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The Human-Centric Technology Revolution of 2024

Every year, we observe the evolution of technology, as well as emerging technologies, to stay updated on the tools and methods of creating value in today’s ultra-competitive landscape. From artificial intelligence (AI), to sustainable solutions, our lives increasingly intertwine with technologies designed to enhance our abilities to perform, both in our daily lives and professional workspaces.

Recently, Accenture and Gartner shared technology trends that they’ve spotlighted for 2024, indicating that the future is emblazoned with transformative technologies. They emphasize and remind us, however, that these technologies are built for humans to improve our quality of life.

It goes without saying that AI takes the cake in this year’s technology trends following the unrivaled growth and success of OpenAI’s Generative AI model, GPT 4, and the various efforts to regulate the use of the technology. Sustainability is a core focus as we near global ambitions of achieving net zero emissions by 2030. 

We have compiled a concise summation of the leading, trending technologies to keep an eye on in 2024, to help you and your organization stride along powerful emerging technologies.

AI and Human Potential

Accenture’s "Human by Design" concept presents a future where technology amplifies human capabilities, making AI and generative AI central to enhancing creativity and productivity. These technologies are not just tools but partners, enabling more intuitive interactions with digital environments and making complex tasks more accessible. 

This democratization of technology allows for a broader inclusion of individuals in the digital revolution, fostering an environment where everyone can contribute to and benefit from technological advancements. IBM highlights that “for true data democratization, both employees and consumers need to have data in an easy-to-use format to maximize its value,” hinting at the importance of data literacy to be able to make the most of the easy-to-access tools.

Gartner reinforces this view with the identification of AI-Augmented Development and Democratized Generative AI as critical trends. These trends signify a shift towards leveraging AI to streamline development processes and make advanced technologies available to a wider audience. 

By reducing the barriers to entry for creating and using AI-driven solutions, these trends promise to accelerate innovation and drive forward both business and personal growth. The emphasis is on creating systems that not only solve complex problems but also enhance human decision-making and creativity.

Sustainable and Secure Technology 

Using AI tools, however, has proven to be costly on the environment. MIT shared a study which explored the carbon emission output of using generative AI. The study found that creating text 1,000 times has an output equivalent to roughly 16% of a smartphone’s battery charge. 

Generating images, however, was found to be far more environmentally harmful. “Generating 1,000 images with a powerful AI model, such as Stable Diffusion XL, is responsible for roughly as much carbon dioxide as driving the equivalent of 4.1 miles in an average gasoline-powered car.”

It should be noted, however, that large language models (LLMs), and other powerful AI platforms, are technologies that require more care, as smaller, task-specific AI tools are less environmentally harmful.

The emphasis on sustainable technology reflects a growing recognition of the tech industry's responsibility in addressing environmental challenges. Technologies that are efficient, secure, and environmentally friendly are becoming a priority. This aligns with a broader movement towards ethical and responsible innovation, where the impact of technology on the planet is considered alongside its benefits to humanity.

In tandem with these findings, Gartner highlights AI Trust, Risk, and Security Management (AI TRiSM) as pivotal, pointing to the necessity of developing technologies that are not only advanced but also secure and trustworthy. The integration of sustainable practices within technology development processes signifies a commitment to protecting the environment while ensuring that technological advancements are safe and beneficial for society. 

This dual focus on sustainability and security is essential for building digital solutions that can withstand emerging threats and contribute positively to global environmental goals.

Augmented and Connected Workforce

The transformation of the workplace through technology, particularly AI, is creating more immersive and interactive remote work experiences. This evolution bridges the gap between physical and digital workspaces, addressing challenges such as isolation and disconnection experienced by remote workers. As an article from The Atlantic finds, “aggravation from commuting is no match for the misery of loneliness.” Technology is becoming a catalyst for fostering collaboration and connection, regardless of geographical barriers.

Gartner's concept of an Augmented Connected Workforce complements this, envisioning a future where technology not only supports but enhances human collaboration and communication. The integration of intelligent applications and platforms into the workplace transforms how tasks are performed and how teams interact, making work more adaptable and responsive to the needs of a global workforce.

The Rise of Intelligent Applications and Platforms

The trend towards intelligent applications and industry-specific cloud platforms is indicative of a move towards more personalized and scalable digital solutions. These technologies are designed to cater to the unique needs of different industries, improving operational efficiency and customer experiences through tailored solutions.

The two tech leaders’ identification of Industry Cloud Platforms and Intelligent Applications as key trends highlights the importance of adaptability and scalability in technology. These platforms and applications not only streamline operations but also enable businesses to rapidly respond to market changes and customer needs, driving innovation and competitiveness in a fast-evolving digital landscape.

Embracing Machine Customers

The idea of machine customers introduces a novel perspective on digital interactions, where businesses must cater to both human clients and autonomous digital entities. This reflects a growing complexity within digital ecosystems and the need for businesses to adapt to a landscape where AI-driven agents can perform tasks, make decisions, and interact with services autonomously.

The synergy between Accenture's human-centric approach and Gartner's strategic technology trends for 2024 illustrates a clear path forward. Businesses and individuals alike are encouraged to embrace these innovations, integrating them thoughtfully to enhance human capabilities, streamline operations, and forge deeper connections within our increasingly digital world.

By exploring these trends in depth, it's clear that the path forward is one of innovation, responsibility, and human-centric design. The fusion of Accenture's and Gartner's insights paints a picture of a future where technology serves to enhance human capabilities, drive sustainable growth, and transform the way we live and work.

As we step into 2024, embracing these technologies thoughtfully will be key to unlocking a future that is not only technologically advanced but also inclusive, sustainable, and deeply human.


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