Did you know that one of the first applications of AI was handwriting recognition? Postal services used it to read addresses on envelopes. 📩
Well, we’ve come a long way since then.
Following the latest AI developments, it sometimes feels like stepping into the pages of a sci-fi book or a futuristic film – except it's all happening right in front of our eyes.
The world is changing, and some say that AI could be the fourth industrial revolution.
Now, I don't have a crystal ball or anything, but I've been knee-deep in the AI space for quite a while. The AI trends and predictions I'm about to share in this article are grounded in scientific research, the perspectives of leading AI players, and the prevailing industry and investment trends.
Whether you love it or hate it, there's no denying that AI is fundamentally transforming our communication.
So, if you're ready to dive in and explore the 8 AI trends that will shape the future, let's jump right in!
#1 Generative AI
Remember when we thought artificial intelligence would first impact manual, blue-collar work?
Well, turns out we were collectively wrong. 😬
In late 2022, we witnessed the rise of generative AI.
The boom began with AI image generators and reached its peak with the release of ChatGPT. Since then, generative AI has been on everyone's lips, and its momentum shows no signs of slowing down.
But what exactly is generative AI?
In the past, the majority of AI applications utilized predictive AI, which focuses on making predictions or providing insights based on existing data, without generating entirely new content. Think of predictive algorithms for data analysis or social media recommendations, for example.
Generative AI, on the other hand, is a relatively new form of AI that leverages machine learning to create fresh, original output based on patterns it has learned from training data.
Here are 4 examples of generative AI:
#1 AI-generated text
By using text inputs, generative AI can produce various types of text, ranging from emails and website copy to cover letters and children's books.
#2 AI-generated images
Image generators can create novel images based on descriptions in human language. AI can generate art as well as hyper-realistic images.
#3 AI-generated speech
Many AI voice generators allow users to convert text into audio, offering multiple languages, voices, and accents.
#4 AI-generated video
3 main reasons why generative AI keeps gaining momentum:
- Most of these generative AI applications are accessible and easy to use.
- They provide real value to businesses and individuals.
- The media hype surrounding AI also contributes to raising awareness.
”We’re still in the nascent stages of this generative revolution; the future will be one where synthetic media is ubiquitous and democratised in daily life, not as a frivolous novelty, but powering groundbreaking advances in entertainment, education, and accessibility.” - Henry Adjer, leading expert on synthetic media and virtuality
#2 Multimodal AI models
Another AI trend to keep an eye on in the coming years is multimodality.
The term may sound fancy, but it's actually quite simple.
Let me explain:
As a society, we are continuously moving towards richer and more interactive content.
Our attention spans have become shorter than ever, and the content we consume is optimized for quick consumption (think tiktoks, snaps, stories, Slack messages, etc.).
We also enjoy interacting with this content through reactions, emojis, shares, and other features.
And that's precisely where the AI industry is heading.
Traditionally, AI models have focused on processing information from a single modality.
Now, with multimodal deep learning, we are able to train models to discover relationships between different types of modalities.
In practical terms, this means that these models can "translate" text to images, images to videos, text to audio, and so on. You get the idea.
So, why is this fusion of different media so fantastic?
Simply put, it's more effective.
Let's consider medicine as an example. In the past, assessing a patient's health relied on a single modality, either textual or visual. Today, AI is capable of combining both modalities and treating them as a unified source, resulting in better insights and predictions.
Another example of a multimodal model is natural language processing (NLP). It is a branch of artificial intelligence that aims to enable computers to understand, interpret, and generate human language in a meaningful and useful manner by leveraging large language models. Natural language processing encompasses tasks such as language translation, sentiment analysis, text summarization, and chatbot development.
And here's one more practical example of how multimodal AI manifests in real life:
ChatGPT has become the fastest-growing consumer application in history, amassing an astounding 100 million monthly active users in just two months since its launch. 😱
Now that’s what we call democratization – and here’s how the tool itself defines it:
And it’s true – the availability of AI tools has soared, bringing them closer to users than ever before:
✅ They are easily accessible, requiring nothing more than a browser.
✅ They are user-friendly, eliminating the need for specific skills or training.
✅ They are free to use/inexpensive, requiring no big financial investment.
We have reached an inflection point for AI, which is a common occurrence with new technologies:
There's no doubt that AI is now permeating various aspects of our communication;
Discussions about AI are prevalent among individuals and in the media, social media feeds are flooded with AI-generated content, and businesses are beginning to recognize the significant value that AI brings.
The democratization of AI has far-reaching implications for individuals, businesses, and society as a whole:
“We believe that the cultural understanding of media will change radically in the coming years. The cost and skill barriers to content creation are evaporating, and new, altered forms of communication are on the rise (think TikTok). Many more digital channels will arise and we'll see more personalized media than ever. This will change the way we communicate with each other, both on a personal level and in a broad media context.” - Victor Riparbelli, Synthesia CEO
And now, this leads us to another noteworthy AI trend – the integration of artificial intelligence technologies into work.
#4 Workplace AI
Prompt engineers, AI ethicists, and coral cleaners have something in common – they don't exist yet.
However, in the future, these occupations will emerge alongside many others that will be created or transformed by AI.
Let's clarify something first:
AI is not just another captivating toy to tinker with.
It is now evident that it brings substantial business benefits and enhances employee productivity.
For those concerned about AI replacing their jobs…
There is indeed the potential for millions of job displacements in the near future.
However, it is important to note that AI is also projected to generate a multitude of new jobs.
According to a recent report by Goldman Sachs, AI will trigger a productivity boom, ultimately increasing the total annual value of global goods and services by 7%.
And for this new reality, one thing is certain:
The workforce will need to adapt and acquire new skills. 🦾
Our jobs have always been closely intertwined with technology, and AI will revolutionize the nature of work as we currently understand it.
Some skills will become obsolete and automated, while others, such as analytical judgment, emotional intelligence, creativity, and adaptability, will gain increased significance.
#5 New use cases
This AI trend aligns closely with the previous one, as AI not only impacts individual workers but the entire business landscape.
Because utilizing AI offers some significant advantages over human involvement:
- AI solutions are scalable, allowing for efficient expansion
- AI often achieves higher accuracy levels compared to human performance
- AI eliminates monotonous tasks, freeing up human resources
- AI is capable of performing certain tasks more quickly than humans
Thanks to artificial intelligence, we can now accomplish tasks that were previously beyond our capabilities and the emerging technologies enable innovative solutions across various sectors.
Examples of AI trends + applications in different sectors:
➡️ AI trends in healthcare:
Enhanced patient communication, improved accessibility, disease detection, product development, AI assistants for healthcare professionals…
➡️ AI trends in education:
➡️ AI trends in manufacturing:
Rapid prototyping and rendering with artificial intelligence, digital twinning of physical spaces, simulations, training...
➡️ AI trends in ecommerce:
AI-powered content generation, localization, enhanced customer engagement, conversational AI for customer interactions…
Curious about specific AI applications in various industries? Check out this article for more insights:
#6 Personalization at scale
What makes Netflix, Spotify and TikTok so great? Their highly sophisticated recommendation algorithms that know you… almost too well.
The content these algorithms serve is profoundly personalized, which makes it so relevant to you.
So what exactly is personalization?
This concept revolves around customizing products, services, or experiences to cater to the specific needs and preferences of individuals.
3 reasons why the world is gravitating towards personalization:
- It amplifies user engagement by tailoring content and experiences to individual preferences, heightening relevance and resonance.
- It enhances the user experience by providing targeted recommendations based on user data, ensuring pertinent and valuable suggestions.
- It cultivates stronger connections and loyalty by making users feel comprehended and appreciated, fostering heightened satisfaction and long-term commitment.
“Here’s our prediction: In the not-too-distant future, mass communication will increasingly become a thing of the past. Synthetic media will enable the creation of new, personalized, forms of communication, and the (traditional) media landscape will change completely.” - Victor Riparbelli, Synthesia CEO
And that leads us to another future trend:
#7 Digital humans and digital twinning
Remember your first avatar on social media?
It was probably static, grainy, and far from a true representation of yourself.
Well… that’s about to change.
In the future, digital twins will play a crucial role in our digital interactions. 🗣
Imagine connecting your digital clone to your digital footprint. The result? An accurate replica of your appearance, personality, preferences, and behaviors.
No worries, the digital twin technology is not there yet –
but companies and researchers are working towards it at this very moment. Advancements in computer vision and LLMs will soon allow us to capture the essence of an individual with astonishing accuracy.
But why do we need digital humans, you ask? 🤖
The potential applications for digital twins are vast.
They range from virtual assistants and customer service representatives to personalized virtual actors and influencers.
Digital twins can also facilitate immersive virtual experiences, remote collaboration, and even serve as companions in gaming and entertainment.
Btw, if the topic of digital humans intrigues you, here’s some further reading:
#8 Ethics and regulation
And with great power… comes great responsibility.
As artificial intelligence emerges as a force poised to positively transform the world, it also brings along inherent risks.
Bad actors using AI systems for manipulation. deepfakes. Misinformation. Privacy concerns. Lack of transparency. AI bias.
These are just a few of the potential risks associated with the widespread use of AI.
And that’s why in the future, we can expect an increasing demand for regulation by different stakeholders, including business leaders and governmental organizations.
And let’s not forget that AI regulation also holds substantial implications for the geopolitical landscape, particularly among the EU, China, and the US.
It is evident that technology is advancing at a rapid pace, outstripping the pace of frameworks aiming to regulate AI. This will lead to further public discourse surrounding AI regulation and the ethical implications of this powerful technology.
Synthetic media, by itself, is the tour-de-force of modern AI and deep learning technologies. However, falling into the wrong hands, it becomes a deepfake. Enhancing awareness and building resilience are key to combating the misuse of synthetic media. This calls for broad collaborations across all stakeholders, including government agencies, researchers, media platforms, and users. - Siwei Lyu, professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Buffalo University
It's fair to say that the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence has brought us to the brink of a transformative era.
Whether you're a pessimist or an optimist, it is important to stay informed and educated about the technology. Only by embracing the possibilities of AI and responsibly harnessing its power can we drive innovation, efficiency, and enhance the human experience.
And if you'd like to see how these current AI trends are already shaping various AI applications, don't miss this must-see collection: