‘Overhyped’ generative AI will get a ‘cold shower’ in 2024, analysts predict

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) has been the talk of the town, but it seems that the hype surrounding this technology is about to face a reality check. Analyst firm CCS Insight predicts that in 2024, generative AI will receive a “cold shower” as the true costs, risks, and complexities associated with it replace the inflated expectations. While CCS Insight acknowledges the immense potential of AI, they believe that the obstacles to bringing generative AI to market are often underestimated.

One of the major challenges lies in the substantial computing power required to run generative AI models effectively. Companies like OpenAI, Google, Anthropic, and Synthesia rely on high-powered chips, such as advanced graphics processing units (GPUs) from Nvidia, to handle the complex mathematical models that power their AI applications. However, the cost of deploying and sustaining generative AI is becoming increasingly prohibitive, making it difficult for many organizations and developers to keep up.

Furthermore, CCS Insight predicts that AI regulation in the European Union (EU) will face its own set of hurdles. While the EU is expected to be the first to introduce specific AI regulations, the rapid advancement of AI technology will likely necessitate multiple revisions and redrafting of these regulations. The analysts suggest that the legislation will not be finalized until late 2024, leaving the industry to take initial steps towards self-regulation.

Generative AI has captured the imagination of technology enthusiasts, venture capitalists, and businesses alike. Its ability to produce human-like responses to text-based prompts has led to the creation of everything from Taylor Swift-style song lyrics to full-blown college essays. However, concerns have also arisen regarding the potential impact of this technology on employment and its advanced capabilities. Governments worldwide are calling for AI regulation, with the EU’s AI Act aiming to introduce a risk-based approach and restrict certain technologies like live facial recognition.

While some in the AI community view these regulations as overly restrictive, major players in the field, including OpenAI and Google, have expressed their support for regulation and the need for scrutiny and guardrails. The approaches to regulation may differ, but the consensus is that AI should be subject to oversight.

CCS Insight also predicts that internet search companies will soon introduce content warnings to indicate when material has been generated by AI. With an increasing number of AI-generated news stories containing factual errors and misinformation, such labeling could help combat the spread of false information, similar to the information labels introduced by social media platforms during the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a more concerning prediction, CCS Insight suggests that arrests for AI-based identity fraud will begin as early as 2024. The company highlights the customization potential of image generation and voice synthesis models, which can be used to impersonate individuals using publicly available data from social media. The implications of such deepfakes range from damage to personal and professional relationships to fraud in banking, insurance, and benefits.

While the future of generative AI may face challenges, it is important to remember the immense potential this technology holds. Companies like Google, Amazon, Qualcomm, and Meta continue to invest in AI, recognizing its significant impact on the economy and society at large. As the industry navigates the complexities of cost, regulation, and ethical considerations, the transformative power of AI remains a beacon of hope for increased productivity and positive societal change.

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