The AI Revolution: What 2024 Has in Store

At an event in San Francisco in November, Sam Altman, the chief executive of the artificial intelligence company OpenAI, was asked what surprises the field would bring in 2024. Mr. Altman immediately responded, “Online chatbots like OpenAI’s ChatGPT will take a leap forward that no one expected,” while sitting beside him, James Manyika, a Google executive, nodded and said, “Plus one to that.”

A.I. industry this year is set to be defined by a remarkably rapid improvement of the technology. Advancements build upon one another, enabling A.I. to generate new kinds of media, mimic human reasoning in new ways and seep into the physical world through a new breed of robots. In the coming months, A.I.-powered image generators like DALL-E and Midjourney will deliver videos as well as still images instantly. They will gradually merge with chatbots like ChatGPT.

That means chatbots will expand well beyond digital text by handling photos, videos, diagrams, charts and other media. They will exhibit behavior that looks more like human reasoning, tackling increasingly complex tasks in fields like math and science. As the technology moves into robots, it will also help to solve problems beyond the digital world. The power of these products are expected to grow significantly and be used by far more people by 2024.

Most software apps are built by engineers, one line of computer code at a time, which is typically a slow and tedious process. Companies are improving A.I. more swiftly because the technology relies on neural networks, mathematical systems that can learn skills by analyzing digital data. This year, tech companies plan to feed A.I. systems more data, including images and sounds.

None of this means that A.I. will be able to match the human brain anytime soon. While A.I. companies and entrepreneurs aim to create what they call “artificial general intelligence” — a machine that can do anything the human brain can do — this remains a daunting task.

Instant Videos: A.I.-powered applications will generate videos, too.

‘Multimodal’ Chatbots: Chatbots and image generators are gradually merging into ‘multimodal’ systems.

Better ‘Reasoning’: A.I. is working to achieve systems that can logically solve complex problems.

‘A.I. Agents’: Chatbots are being transformed into a new kind of autonomous system called an A.I. agent.

Smarter Robots: A.I. will power robots to handle more complex tasks.

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