Accelerating disease mapping and drug discovery (32%)
  • Automating and stabilising utility power sources (31%) 

Benefits of XR, digital twin technologies, 5G and 6G

According to the IEEE survey, virtual simulations using XR and digital twin technologies to more efficiently design, develop and safely test product prototypes and manufacturing processes will be important in 2024, with 63% saying it would be very important. 

Close to nine out of 10 of global technologists (88%) agree 6G will primarily be an evolving work in progress in 2024, but will be standardised in the next three to five years. In addition, a strong majority (94%) of global technologists agree that development of communication satellites for mobile connectivity will bring parity to some rural and developed regions globally in 2024.

Don't count Quantum out

Generative AI may continue to dominate the technology landscape, but other technologies such as quantum will have significant, if less-noticed impacts according to 87% of respondents. Furthermore, 86% of respondents said they agreed that in 2024 quantum computing will gain the most attention for significantly higher computing power – a trillion times higher than that of today's most advanced supercomputers, as well as for its application to post-quantum cryptography and cybersecurity. 

 Technologies that foster sustainability continue to be a priority. A strong majority agree (92%) that they have prioritised sustainability goals for 2024 and beyond, and any technologies their company implements are required to be energy-efficient and help shrink their carbon footprint.

Cybersecurity concerns continue 

The cybersecurity concerns most likely to be in technology leaders' top three in 2024 remain the same as last year: data centre vulnerability (43% in both 2024, 2023), cloud vulnerability (42% in 2024, down from 51% in 2023) and security issues related to the mobile and hybrid workforce / employees using their own devices (41% in 2024, down from 46% in 2023). However, the study finds other cybersecurity concerns will rise in 2024, including ransomware attacks (37% in 2024 up from 30% in 2023), phishing attacks (35% in 2024 up from 25% in 2023) and insider threats (26% in 2024, up from 19% in 2023).

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Other magazines that may be of interest - AI Magazine | Cyber Magazine.

Please also check out our upcoming event - Net Zero LIVE on 6 and 7 March 2024.  

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