IEEE survey points to the impact of AI in 2024

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The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has announced the findings of its new survey of global technology leaders from the US, UK, China, India and Brazil.

"The Impact of Technology in 2024 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study," spoke with 350 chief technology officers, chief information officers and IT directors, covering the most important technologies in 2024 as well at looking at future technology trends.

The report's findings suggest that telecommunications, manufacturing, and financial industries will see the most impact from technology in 2024

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

(41 percent) telecommunications (as compared to 40 percent in 2023)#(39 percent) manufacturing (as compared to 30 percent in 2023)

(39 percent) banking and financial services (as compared to 33 percent in 2023)

(31 percent) automotive and transportation (as compared to 39 percent in 2023)

(31 percent) energy (as compared to 33 percent in 2023)

AI will be the most important technology in 2024 and is expected to be used in diverse ways, across the global economy.

The survey also asked 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 percent) Artificial Intelligence (AI), including predictive and generative AI, machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP)

(28 percent) Extended reality (XR), including metaverse, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR)

(24 percent) cloud computing

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

In 2024, AI applications and algorithms that can optimise data, perform complex tasks and make decisions with human-like accuracy will be used in diverse ways, the study found. Of top potential applications for AI next year, technology leaders surveyed selected:

(54 percent) real-time cybersecurity vulnerability identification and attack prevention;

(42 percent) increasing supply chain and warehouse automation efficiencies

(38 percent) aiding and accelerating software development, automating customer service

(35 percent) automating customer service

(34 percent) speeding up candidate screening, recruiting and hiring time

(32 percent) accelerating disease mapping and drug discovery

(31 percent) automating and stabilising 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 percent of jobs was cited by 41 percent of those surveyed. Over one-quarter (28 percent) cited 1-25 percent of jobs; another 26 percent cited 51-75 percent of jobs, and 5 percent cited 76-100 percent of jobs.

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 also prove increasingly important in 2024, with 63 percent of those responding saying it would be very important, with an additional 29 percent saying it would be 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 percent in both 2024 and 2023) telemedicine, including remote surgery, health record transmissions

(46 percent in 2024 vs. 49 percent in 2023) personal and professional day-to-day communications

(46 percent in 2024 vs. 56 percent in 2023) remote learning and education

(43 percent in 2024 vs. 51 percent in 2023) entertainment, sports and live event streaming

(39 percent in 2024 vs. 29 percent in 2023) transportation and traffic control

(27 percent in 2024 vs 25 percent in 2023) manufacturing/assembly

(30 percent in 2024 vs 23 percent in 2023) carbon footprint reduction and energy efficiency

Close to nine out of 10 of global technologists (88 percent) agree 6G will primarily be an evolving work in progress in 2024 but expected it to be standardised in the next 3-5 years.

In addition, a strong majority (94 percent) of global technologists agree that development of communication satellites for mobile connectivity will bring parity to some rural and developed regions globally in 2024.

Generative AI may continue to dominate the technology landscape, but other technologies such as quantum will have significant, if less-noticed impacts (87 percent agree, including 51 percent who strongly agree).

Furthermore, 86 percent 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 percent agree, including 54 percent who strongly agree) that they have prioritised sustainability goals for 2024 and beyond, and any technologies their company implements are required to be energy-efficient and help shrink their carbon footprint.

The cybersecurity concerns most likely to be in technology leaders' top three in 2024 remain the same as last year: data centre vulnerability (43 percent in both 2024, 2023), cloud vulnerability (42 percent in 2024, down from 51 percent in 2023) and security issues related to the mobile and hybrid workforce / employees using their own devices (41 percent in 2024, down from 46 percent in 2023). However, the study finds other cybersecurity concerns will rise in 2024, including ransomware attacks (37 percent in 2024 up from 30 percent in 2023), phishing attacks (35 percent in 2024 up from 25 percent in 2023) and insider threats (26 percent in 2024, up from 19 percent 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 US., China, UK, India and Brazil at organisations 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 19th – 23rd September, 2023.

To learn more about the study and the impact of technology in 2024 and beyond, use the link below.