Industrial Electronics

Outlook 2024: Generative AI goes from social experiment to integral business tool

29 December 2023
Generative AI is poised to grow substantially in 2024 as companies use the technology for greater efficiency and use the software for new use cases. Source: Supatman/Adobe Stock

In 2023, generative artificial intelligence (AI) — or software that produces various types of content and can be trained and learn — made huge strides with programs such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT capturing consumer interest.

But it wasn’t just consumer interest that made advances with generative AI as businesses started experimenting with the technology to enable greater efficiency and help enable new features for their websites or employees.

The interesting thing is that these types of software are just the beginning of what’s possible and likely in 2024 we will see many advances as generative AI goes from a social experiment to an integral part of enterprises.

According to market research firm International Data Corp. (IDC), generative AI spending is expected to more than double in 2024, from $19.4 billion globally invested in 2023. By 2027, generative AI spending will reach a whopping $151.1 billion with an amazing compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 85.9% during the forecast period.

"In 2024, the shift to AI everywhere will enter a critical buildout phase as enterprises make major new investments with the goal of drastically reducing the time and costs associated with customer and employee productivity use cases,” said Rick Villars, group vice president, Worldwide Research at IDC. “From there, the focus will shift to investments that boost revenue and business outcomes.”

By the end of the five-year forecast, IDC forecasts generative AI spending to account for 29% of all AI spending, up significantly from just 10.8% in 2023.

Generative advances

OpenAI, Cohere, Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft led the charge in 2023 for generative AI with the technology being used not just for business but for all aspects of society. Like creating scripts and novels to a chatbot answering questions on a web portal, to becoming a virtual friend, therapist or even a partner.

Some even used it to find gifts for the holidays or aiding in electronics research. Adafruit even demonstrated how to use ChatGPT to write Arduino drivers for hundreds of libraries of devices and sensors.

In 2024, the software will scale to become a tool that nearly all vendors use in some way to help their businesses, according to market research firm Deloitte.

"Generative AI is poised for a breakthrough in 2024, as it begins to follow through on its promise of improving productivity, creativity and enhancing the way enterprises engage with their ecosystems,” said Paul Silverglate, vice chair of Deloitte LLP. “Expect to see generative AI integrated into enterprise software, giving more knowledge workers the tools, they need to work with greater efficiency and make better decisions.”

Deloitte forecasts that enterprise software companies will see a revenue uplift at a run rate of $10 billion by the end of 2024 due to the implementation of generative AI. However, this revenue will mainly occur in the back half the of year.

Source: Goldman Sachs Source: Goldman Sachs

New use cases

Perhaps one of the more interesting aspects of where generative AI will go in 2024 is in new sectors it currently is limited in or does not play a role in.

Specifically, the next big sector for generative AI may be in smartphones where advanced camera technology and tools like Apple’s ARKit will allow these devices to take detailed 3D representations of physical environments. This data could then be converted to be used in mapping and other sectors for smart cities.

“Generative AI models could be trained on a massive dataset of 3D scans and corresponding floor plans, enabling them to automatically generate accurate and detailed maps from 3D scans alone,” said Brian Parks, GM at MapsPeople. “This would eliminate the need for manual mapping by human employees, significantly reducing the time and effort required to create and maintain maps of smart cities. For instance, if an office layout is rearranged, generative AI could analyze the new 3D scan and automatically update the corresponding map accordingly.”

MapsPeople, a company that develops indoor maps for a variety of sectors, said these maps would always be accurate and up to date due to smartphones updating the data allowing AI to become a reliable source for navigation and decision-making.

“I envision a near future where any employee armed with a smartphone can seamlessly map entire spaces, such as offices or manufacturing floors, and instantly transform those maps into usable tools or update existing maps to reflect furniture rearrangements,” Parks said.

Other new use cases for generative AI include augmented reality, virtual reality and extended reality where the technology will work with these mixed reality technologies to help train workers in domains like industry, renewable energy, water systems, automotive and more.

Differentiation

According to Hatch, a software company using OpenAI to design no-code hosted web pages, in 2024, small businesses will begin to use generative AI to differentiate themselves online, specifically from cookie cutter websites.

“With Generative AI to help write the code, small businesses and professional service providers can build websites, storefronts and portfolios that truly reflect their unique offerings,” said Darrin Massena, co-founder of Hatch. “These no-code creators can leverage functionality they wouldn’t otherwise consider for their websites. With the help of GenAI, professional sites can evolve beyond static information and offer exploration and discovery for visitors.”

Hatch said this type of website development will come particularly in handy for non-technical professionals who are looking to create a unique website.

“Consumer-friendly web platforms that offer natural chat-based code writing will make this technology accessible to a larger audience beyond early adopters,” Massena said. “We’re excited to see how GenAI will help creators realize their unique vision online without coding expertise."

Intel’s AI processors are being used for a new line of specific AI PCs that will be used to work with generative AI for next generation of efficiency and productivity. Source: Intel Intel’s AI processors are being used for a new line of specific AI PCs that will be used to work with generative AI for next generation of efficiency and productivity. Source: Intel

Chips to power them

Investment giant Goldman Sachs is extremely bullish on generative AI. The company forecasts it could have sweeping changes not just next year but in the next decade. In fact, Goldman Sachs forecasts generative AI could drive almost a $7 trillion increase in global GDP and lift productivity growth by 1.5% in the next 10 years.

So much growth will require new semiconductors to power these generative AI offerings. Deloitte predicts that specialized chips optimized for generative AI will reach $50 billion just in 2024. This growth is up from basically zero in 2022. This equates to total AI chip sales in 2024, representing 11% of predicted global semiconductor revenue of $576 billion.

Companies developing AI semiconductors include Nvidia, Advanced Micro Devices, Broadcom, Marvell Technology, Synaptics and most recently Intel, which unveiled its AI processors to compete with these other companies just this month, focusing on the PC market specifically.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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