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From emotion AI to space: What to expect from tech in 2024

Euronews Next explores what we could expect to see from tech in 2024
Euronews Next explores what we could expect to see from tech in 2024 Copyright Canva
Copyright Canva
By Pascale Davies
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Emotion AI could take the crown from generative AI and space tech could save humanity. Euronews Next looks at what we can expect from technology in 2024.

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Artificial intelligence (AI) exploded into the tech sphere in 2023 with the rising popularity of OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT. But will AI continue to grow exponentially or, like the metaverse, burst its bubble?

Euronews Next takes a look at what we can expect from tech trends in 2024.

Emotion AI

Generative AI - the technology behind ChatGPT which learns the patterns of data and generates new data in text or image form - was the hype of 2023.

But next year, emotion AI, which defects and interprets human emotional signals, will take over, according to the European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s (EIT Digital) CEO Federico Menna.

“Emotion AI is the next trend after generative because, on top of being able to generate content based on user interaction or request, emotion AI is able to react and understand the emotions of the human in front of the machine and react accordingly,” he told Euronews Next.

Menna said he expects it to be key to the health sector too as it would allow people with chronic diseases, age-related issues or who have mental health issues to live better.

He expects emotion AI will also thrive in the mobility sector.

“In the inner city environment, emotional AI could play a big role. Someone, for example, could be nervous because the city too is too dark and somehow an algorithm can switch on some lights,” he said.

The final sector where emotional AI could also be important is in finance as Menna points out it is “where people's emotions are because when you touch their money or their wealth, of course they're very sensitive."

But he said as it is a heavily regulated sector, the technology’s use may start with a very specific application rather than by the big banks.

AI’s responsibility

Generative AI will still be important and “revolutionise” businesses through software development to daily operations, said Jitendra Putcha, executive vice president of data, analytics and AI at tech consulting firm LTIMindtree.

He believes that every industry from travel to media will benefit from the technology, which not only enhances creativity but can also reduce costs, improve training and growth and enhance privacy and security.

AI could better understand human emotions in 2024
AI could better understand human emotions in 2024Canva

“What's exciting is that AI is becoming more accessible, moving beyond big tech companies thanks to the convergence of cloud and open source,” Putcha told Euronews Next.

But, quoting Spiderman, he said “with great power comes great responsibility”.

“We have a magic wand in hand that can work wonders, however as advisors, evangelists, technologists and adopters, we have the responsibility to use it in the right context for the right thing and with the right guardrails in place,” he said.

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To be able to scale AI, a strong foundation of data is required, so we will see more companies focus on data trust which includes quality, and governance for best outputs, Putcha explained.

Regulation too will become a big topic for AI companies as the back end of 2023 saw Europe and the United States agree to new AI legislation on their continents.

“As technologists, we must take a cautious road but nevertheless keep the momentum going towards the vision of responsible AI,” Putcha said.

As the EU AI Act’s formal adoption is expected in 2024, it will impose specific rules on providers and deployers of AI systems in areas such as transparency, documentation and testing.

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“It is inevitable that AI regulation will create some hurdles, and large corporations will certainly navigate it faster whilst smaller companies will need more patience,” Putcha said.

But he said organisations advocating for ethical solutions will stand out, pointing to models that could filter misinformation and use ethically sourced data for training.

Space Tech

While AI will still stay on the horizon, it may have reached its peak and space tech could be the next big thing in 2024.

“I am a big believer that 2024 will bring an even bigger breakthrough in space tech. Just like today, everyone starts a conversation with AI, people will talk much more about space tech because of the several trends which are happening,” Adam Niewinski, co-founder and general partner of European venture capital firm OTB Ventures told Euronews Next.

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Space satellites will be big in 2024
Space satellites will be big in 2024Canva

AI topics will continue for the next decade or so but in terms of dynamics and growth, space will be even bigger as there is already “quite a bit of hype around AI,” he said.

In terms of what kind of space tech will be the star of 2024, it will not be space travel but satellites.

The technology allows humans to spot what is happening on our planet, such as weather disasters, but we can also predict weather patterns and better understand melting ice and how we should manage water resources.

“Within the next months and years, people will be able to manage a lot of activities, ranging from logistics and watering, based on the data coming from space. It’s not going to be rocket science, it is just going to be embedded in our lives,” said Niewinski.

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Other data from space that will be critical is for agriculture. How water and energy are deployed for crops can be seen from space. Satellites can also document the environmental damages caused by ships and tankers being cleaned in the sea.

As for the companies that will generate the most hype, Niewinski said SpaceX will have a similar influence to OpenAI.

“It [SpaceX] is an enterprise which is leading a change and this change is going to be bigger and bigger because people will start to understand and see the importance of space tech, which will allow us to better understand everything happening on Earth,” he said.

But he also noted that it is important for new companies to come into the sector, rather the traditional companies such as Boeing, which he said were never forced to be innovative because they held a comfortable position and monopolised the market.

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“The only way to change that is to allow new space companies to enter the market more dynamically, and allow or even support these companies to compete with these incumbents. We are starting to see this happen, but we need more of a push,” Niewinski said.

Quantum and cybersecurity

2023 was a big year for quantum computing with IBM one step closer to figuring out how to minimise data errors.

But how quantum computing can protect us online will be a big topic in 2024.

Quantum computing will continue to be a big trend in 2024
Quantum computing will continue to be a big trend in 2024Canva

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is set to publish final post-quantum cryptography (PQC) standards in early 2024, marking the end of an eight-year-long global project for the cryptography community, said Dr Axel Poschmann, head of product innovation and security at PQShield, a British cybersecurity startup specialising in quantum-secure solutions.

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“With this announcement, it will mark the commencement of the biggest cybersecurity transition in a generation as we work to protect our data and digital infrastructure from attack by quantum computers,” he told Euronews Next.

He said he expected a continuous stream of announcements claiming the improving performance of quantum computers.

“Each proclamation raises the urgency for the adoption of post-quantum cryptography. With these advancements, there is an increased potential for a harvest now, decrypt later attack.

“Cyber criminals will recognise the additional potential value of gathering, storing and selling this encrypted data across the cybercriminal ecosystem,” he warned.

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