You thought 2023 was a big year for AI? Buckle up

Adam Clark Estes


Jan 4, 2024

Every new year brings with it a gaggle of writers, analysts, and gamblers trying to tell the future. When it comes to tech news, that used to amount to some bloggers guessing what the new iPhone would look like. But in 2024, the technology most people are talking about is not a gadget, but rather an alternate future, one that Silicon Valley insiders say is inevitable. This future is powered by artificial intelligence, and lots of people are predicting that it’s going to be inescapable in the months to come.

That AI will be ascendant is not the only big prediction experts are making for next year. I’ve spent the past couple of days reading every list of predictions I can get my hands on, including this very good one from my colleagues at Future Perfect. A few big things show up on most of them: social media’s continued fragmentation, Apple’s mixed-reality goggles, spaceships, and of course AI. What’s interesting to me is that AI also seems to link all these things together in much the same way that the rise of the internet basically connected all of the big predictions of 2004.

Let me be honest, though: I don’t really know what to think about what’s to come with AI. Maybe 2024 will be the year of artificial intelligence, but I also thought 2023 was supposed to be the year of AI. And despite hundreds of billions of dollars flowing into the industry, I still don’t feel like AI is changing my life. When ChatGPT had its breakout moment after OpenAI released it in late 2022, there was widespread agreement that 2023 would be the year generative AI hit the mainstream. And now apparently 2024 will be the year the technology gets really good and starts changing the way we do absolutely everything.