2024 Trends: AI, VR, and The First AI-First Startup
Via Totally Unreliable Future Spying Methods
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I’ve always been torn on writing predictions for the year ahead; thus, I haven’t been doing them for the last few years.
There are too many uncertainties in the world, and in retrospect, that was a wise decision. Covid, the war in Ukraine, and whatnot tend to send predictions off a cliff without waving goodbye.
As mentioned here, at least in half of the articles from last year, the world is also evolving at an ever-increasing pace. These two factors make predicting the future even harder.
Lastly, even though we tend to apply different problem-solving methods in our space, the underlying problems are usually relatively stable - I guess most of us will be tasked with solving salary reviews this year. And making sure we have a suitable organizational model. And hire people. And so on.
But even so, I’ll give it a shot.
It will, of course, be AI-focused.
Primarily, we all can gather here at the end of 2024 and laugh at my predictions.
AI plateaus (in peoples’ minds)
”We wanted an automated HRBP, and all we got was a hallucinating ChatGPT.”
Wait what? Aren’t you the AI for work advocate in shiny new armor?
I am certain I’ll stay positive about the benefits of AI during 2024, but I think there are inflated expectations about the magic of AI.
We've heard all this hype. For good reasons, we attribute a lot of changes to AI, but we don’t acknowledge that most organizations are supertankers. And supertankers, as we all know, take some time to turn. Sometimes, they even get stuck.
My friend Sara always says that AI is just like every other change management project, and she is right. And change takes time. And effort.
Most people haven’t invested the time or the effort; thus, they will see little change, and thus, AI will not be the magic tool it could be.
Hence, the plateau.
That does not mean that AI won’t be magic and won’t be a topic - I’m very certain that it will be, but I anticipate the AI-resistant movement to be a bit louder in 2024.
After writing this, Gartner launched an updated version of the hype cycle where they put GenAI as on the “Peak of inflated expectations.” - I think they call it too early, but they are at least partly seeing what I’m seeing.
The first AI-first company challenges the industry.
"We don’t need HR, we have ChatGPT.”
On the other end of the spectrum, we’ll see the first major AI company rise to prominence in 2024. And no, I’m not talking about a company that does AI bots; I’m talking about a company in another niche that heavily utilizes AI instead of humans.
A company that could have been a 500-people-strong start-up but instead is a 100-people start-up, operating with speed, efficiency, and profit.
They’ve done this out of necessity. Cash has been hard to come by, investors have been picky, but AI models have been cheap.
They’ve questioned every hiring decision: “Is there an AI for that?”. Where applicable, they’ve turned to an AI-first solution instead of a human filling the role.
They will challenge existing players with lower operating costs, thus having higher margins and operating at profit way sooner than most start-ups have in the last decade.
If you are among the few who read FullStack HR before the AI Hype hit with full force, you know I’ve been writing about the Metaverse a lot.
Believe it or not, I’m more positive than ever that we’ll see breakthroughs in VR in the coming year. Apple releases its Vision Pro in less than a month and usually makes a dent with its tech.
I'm not saying that people will rush to buy the very expensive Vision Pro, but we can be fairly certain they will push the VR adoption forward.
Meta is still investing heavily in the space. Their smart glasses are progressing (and have AI embedded), and I would guess that the next iteration of the glasses is to have AR capability.
And no, I don’t think 2024 will be the year where we’ll do all our meetings in the Metaverse, but this year will be yet another step towards that future.
Oh, by the way, I stumble across this from CES earlier this week - Holoconnects creates a more realistic avatar of you, and yes, it’s a big box yet, but I bet that someone will figure out a way to make these smaller or even integrate them into our existing monitors.
What do you think the big trends will be in 2024?