In a groundbreaking year for artificial intelligence (AI), 2023 witnessed a rapid integration of generative AI into our daily lives, influencing how we work, entertain ourselves, and even worship. As we look ahead to 2024, it’s essential to understand the key developments and anticipate what the future holds in the ever-evolving AI landscape.
AI in daily life
AI’s impact on daily life reached new heights in 2023. Four out of five teenagers in the United Kingdom embraced generative AI tools, reflecting the technology’s popularity among the younger generation. Meanwhile, two-thirds of Australian employees reported using AI for various work-related tasks.
Initially driven by curiosity and entertainment, people soon began relying on generative AI for more practical purposes. Students turned to AI for study assistance, while individuals sought advice and information synthesis. AI found its place in coding, content creation, and multimedia generation, enabling users to craft images, videos, and audio easily.
A novel profession emerged, with “prompt whisperers” or prompt engineers guiding users in designing effective AI prompts. These experts not only assist in creating the best prompts but also explore the fusion of different AI services to achieve remarkable outcomes, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.
AI’s evolution and functions
Throughout the year, AI’s capabilities evolved in response to technological advancements, regulatory changes, and societal influences. The following highlights key moments from 2023:
February: ChatGPT reaches 100 million users
ChatGPT, the renowned chatbot, achieved a user base of 100 million in February, a testament to its widespread adoption and utility.
March: GPT-4 unveiled
In March, GPT-4, the latest iteration of the AI powering ChatGPT, launched, introducing enhanced features such as document analysis and text processing.
April: AI integration by corporations
Companies like Coca-Cola and Levi’s embraced generative AI for advertising and virtual model creation. Japan also took a significant step by ruling out copyright restrictions for training generative AI.
May: screenwriters strike
In the United States, screenwriters went on strike in May, demanding a ban on AI-generated scripts due to concerns about their impact on the industry.
July: AI-led religious services
Worshippers experienced AI-led religious services for the first time in July, demonstrating AI’s expanding role in diverse aspects of society.
August: Zoom’s data controversy
In August, Zoom faced scrutiny over changes to its terms of service regarding consumer data and AI integration. The company later clarified its policy and committed to obtaining customer consent for AI training.
September: Adobe’s integration of generative AI
Adobe integrated generative AI into applications like Illustrator and Photoshop, making creative tasks more accessible to users.
December: Rise of “Edge AI” and AI regulation
December saw a growing shift towards “Edge AI,” where AI processes occur locally on devices for enhanced privacy and security. Additionally, the European Union announced the world’s first “AI Law” as part of the evolving AI regulatory landscape.
AI prospects for 2024
As we look ahead to 2024, the AI landscape is poised for further transformation, with several key areas of focus:
1. Increased bundling of AI services
Companies are expected to bundle generative AI into existing services and expand its functionality. This bundling aims to make AI services more intuitive and accessible to users, although it may raise concerns about data security in case of breaches.
2. Higher quality and realism
AI generators have improved significantly in rendering human features, but challenges related to bias still exist. Developers are working on more inclusive models that reflect diversity, aligning with the needs of diverse customer bases.
3. Transparency and media standards
As AI-generated content becomes more prevalent, there will be growing calls for transparent communication regarding its use. Establishing media industry standards to denote when AI has been employed to create or enhance content will be crucial in building public trust.
4. Expansion of sovereign AI capacity
With AI’s pervasive influence, governments and organizations will likely focus on enhancing their sovereign AI capabilities. Increased research and development funding, training programs, and investments will foster AI advancements in various sectors.
2023 marked a pivotal year for AI, integrating into diverse aspects of daily life. As we move into 2024, we anticipate further developments in AI’s capabilities and applications and growing discussions on transparency, quality, and sovereignty in the AI landscape. Understanding AI’s potential and limitations is crucial for responsible and productive utilization in an ever-changing world.