Few innovations have seen as much growth and interest as AI has in the past few years. Adoption today is 2.5x higher than it was in 2017—about 50% of organizations have adopted AI for at least one business function. AI technology is breaking into healthcare, manufacturing, and dozens of other industries. And, it’s not a technology reserved for big enterprises anymore. With open-source AI solutions, and lower cost and complexity of systems, the democratization of AI is in full swing. The company expects to hit $1 billion in revenue by 2024. OpenAI’s ChatGPT surprised the world when it was released in November 2022. The chatbot’s ability to take natural-language prompts and generate conversational text for a wide variety of outcomes made people rethink what was possible with AI. ChatGPT within the first two months of its release. Following ChatGPT, Google launched their own AI chatbot named Bard. Microsoft also released a Bing chatbot that utilizes OpenAI’s technology. Even Meta is joining the AI race and plans to release its Large Language Model Meta AI to professionals in government, academia, and research. This type of natural-language technology has the potential to revolutionize business operations. For instance, customer service reps could use it to respond to customer inquiries in seconds. Companies could use it to create personalized marketing and educational content without needing to hire copywriters. Developers could use it to write complex code and business leaders can use it to analyze data. Enterprises are incorporating AI in other ways, as well. According to a PwC survey, the top goals of business leaders who are adopting AI are increasing productivity through automation, improving decision-making, and boosting the customer experience. In another example, manufacturing and warehouse operations are finding new and innovative uses for AI. Warehouse inventory management can be automated through AI’s image-recognition capabilities. The systems can also send alerts when inventory is low and prompt human intervention, as well as account for production or supply chain delays. In manufacturing plants, AI platformsare part of the “smart factory” trend and these systems can enable predictive maintenance, minimize waste, and improve worker safety.
From attacks on random consumers to government-sponsored cyber warfare, cybercrime is a persistent and growing threat. A 2022 global survey from Hiscox showed 43% of companies reported a cyber attack in 2021 and 48% reported at least one in 2022. The most frightening statistic from that report was the fact that 20% of attacked organizations said the cost of the damage threatened their solvency. In a 2022 survey from VMware, 66% of participating IT leaders said they’d experienced a deepfake-related attack within the past 12 months. That’s an increase of 13% since 2021. Deepfake technology utilizes AI/deep learning to create convincing videos, images, and audio of fake events and people. The technology has been around for a few years, and it’s getting better and better for hackers. A type of machine learning technology called generative adversarial networks is making the deepfake models nearly impossible to detect. Plus, the emergence of 5G networks is making it easier to manipulate videos in real time. Deepfakes are especially useful to cyber criminals who commit BEC (business email compromise) scams. Manipulating face-to-face verification methods with deepfakes is another possibility for cyber criminals.
As the lines between artificial intelligence and machine learning continue to blur, businesses are finding an increasing number of ways to integrate automation into their processes. And one of the emerging technologies executives are most excited about is robotic process automation (RPA). RPA involves training software programs to perform or execute mundane, repetitive tasks. Forecasts predict the RPA market to grow to $25 billion by 2030 with a CAGR of nearly 36%. In 2022, RPA software spending reached nearly $3 billion—a 21% increase from 2021. Surveys report that one-fifth of businesses are currently employing RPA. One of the main reasons enterprises are adopting RPA is because of the tight labor market and the need to maximize employee efficiency and productivity. Data shows that the average company in the U.S. with 500 employees loses more than $1.4 million each year due to time wasted on repetitive tasks. RPA solutions can also save time and money when it comes to low-value, mundane tasks done within a business. For instance, when RPA is at work copying and pasting information from a document to a database the process goes faster and the results have a higher rate of accuracy than when humans perform the task. Estimates show that RPA can increase workplace capacity by as much as 50%. Not to mention that high-value human talent can be applied to another task. RPA can also be used to extract data from websites, book appointments, collect information from customers, monitor compliance, and onboard employees—just to name a few tasks. As far as RPA vendors, UiPath is the clear market leader. The company recently surpassed $1 billion in ARR and currently serves more than 10,500 customers around the globe.
The market for wearables continues to trend upward. In 2022, The rising demand is expected to drive the market value even higher through 2026, hitting $265 billion that year. Like we discussed with FemTech, wearables are becoming more sophisticated in the data they collect and in the algorithms that data feeds.
Up until recently, many wearables were focused on sleep tracking and step counting. In recent years, however, we’ve seen a variety of devices launched with features that go far beyond these basic functions. These rings enable wearers to make payments, unlock smart-key doors, and share data with the swipe of their finger. Owners can lock, unlock, and start their vehicle by simply taping their knuckle. The ring can also be used for contactless payments. There’s also increasing consumer demand for tech wearables that are embedded in clothing, referred to as e-textiles. In one example, the Nadi X yoga pants use sensors and stretch bands to analyze and provide feedback on the owner’s posture. For long-distance runners, Sensoria socks could potentially help prevent injuries.
That wraps up our list of the top 13 technology trends impacting enterprises and consumers right now. From labor shortages to a computer chip crisis, companies across the globe have faced a variety of challenges over the last two years. Despite these challenges, however, the technology sector continues to grow and adapt to new demands. With a focus on solving today’s most pressing problems and a seemingly infinite pool of cash available to the companies that succeed, it’s unlikely the tech industry will slow down anytime soon. Instead, the technology trends we’ve outlined above are set to play a large role in molding our future.