Generative AI (GenAI) has become a transformative force, surprising many with its advancements in 2023. What began as discussions confined to IT departments has now permeated boardroom conversations. However, despite its current prominence, we are still in the nascent stages of the AI revolution. Surveys consistently emphasize that GenAI is set to be a top priority for businesses in the upcoming year, playing a pivotal role in enterprise digital transformation as a key driver of innovation. Drawing from extensive exploration and collaboration on GenAI strategies for 2024, here are six predictions for the adoption of GenAI at the enterprise level in the coming year.
Enterprises Transition from GenAI POC to Pilots
The preceding year was dedicated to experimenting with GenAI through proof of concepts (POCs). Use cases ranged from internal productivity enhancements to integrating GenAI-enabled features into existing platforms. As enterprises continue to understand the basics of the technology, comprehending its potential and limitations, 2024 and 2025 is expected to witness a shift from mere POCs to the launch of pilot programs. This transition marks a maturation of GenAI initiatives within organizations.
RAG Architecture Dominates GenAI Projects
Currently, most GenAI projects adhere to the Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) architecture pattern based on cloud platforms. Major cloud service providers offer essential technology stacks, simplifying the creation of RAG-patterned AI POCs. However, these off-the-shelf projects often lack accuracy. Developers face challenges like document chunking, semantic caching, security concerns, audit trails, cost reporting, and observability that need addressing.
Anticipated for 2024 is a scenario where cloud providers enhance accessibility to RAG-driven GenAI services. Automated tools and resources are expected to be integrated to overcome existing challenges associated with deploying RAG patterns. This enhancement is likely to be a significant breakthrough, fostering higher adoption of RAG-driven GenAI services in enterprises.
GenAI as the Driver of Data Strategies
As enterprises progress beyond experimental stages, there is a realization that foundation models (FMs) and related GenAI cloud services are accessible to everyone, including competitors. The true differentiator will be the quality of the data fueling their AI initiatives. While most enterprise data infrastructure revolves around structured data in SQL databases, GenAI predominantly operates on unstructured data from sources like PDFs and Word files, which are often untapped.
In 2024, enterprise data strategy is expected to catch up with GenAI’s requirements. Organizations will start building data acquisition and processing pipelines for unstructured data using vector databases and embeddings. Prioritizing data quality checks to prevent bias will become essential. Enterprises that can extract value from their proprietary high-quality data through AI are poised to gain a competitive advantage in 2024 and beyond.
Emergence of Small Models
Recent years have seen the development of AI models, such as GPT, trained on vast amounts of data for various tasks. These large FMs form the core of GenAI, and their numbers are rapidly increasing. Research indicates that larger models gain new “emergent” capabilities. While GPT-4, with 1.76 trillion tunable parameters, is a substantial model, GPT-5 is anticipated to have around 17.5 trillion parameters.
However, the trend suggests that bigger doesn’t always mean better. Smaller models, trained on high-quality, domain-specific curated data, can deliver comparable performance to larger, generalized models. Microsoft’s recent release of Phi-2, a small-sized model trained on textbook-quality data with only 2.7 billion parameters, showcases this trend. Smaller models running on less powerful hardware are expected to bring GenAI into everyday devices such as phones, cars, and medical devices. In 2024, an abundance of smaller, powerful models tailored for specialized tasks is expected to emerge.
Experimentation with Open-Source Models
Popular FMs like GPT-4 and Anthropic, currently under experimentation by enterprises, are commercial models deployed on the cloud and accessible through a simple API. While these models gain popularity due to ease of use, rapid deployment, and a straightforward pay-as-you-go pricing model, concerns related to data privacy, security, and intellectual property (IP) rights persist. Additionally, initial low experimentation costs can quickly escalate as GenAI applications scale in production with more content and users.
Open-source FMs present a solution to privacy and cost concerns, although they lag in response accuracy and performance. Meta’s open-source model, Llama2, has made notable strides in improving response quality. In 2024, enterprises are expected to experiment with small-sized, open-source, self-hosted FMs, especially for their privacy, security, and IP-related advantages, along with the flexibility to fine-tune for specific domains.
Multimodal Models Transform the Tech Stack
The introduction of Google’s Gemini marks a new era for GenAI. Multimodal models, like Gemini, can simultaneously analyze data from various sources, including text, code, images, audio, and video. This approach closely mirrors how the human brain learns, providing AI with a more comprehensive understanding of context, crucial for generating richer responses.
Multimodal models are anticipated to shift GenAI from cognitive search to rich content generation. Enterprises across diverse industries are expected to explore new use cases made possible by multimodal models, disrupting the entire GenAI tech stack and driving an increased adoption of such models.
Latest Industry Data and Trends
The latest industry data indicates a surge in GenAI adoption across sectors. Businesses are increasingly recognizing the transformative potential of GenAI in enhancing efficiency, decision-making, and customer experiences. The financial industry, Fintech’s in particular, is witnessing a rapid integration of GenAI for risk assessment, fraud detection, and personalized financial advice.
Moreover, healthcare organizations are leveraging GenAI for diagnostic purposes, drug discovery, and personalized treatment plans. The retail sector is adopting GenAI to provide personalized recommendations, optimize supply chains, and enhance the overall shopping experience.
As the industry data reflects a growing reliance on GenAI, the trends for 2024 suggest a deeper integration of AI technologies into core business processes. From customer service chatbots to predictive maintenance in manufacturing, GenAI is becoming the linchpin of innovation and operational excellence.
Continued Expansion: GenAI’s Role in Transforming Industries
The continued expansion of GenAI is not limited to specific sectors; its transformative influence spans industries, reshaping the way organizations operate. In the financial sector, GenAI is anticipated to revolutionize customer interactions by offering more personalized and data-driven financial advice. Enhanced fraud detection mechanisms powered by GenAI algorithms will be pivotal in safeguarding financial transactions.
Healthcare is poised for a significant GenAI revolution as the technology is leveraged for quicker and more accurate diagnostic processes. Drug discovery, often a time-consuming endeavor, will witness accelerated timelines, resulting in the faster development of life-saving medications. Personalized treatment plans based on individual patient data will become the norm, ushering in a new era of patient-centric healthcare.
The retail landscape is undergoing a GenAI-driven makeover with personalized recommendations becoming increasingly sophisticated. Supply chain optimization through predictive analytics will ensure smoother operations and reduced costs. Furthermore, immersive shopping experiences, augmented by GenAI, will redefine customer engagement.
Manufacturing is on the brink of a GenAI-led transformation, with predictive maintenance becoming a game-changer. By analyzing vast amounts of data from machinery and equipment, GenAI algorithms can predict potential issues, enabling proactive maintenance measures. This not only reduces downtime but also extends the lifespan of critical assets, contributing to overall operational efficiency.
Conclusion: Navigating the GenAI Landscape in 2024
In conclusion, the trajectory of GenAI in 2023 showcased its transition into mainstream applications, with technologists introducing a wave of innovations for practical use across industries. As we approach 2024, the outlook is promising, with enterprises poised to transition from AI POCs to pilot programs, leveraging the latest models, patterns, and cloud services. The industry trends reflect a widespread embrace of GenAI, underscoring its role as a catalyst for innovation and operational excellence.
The continued expansion of GenAI across sectors underscores its transformative influence, reshaping industries and redefining traditional processes. As organizations gear up to navigate the GenAI landscape in 2024, the key lies in harnessing the power of smaller models, embracing open-source solutions, and exploring the potential of multimodal models to drive richer responses.
The journey from IT staff to the boardroom signifies a broader organizational acknowledgment of GenAI’s strategic importance. As GenAI becomes an integral part of enterprise-level decision-making, it’s crucial for organizations to stay abreast of the latest trends, leverage industry data, and adopt a proactive approach to navigate the evolving landscape of AI technologies. In doing so, businesses can position themselves not just as adopters but as innovators, driving the transformative potential of GenAI to new heights in the digital age.