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Artificial Intelligence in Its Many Forms Will Be the Most Important Area of Technology in 2024

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According to New IEEE Global Survey of CIOs, CTOs and Technology Leaders

Extended reality (XR), cloud computing, 5G and electric vehicles also among the top five most important technologies in 2024

Piscataway, NJ – IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, today released the results of “The Impact of Technology in 2024 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study,” a new survey of global technology leaders from the U.S., U.K., China, India and Brazil. The study, which included 350 chief technology officers, chief information officers and IT directors, covers the most important technologies in 2024 and future technology trends. Learn more about the study and the impact of technology in 2024 and beyond.

Telecommunications, manufacturing, financial industries most impacted by technology in 2024

The top five industry sectors that will be most impacted by technology in 2024, according to survey responses, are:

  • (41%) telecommunications (as compared to 40% in 2023)
  • (39%) manufacturing (as compared to 30% in 2023)
  • (39%) banking and financial services (as compared to 33% in 2023)
  • (31%) automotive and transportation (as compared to 39% in 2023)
  • (31%) energy (as compared to 33% in 2023)

AI will be the most important technology in 2024 – used in diverse ways, across the global economy

What areas of technology will be the most important in 2024? From over a dozen areas of technology, when asked to select the top three, respondents chose:

  • (65%) Artificial Intelligence (AI), including predictive and generative AI, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP)
  • (28%) Extended reality (XR), including metaverse, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR)
  • (24%) cloud computing

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

In 2024, AI applications and algorithms that can optimize 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:

  • (54%) real-time cybersecurity vulnerability identification and attack prevention;
  • (42%) increasing supply chain and warehouse automation efficiencies
  • (38%) aiding and accelerating software development, automating customer service
  • (35%) automating customer service
  • (34%) speeding up candidate screening, recruiting and hiring time
  • (32%) accelerating disease mapping and drug discovery
  • (31%) automating and stabilizing utility power sources

Survey participants were asked what percentage of jobs across the global economy in 2024 will be augmented by AI-driven software, and 26-50% of jobs was cited by 41% of those surveyed. Over one-quarter (28%) cited 1-25% of jobs; another 26% cited 51-75% of jobs, and 5% cited 76-100% of jobs.

Benefits of extended reality (XR), digital twin technologies, 5G and 6G

According to the IEEE survey, virtual simulations using extended reality (XR) and digital twin technologies to more efficiently design, develop and safely test product prototypes and manufacturing processes will be important in 2024 (63% very important, 29% somewhat important).

Respondents see 5G benefitting the following areas the most in 2024, including greater benefit to transportation infrastructure and sustainability as compared to 2023.

  • (54% in both 2024 and 2023) telemedicine, including remote surgery, health record transmissions
  • (46% in 2024 vs. 49% in 2023) personal and professional day-to-day communications
  • (46% in 2024 vs. 56% in 2023) remote learning and education
  • (43% in 2024 vs. 51% in 2023) entertainment, sports and live event streaming
  • (39% in 2024 vs. 29% in 2023) transportation and traffic control
  • (27% in 2024 vs 25% in 2023) manufacturing/assembly
  • (30% in 2024 vs 23% in 2023) carbon footprint reduction and energy efficiency

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 standardized in the next 3-5 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 (87% agree, including 51% who strongly agree). Furthermore, 86% of respondents agree, 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% agree, including 54% who strongly agree) that they have prioritized 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 center 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).

About the Survey

“The Impact of Technology in 2024 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study” surveyed 350 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors and other technology leaders in the U.S., China, U.K., India and Brazil at organizations with more than 1,000 employees across multiple industry sectors including banking and financial services, consumer goods, education, electronics, engineering, energy, government, healthcare, insurance, retail, technology and telecommunications. The surveys were conducted September 19-23, 2023.

Press release from © Copyright 2024 IEEE Newsroom.

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