From generative to specialized to autonomous AI, 2024 will be marked by its cautious adoption, regulated evolution, and sandboxed experimentation.

What AI and automation trends are in store for the world next year? Here are three worth keeping tabs on:

    1. LLMs will power virtual BFFs
      A synergy of automation, generative AI, and specialized AI is propelling the capabilities of ‘virtual aides’ to unparalleled levels of proactivity, intuition, and communication. This is reinventing how we work with machines and ushering in a boom in productivity.

      Just like the best human assistants, ‘autopilots’ can quickly learn to complete a wide range of activities and take proactive steps to make workflows faster and smoother.

      Some virtual aide capabilities include:

      • copying and pasting images into web forms, spreadsheets, and enterprise software systems (ERPs, CRMs, etc.) with minimal training
      • reading and responding to emails
      • extracting attachments and generating reports.
      • understand work contexts and manual tasks
      • create automations to replace repetitive work

      The accessibility and ease of adoption offered by virtual aides could make it a staple in work environments across the region, especially since the majority of knowledge workers are eligible for AI-powered assistance. Implementing virtual aides can contribute to enhancing overall productivity and well-being, marking a significant step toward a more efficient and sustainable work cultures.

    2. AI will boost automation and self-automation capabilities
      Ironically, automation has historically required a considerable amount of manual work to be made fully functional. This paradigm will shift in the coming year, with the emergence of “hands-free” enhancements in automation — all of which will help significantly reduce the time, expertise, and effort needed for fueling intelligent automated workflows.

      No-code capabilities will allow teams to seamlessly convert natural language into automations for workflows, test cases, process mining, and individual tasks. Meanwhile, new generative AI and analytic techniques will streamline the process of behavior modeling, automating laborious tasks in model training, including reading documents, parsing unstructured communications, and extracting, compiling, and entering data.

      In addition to detecting issues in execution, automations will be able to self-correct and autonomously address identified problems. These self-correction capabilities will further solidify the role of automation in addressing technical challenges, and serve as a foundation of innovation and true digital transformation across the region.

    3. Safe AI will become leaders’ key focus for action and innovation
      While there is an absence of a universal AI regulatory standard at this point, governments in the region are already proactively taking measures to build a trusted AI framework that prioritizes privacy, security, and ethical data handling practices. For instance, Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the AI Verify Foundation recently launched an “evaluation Sandbox” to support new benchmarks for evaluating generative AI.

      Amid evolving data privacy and protection regulations around AI, C-suites will take serious steps to counter the potential risks for AI misuse and miscalculation. Consequently, this will give rise to new safeguards and innovations that will refine the AI risk-benefit equation.

      Effective AI governance will become paramount for achieving robust AI outcomes. In 2024, an increasing number of organizations will witness the evolution of AI governance — from aspiration to implementation guided by innovation — as enterprise software companies build AI controls into their own offerings.

AI providers and scientists will shift their focus towards constructing additional layers of trust so that organizations can confidently leverage new AI capabilities with the knowledge that their data is secure.