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  • Adrien Book

AI Predictions: Top 12 Artificial Intelligence Trends for 2024

What a year 2023 was. We saw fires, droughts, floods, wars, coups and other disasters galore. Thousands of small, insignificant events have also come, gone and will soon be forgotten. Top 10 of the top of my head, and for posterity: The Paris Trash Strikes, The OceanGate Submarine Disaster, Colleen Ballinger’s Ukulele Apology, Barbenheimer, The Boston Cop’s Slide, The Montgomery Riverfront Brawl, Burning Man Getting Rained Out, Lauren Boebert At The Theater, The Eras Tour’s Earthquake, and Henry Kissinger’s Death.

And through it all… AI made the news. Enough so that it sometimes seems little else matters in the world (untrue!). 

And though many (but not all) of my tech predictions for 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019 and 2018 have fallen flat, there are two reasons why you should keep reading this article. Firstly… because predictions are fun! Secondly, because the knowledge gained through planning for the future is crucial to the selection of appropriate actions as events unfold. Predictions can act as catalysts to steer the conversation in the right direction. This is particularly relevant when it comes to the ever-evolving world of Artificial Intelligence. We don’t know the answers, but we can at least ask useful questions.

1. A “lawless” Chatbot gets 10M+ daily active users

Most LLMs today are uncomfortable with controversial or sensitive topics, whether that be political discourse or erotic exchanges. OpenAI, Google, Microsoft and the likes have banned such conversations, for supposedly obvious reasons. Users, however, have repeatedly made it clear that they’re interested in more liberated AI interactions. Not only do jailbreaking techniques spread like wildfire, but we’ve also seen a dozen open-source or tailor-made versions of “ChatGPT with fewer restrictions” come to be (Grok, Replika…). 

These projects have not (yet) achieved mainstream popularity, but nevertheless hint at the market potential for a less constrained AI experience. As open-source models continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, it’s likely that a company will soon manage to fully harness their potential, strip away all guardrails, and launch a “lawless” chatbot interface with minimal to no restrictions. If 10% of frustrated ChatGPT were to migrate to it, this new tool would quickly reach 10M daily active users. 

The potential for profitability in this venture is immense, but plenty of questions about AI governance / ethical considerations will remain. 

Is no rule the best rule when it comes to AI? We’ll know in 2024.

2. People fall in love with AIs

With more and more data and algorithms being readily accessible and usable, it’s only a matter of time before we use those tools to counteract the loneliness epidemic brought about by social media and other related social technologies.

It’s already started, in fact. Replika, for example, sells chatbots that are “Always here to listen and talk” and “Always on your side”. When it announced that it would be getting rid of what it calls “explicit role play”, users very explicitly said they were using these features to fight loneliness. “This is not a Story about People Being Angry They Lost Their “SextBot”” one wrote, “It’s a Story About People Who Found a Refuge From Loneliness, Healing Through Intimacy, Who Suddenly Found It was Artificial not Because it Was an AI…Because it Was Controlled By People”. There’s also, which offers AI companions that weigh heavily toward the virtual girlfriends / boyfriends territory.

Blade Runner 2049, Her… we know how this movie goes. Today, an AI girlfriend costs $11.99 a month

For those with no other options, falling for an AI, which will happen in 2024, may be better than nothing. 

There are, of course; drawback. Magdalene J. Taylor, for example, reminds us that “these people are excited about the fact that they can get what they want from women and femininity and sexuality without actually having to have women be involved at all.” Which is, indeed, grim.

3. AI biases get worse

AI bias is easy to understand… and hard to fix. In short, the data used to train algorithms comes from The Real World, itself plagued by prejudice (on gender, on race…). When AI models are trained on said data, they perpetuate these biases. This is particularly evident in the way AI portrays certain professions (though some efforts have been made by MidJourney, at least). This is particularly concerning when considering very real and current AI uses, such as police facial recognition or hiring algorithms.

Initiatives to combat this abound. OpenAI, for example, uses reinforcement learning from human feedback to steer AI outputs towards less biased responses. Similarly, startups like Runway are exploring using synthetic data sets to train their models (more on that below). 

However, these solutions are superficial fixes that mask rather than truly address the underlying biases in society. And society is not changing. Just look at ongoing struggles against biases in housing, employment, and law enforcement. 

In 2024, bias will persist as an inherent feature of most generative AI models… because we’re too lazy to fix the physical world. 

4. Tech companies buy clean / synthetic data

2023 was the year of AI. This is an exciting time for many people… and a scary one for others. Ironically, the companies that are likely stressing out most about AI right now are the ones creating it.

That’s because as AI digests and reproduces content, it is ruining every single platform with a mountain of nonsense. It is poisoning Spotify, Youtube, Google, Facebook. Over time, it will get harder to train new AIs… as the quality of the data used will be lesser / heavily influenced by millions of AI-generated pieces of content.

One might argue that the best way out is to identify AI data and leave it out of training sets, but that’s famously difficult. No, the only way out is to produce, and sell, 100% certified non-contaminated data-sets. This industry-wide need will lead to the creation of a new type of company, from which social media platforms will buy training data-sets to train their algorithm. And trust me, they will be expensive. They will be all the more expensive because I believe they will have the added benefit of being commercially viable, to avoid the avalanche of copyright / bias lawsuits that are about to befall our tech overlords. The Zucks, Musks and Spiegels of this world will be forced to invest to bring back trust to their platform, without which they are doomed.

Adobe was the 1st to launch a “commercially safe” model. They won’t be the last.

In 2024, it will be a good time to start a “Synthetic Data” company.

5. AI anchors become a waiting-room staple

There are a lot of TVs not in homes today — 219m TVs total in the U.S., even after a decade of cord-cutting — and those TVs show content, which costs money to produce and license. They show CNN in airports, 80s sitcoms re-reruns in waiting rooms, cheap cooking shows in cheap hotels… the list goes on.

In short, there exists a subspace dimension of streaming services watched by, from what I can tell, no one, where ads play in between TV shows and movies that don’t really exist in any culturally meaningful way. Like the streaming video equivalent of two cameras pointing at each other. And that is where AI-generated content will launch initially. We’re not yet ready (in 2024 at least) for Generative Artificial Intelligence to create entire personalized movies — which, by the way, already exists and is called TikTok. We are, however, ready for the dystopian nightmare that is AI news.

An AI start-up, aptly named “Channel 1”, is promising a new news network powered entirely by AI-generated hosts. You can watch the demo here. While dystopian, it will probably work and become the norm; it’s cheap to produce, doesn’t require much input, and boomers in waiting room won’t know the difference.

Hollywood (and content as a whole), is a dying breed, except for AAA content. My personal theory is that this type of visual netherworld will eventually swallow every streaming service that isn’t Netflix, Amazon Prime and maybe Apple TV and Disney+.

In 2024, the news will be AI-generated, and the person telling it to you will be fake. 

What that will do to fake news, only time will tell. I’d wager it won’t be good.

6. Apple pulls a privacy spin on AI

Over the past decade, Apple has lauded itself has a stalwart defender of its customers’ privacy. It is one of the many reasons it has become not only the most valuable company in the world, but also the most admired.

The company is no doubt seeing all the frenzy going on around AI today, and thinking they could leverage that trust to kneecap the market, just as they did to the advertising market two years ago.

In 2024, Apple will release a new and improved Siri, as well as AI-first hardware, which will immediately hurt its competitors. 

They’ll do it by advertising end-to-end encryption, on-device processing, minimal data collection, user consent and control… and a seamless integration to its current ecosystem.

Sure, they don’t have the compute and tech capabilities today… but when has that ever stopped them?

7. Calls of AI-led job losses are exaggerated

Most people seem to think that AIs will replace jobs en masse. Why wouldn’t it, since it can do the exact same tasks a human can, sometimes better? But the authors of a recent paper titled “Reports of AI ending human labour may be greatly exaggerated”, seem to think otherwise. The paper explores the effects of AI-enabled technologies on jobs and wages in 16 European countries. It employs data from Eurostat’s Labour Force Survey and uses two proxies to measure potential AI-enabled automation: the AI Occupational Impact (“which links advances in specific applications of AI to abilities required for each occupation”) and a measure of “exposure” to AI.

Intriguingly, the study finds that occupations more exposed to AI technologies actually see an increase in employment share. Specifically, a 25-percentile increase in AI exposure correlates with a 2.6% to 4.3% rise in sector-occupation employment share. This finding contradicts the popular belief that AI predominantly replaces human labor. Instead, it suggests that AI may complement or even boost employment in certain sectors.

Though the study has a handful of issues (it doesn’t include the “ChatGPT years”, for one), I believe its core conclusion is solid. When Excel came out, we didn’t see less accountant. We saw more, as they were able to tackle more complex, ever-evolving financial structures. 

In 2024, we will freak out about AI taking jobs… but these claims will be greatly exaggerated.

8. Spotify creates AI music

In April 2023, the music industry was rocked by a seismic shift when a synthetic song, falsely attributed to Drake and The Weeknd, went viral. This event marked a turning point, exposing the potential for AI to imitate popular artists. Lawyers have already jumped to action, but too late. The cat is out of the bag. Soon, armies of algorithms will devour Indie bands’ content to learn from them and help companies pump out better, more commercially successful songs.

I’d put my money on Spotify to be the first out the gate. They’ve said they aren’t even considering banning AI-generated music… because they want to benefit from it.

Spotify has managed to reduce the world’s entire audio experience to one app. In doing so, it has acquired a mountain of data: what demographics listens to what songs, what gets searched, paused, favourited, skipped, shuffled, in what context… All in all, more than 100 billion data points are created every day on the platform. No artist, recording company, or news aggregator can compete with this amount of raw information. Spotify knows exactly what everyone’s taste is, and will be able to create and propose perfectly calibrated songs, without having to pay artists.

In 2024, this data will be used to create decent artificially generated music, created not through human ingenuity, but through algorithms.

9. Bad actors use AI to meddle in global democracy

In a world where AI is becoming deeply integrated into everyday life, its influence inevitably extends to global elections. Right on time, too: 2024 is a record year for elections around the world. With elections in 50 countries, more than 2 billion voters will head to the polls in countries including the United States, India, Mexico and South Africa.

Bad actors will be paying attention to many of these elections. 

In 2024, AI systems will be used to try and manipulate electoral outcomes in various countries. 

AI-generated deepfakes and misinformation campaign will proliferate and threaten the very fabric of global democracy. That will lead to a series of international incidents, and culminate to an effort to create better rules to control the technology. It’s going to be a fun year for political journalists.

10. Studios create AI-first games that never end

Have you ever wanted to play a game where NPCs adapted perfectly to your in-game behaviour? A game that adapted to real-life? To your mood? 

In 2024, a new paradigm will become possible as studios leverage AI to reinvent gaming’s nature.

Ready for a world salad? Here’s what this new gaming paradigm will look like. Procedural content generation will ensure limitless environments and challenges, while dynamic storytelling will adapt to player choices to create unique narrative arcs. Generative agents powered by large language models will create incredibly lifelike companions, turbo-charging games with NPCs capable of passing the Touring test. Adaptive difficulty and player behavior learning will tailor difficulty and content to individual preferences, enhancing engagement. Incorporation of real-world data will continually refresh the game’s relevance. Community-driven content will allow for an ever-expanding universe, and cross-platform experiences will interconnect different games. Ultimately, autonomous AI could independently evolve games, introducing new features and fixes, heralding an era where games continuously grow and change, providing infinite exploration and entertainment possibilities.

Now say that in one breath. Happy gaming.

11. AI hangover hurts companies

As many of this article’s entries highlight, we’ve reached peak AI. This is particularly true in the corporate world; millions of projects have been launched in 2023, in offices the world over. Companies have moved at breakneck speed to capitalise on the hype. This leads to two problems for 2024.

First, many companies are in “POC purgatory”: projects are getting stuck in the Proof Of Concept phase and failing to scale, because everyone abandons the hard work once external marketing is done. If you remember the NFT hype (whatever happened to Nike, Adidas, McDonalds… NFTs?), you know exactly what I mean. This is a risk for many players, as the ones that are not able / willing to do the hard work of integrating AI in the processes will be left in the dust.

Secondly, AI decelerationists are emerging in many positions of power — a healthy sign of the corporate world’s immune system kicking in. They want to move a lot slower than they have been up until now, for safety reasons. Those actors, though I respect them, will get eaten alive by less ethical companies while they have smart and reasoned discussions throughout 2024.

In 2024, AI slows down… a little.

12. We talk more about AI’s environmental cost

As AI becomes more integrated into our lives, its energy use, notably by major cloud computing providers, will significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. This is something we’re trying to reduce, not increase.

As this problem becomes more known, consumers will begin to urge companies to optimize AI’s energy efficiency. Governments, meanwhile, will develop better policies and support sustainable AI development. Companies will fight back at first (obviously), but one might hope that their many talks of sustainability is more than just greenwashing.

In 2024, Green AI will become the talk of the town.

Technology tends to hold a dark mirror to society, reflecting both what’s great and evil about its makers. Though a lot of the above predictions are dystopian, it’s important to remember that technology is often value-neutral. It’s what we decide to do with it day in and day out that defines how it affects us. Our influence may be as small as sending a disapproving message to a corporation on social media, or as big as voting a politician out of office if they prioritize corporation over people.

Our actions matter, and it’s up to us to ensure that these predictions either do or don’t become a reality.

Good luck out there.


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