Decoding 2024: Experts unravel AI’s next big phase


OpenAI for Forbes Australia

‘Prediction is difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” – Niels Bohr.

Generative AI saw explosive growth in popularity and use in 2023, with changes at the speed of light making it hard to keep up with all the news.

As a business professional, you likely have a keen interest in AI’s trajectory, its potential impact on your industry, and – like me – you’re searching for answers to how you can take advantage of this technology in 2024.

To be clear, nobody can accurately tell you the future of AI, except that AI development is happening much faster than even experts anticipated.

While I was writing this article, I found a new paper in which authors surveyed three thousand published AI researchers. Their conclusion is the estimated date for when AI could beat humans at every possible task shifted from 2060 to 2047.

But how about 2024? To illuminate the path ahead, I’ve consulted four leading Australian experts whose insights reveal possibilities in areas like ethics, workforce, skills, leadership and new market opportunities.

Here is a glimpse into the transformative future of Generative AI in 2024, according to experts:

Natalie Piucco Chief Technologist Google Cloud Engineering APAC

Just as we witnessed the transformative shift for technology leaders to learn cloud, the push to be an informed and responsible AI leader will remain unchanged in 2024. 

If 2023 was the year of AI Landing, 2024 is the year of AI Expanding. With the Landscape changing so quickly, I am advising forward-thinking technology leaders to be prepared for a menu of possible futures and taking measured risks. To do this you must have an answer to this question, ‘’Where do you send your best talent to experiment with AI?  The next generation of technology builders and product talent want to experiment and are evaluating your business based on your experimentation culture and access to new AI technology platforms.

Secondly, Technology leaders will need to firm their AI Strategies and executive narratives in 2024 and be very clear and realistic with their teams on what kind of AI company they will become. 

When helping technology leaders build AI products for millions of users I often use this decision framework. Are you Taking AI? Using pre packaged AI APIS off the shelf and plugging them into your existing business or customer processes Shaping AI? Taking industry foundational models and tuning with your own corpus of data. Or Making AI, building your own Models from scratch. It’s likely your 2024 AI product Strategy will employ one or more of these archetypes but whatever you choose, it helps to name it, and be very clear with your team on where you’re headed. 

Thirdly, I am also encouraging CTOs and Product builders to keep a sharp eye on the consumer AI experience in 2024. There is no doubt that your users AI expectations will be set in the way we navigate, listen to music, create, consume and share with friends. Understanding your customers daily AI experiences and integrating them into your business applications will be the difference between capturing your next generation of customers or not. 

Finally, Technology leaders need to buck the traditional view that one business unit needs to ‘Own AI’. In a startup mindset the entire organisation needs upskilling so it becomes everyone’s responsibility to identify the art of the possible with AI. The best ideas can come from anywhere so let them.


Kellie Nuttall, Deloitte Australia AI Institute Leader

If 2023 was the year that Generative AI was born, 2024 will be the year it grows up and really starts to leave its mark on the global economy. I see this happening in three main ways. After spending 2023 experimenting with different tools in different ways, 2024 will see businesses shift gears toward prioritising investment for AI use cases that unlock tangible business and customer benefits. The expectation for demonstrable ROI will be on leaders’ minds, but with the right focus on the right value pools, the results will speak for themselves

Naturally, this will lead to employers seriously thinking about workforce design, with the disruptive nature of AI increasing demand for some skills and making others less relevant. This will not lead to widespread job losses but will encourage businesses to think about what work looks like when AI is involved, and roles will be redesigned accordingly.

Finally, 2024 will be the year when businesses and organisations bite the bullet on which AI offerings they build, buy or partner with. We’ll begin to see clear winners in the AI space emerge as deals are inked, while the venture capital-fed start-up frenzy that gripped the tech world in the last decade is certain to focus on AI more decisively.

Of course, underpinning this will be the necessity of businesses and organisations developing strong ethical and cultural practices around AI, and this will be as big a theme in 2024 as AI utilisation itself.


Lee Hickin, Microsoft AI Tech & Policy Lead Asia

The future of AI is not yet written. But be assured, it is being written by us, humans, not the AI.

I am not a fan of attention-grabbing headlines; but there is no doubt that 2024 will continue to be the year we are all still talking about AI. That is good, there is much to discuss – risk, copyright, science, innovation, safety, regulation – but my hope for 2024 is that it is the year we divide our attention equally between the what’s possible and the what’s needed conversations.

I hope 2024 will be the year that we start to build sensible, safe, and expandable regulation around the use of AI technologies. The AI of today is still in its infancy and in the same way that we wouldn’t put a child in charge of a risky activity, so it is with AI. I hope that 2024 will see us move past the “AI is going to take over the world/my job/start a war/destroy humanity” and focus our energy on building something better.

To paraphrase the Socrates quote: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” In 2024 we should focus our resources on building better AI, not trying to prevent something that is very unlikely to happen without us (humans) doing it.

I anticipate that 2024 will be the year that we really start to move away from ever bigger, ‘general knowledge’ large-scale transformer-based AI models to start exploring what’s possible with SLM (Small Language Models). The ChatGPT experience has shown us that LLM’s are capable of incredible knowledge assimilation and extraction, it has also shown the world that these models are easy to use and have a rich and complex interface, natural language. Now is the time for us to explore models that are fine-tuned to domain specific topics, trained on curated data sets to target a very specific challenge.

2024 will, I hope, be the year we establish protection for the risks, invest in AI that solves real problems and we all take time to become better users of AI for our daily tasks.


Rebecca Johnson

Doctoral researcher in the ethics of generative AI at The University of Sydney and founder of

In 2023, AI ethics evolved from an obscure field to a key aspect of technological development, mirroring society’s growing focus on managing AI responsibly.

Key approaches include policy-setting, governance, and AI-ethics education in schools and public forums. Additionally, there’s increased interest from C-suite executives in leveraging AI opportunities while maintaining sustainable, responsible practices aligned with their brand and reputation.

“AI Ethicist” is now a rapidly emerging career title, with business schools and universities globally introducing Responsible AI courses and more people undertaking PhD doctorate work specifically grounded in this area. However, this growth has also spawned a wave of so-called “New York Minute AI experts” who often spread misinformation about AI. It’s vital for many representatives in society to engage in critical discussions about GenAI’s impact on humanity, but it’s also a time to recognise the emerging wave of university-trained AI-Ethics experts.

In 2024, I anticipate further growth of diverse AI experts from the social sciences, law, philosophy, education, and those with experiences of marginalization or disadvantage.

This shift to include more varied expertise in AI-Ethics will deepen understanding across all sectors, including Big Tech, governments, and multinationals.

For 2024, the trend is moving away from superficial ethics-washing and reliance on ‘instant experts’. Organisations will seek more formally trained, experienced AI ethicists from diverse disciplines, Different categories of AI-Ethicists will collaborate on projects to ensure the responsible creation and deployment of AI technologies, marking a significant step in ethical AI development.


And, for what it’s worth, here are my own seven views on what 2024 will bring for AI. Less foresight, more forecasting:

  • Relationship Crossroads: The Microsoft-OpenAI alliance may face headwinds due to divergent business priorities or ethical considerations. Meanwhile, a prominent AI model developer could become an attractive acquisition target for a tech giant seeking to bolster its AI arsenal.
  • A non-transformer-based AI model, potentially Mamba, could gain traction due to efficiency and criticism of transformers.
  • Generative AI will likely move beyond text and chatbots, integrating with wearable devices like glasses and robots. New hardware powered by AI: Amazon and Microsoft are predicted to enter the market with AI-powered devices, potentially challenging Apple and Samsung’s smartphone dominance.
  • AI-generated misinformation will potentially influence upcoming elections mainly via TikTok. It will create a demand for better detection, moderation tools and better privacy conversations.
  • China’s accelerated AI initiatives, spurred by external restrictions, could yield a domestic chip rivalling Nvidia’s A100s, intensifying global competition.
  • GPT Store will be a success.
  • We will see Australian Boards of Directors start using GAI

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Amy Webb, a notable figure in Strategic Foresight, predicted a 2024 landscape marked by consolidation in big tech as Generative AI reaches critical mass, with significant implications for CloudShare, privacy, and intellectual property rights.

Yet, as we digest these forecasts, let us recall Lee Hickin’s reminder: “The future of AI is not yet written. But be assured, it is being written by us, humans, not the AI.” These predictions, while insightful, serve as a canvas, not a decree.

The actual trajectory of AI in 2024 lies in our collective hands. It is an undeniably unpredictable, but infinitely malleable future. The next 12 months will prove instrumental in shaping what that future becomes.

Lucio Ribeiro is the Director of Marketing Digital and Innovation at the Seven Network. He is a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence applied to marketing, advertising and business. Having been elected one of the most influential online marketers in the world by Marketing Today, he is an MIT certified in artificial intelligence.

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