This year promises a profound reconfiguration in our technological landscape. From seamless connectivity offered by the Internet of Things (IoT) to the revolutionary potential of Blockchain, Cybersecurity’s fortification, and Greentech’s sustainability drive, these advancements lay the groundwork for a revolutionary year. Yet, amid this mosaic of technological marvels, three pivotal forces—Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital Engineering (DE), and Design—emerge as not just trends but as transformative spearheads set to redefine industries, reshape societies, and fundamentally alter the human experience in 2024 and beyond. AI-powered decision-making and task automation will revolutionise industries. The fusion of hardware and software in Digital Engineering will blur boundaries, allowing quick prototyping. Design, merged with aesthetics and function, will drive user-centric solutions.

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The Rise of Versatile Solutions

Looking ahead to 2024, we can expect AI to play an increasingly important role in improving business operations and enhancing customer experiences. B2B enterprises will be able to optimise their operations and enhance their products by leveraging AI, while creative ventures will be able to scale their creativity using AI-powered contact centre solutions like Contact Center AI (CCAI) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS). These solutions will help improve the quality of customer service by empowering human agents to identify purchase intent, provide real-time support, and offer step-by-step assistance.

One of the most exciting developments in AI is the use of foundational models (FMs), which will enable the creation of even more powerful Generative AI (GenAI) applications. For example, in the healthcare industry, GenAI can be used to develop personalised healthcare solutions by extracting insights from diverse data types like medical images, patient records, and genetic information. By automating these time-consuming tasks, healthcare professionals can focus on delivering better patient care. In the years ahead, we can expect to see tailored AI models developed for each industry, using Large Language Models (LLMs) in pilot projects. These solutions promise to be easily achievable and cost-effective, making AI accessible to more businesses than ever before.

A significant number of organisations, around 60%, have either started formal steps or already matured in adopting Responsible AI (RAI) practices. Additionally, around 30% have a basic understanding of RAI principles. This is a positive step that will encourage the creation of more robust industrial policies and strategies that promote RAI adoption. It is important to be mindful and cautious while integrating these innovations. By doing so, we will ensure progress and sustainable growth for humanity.

Digital Engineering: An Unmatched Opportunity for Businesses

Digital Engineering is an unparalleled catalyst for business metamorphosis, harnessing a technological matrix. India’s ascent as a digital engineering hub looms promisingly on the horizon, and it is set to play a pivotal role in the growth narrative across sectors in the coming years. According to NASSCOM, India maintains a digital engineering share of 28-30% in the overall Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) revenue as of FY22, solidifying its position as a frontrunner in this transformative journey. Digital twins will be crucial in the upcoming years as they enhance predictive capabilities, enable remote monitoring, streamline decision-making, and facilitate innovation. For instance, a banking institution can utilise digital twins to create virtual representations of their customer service processes by simulating the end-to-end customer journey, from account opening to loan approvals, allowing for real-time analysis of data points. By leveraging this technology, banks can optimise processes, predict customer needs, and personalise services, enhancing the overall customer experience. As the digital engineering space matures, its potential to redefine industries and create novel solutions remains an exciting promise, shaping a landscape where innovation and technological integration are cornerstones of success.

Design: Crafting Transformative Experiences

As technology continues to evolve, the fusion of design and tech architecture is driving innovation forward. Design is no longer just a visual embellishment but an essential force that shapes the user experience and creates immersive and intuitive narratives. For example, in the gaming realm, integrating virtual reality (VR) and intricate design has created immersive ecosystems that blend seamlessly with players' sensory inputs. As technology and design continue to evolve, the transformative impact of 3D modelling and printing, animation, and adaptive interfaces promises to revolutionise tech experiences in the near future. Designing for accessibility is also crucial for ensuring technology is inclusive, diverse, and ever-evolving.

As we move towards a future where AI, design, and digital engineering are at the forefront of innovation, we have the potential to make significant improvements in our daily lives and tackle global challenges with unprecedented effectiveness. However, the key here is readiness and adaptability to these transformative changes.

(Atul Soneja is the Chief Operating Officer of Tech Mahindra)

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