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Cisco Identifies Major AI Trends for 2024


Developments in Artificial intelligence (AI) have been impacting businesses, governments, and economies across the world, and the Middle East is no exception. Advancements in AI, especially generative AI (GenAI), are leading to a once-in-a-generation shift. This is opening vast new opportunities and transforming industries, modes of operation, and career paths.

The Cisco AI Readiness Index has revealed that 95% of respondents have an AI strategy in place or under development, but only 14% are fully ready to integrate AI into their business. In the UAE, the Index indicated that strategy readiness stands out as the most developed aspect, with 73% of organizations deemed “fully prepared”.

Cisco’s AI predictions for 2024 focus on what organizations can do to adopt and integrate AI while adopting trust and security measures and regulations, and how innovators can leverage that technology to remain competitive.

Reem Asaad, Vice President, Cisco Middle East and Africa, commented, “The immense potential of AI and data analytics is expected to generate monumental benefits for the Middle East. The region is continuously pioneering technology adoption, and we are seeing companies exploring new ways to harness the power of AI for operational efficiency, revenue and market share growth, and harnessing innovation to adapt to customer needs.”

She added, “This year’s AI trends reflect a deepening sophistication and caution in AI development and deployment strategies, with an eye to ethics, safety and the evolving regulatory landscape. Trust between people and the AI systems and tools they use is fundamental and non-negotiable. That means providing clarity on what AI can and cannot do with new data transparency and responsibility frameworks, new efforts to educate people and businesses about how disruption might happen, teaching the skills that will be needed for new AI-enabling and -enabled jobs, and new ways to collaborate with the best interests of people at heart. At Cisco, we are already integrating differentiated AI capabilities into our portfolio — and doing it responsibly.  We see a future with AI that’s innovative, efficient, and trustworthy, not to mention more sustainable and equitable.”

GenAI will quickly expand into the business world with GenAI-powered NLIs, customized LLMs, tailored B2B applications and business contextNatural language interfaces (NLIs) powered by GenAI will be expected for new products and more than half will have this by default by the end of 2024. GenAI will also be leveraged in B2B interactions with users demanding more contextualized, personalized, and integrated solutions. As a result, observability for AI will grow.

A movement for responsible, ethical use of AI will begin with clear AI governance frameworks that respect human rights and values – The adoption of AI is sitting at the intersection of innovation and trust. Yet, 76% of organizations don’t have comprehensive AI policies in place. There is mostly general agreement that we need regulations/policy and industry self-policing and governance to mitigate the risks from GenAI.

We must also ensure that consumers have access to and control over their data. With the rising importance of AI systems, available public data will soon hit a ceiling and high-quality language data will likely be exhausted before 2026. Organizations need to shift to private and/or synthetic data which opens the possibility for unintended access and usage.

Consumers and companies will face increased risks from AI-generated disinformation, scams, and fraud, prompting tech companies and governments to work together for solutions – In 2024, AI-enabled disinformation, scams, and fraud will continue to grow as a threat to businesses, people, and even candidates and elections. In response, we’ll see more investments in detection and risk mitigation.

We’ll also see more collaboration between the private sector and governments to raise threat awareness and implement verification and security measures. Businesses must prioritize advanced threat detection and data protection, regular vulnerability assessments, updating security systems, and thorough audits of network infrastructures. For consumers, vigilance will be key to protecting identities, savings, and credit.

Unleashing the future of AI-driven customization, enterprises will embrace the power and potential of API abstraction – In the year ahead, businesses will seek innovative ways to leverage the immense power and benefits of AI without the complexity and cost of building their platforms. Application programming interfaces (APIs) will play a pivotal role. With access to a vast array of AI capabilities through APIs, teams will automate repetitive tasks, gain deeper insights from data, and enhance decision-making.

This year will also mark the beginning of a race to API-driven customization where organizations can choose and combine APIs from various providers, easily tailoring AI solutions to meet unique and novel requirements.

Continued modernization will yield collaboration, modern converged platforms, and a little help from AI, to reveal a new programming experience – and better software – As organizations continue to modernize, software development will change with novel tools, approaches, and technologies. Programmers will leverage platforms and collaboration – and even a little help from AI – to centralize toolkits and unlock newfound efficiency so they can focus on delivering exceptional digital experiences.

Some will continue struggling with disparate point solutions, leaving security gaps and software supply chain issues. Innovators will use AI to speed up delivery and handle tedious tasks like testing for defects and errors. Along the way, collaboration tools and AI assistants will be trusted companions as teams tackle the intricacies of security, observability, and infrastructure. Human checks and balances must ensure AI-based decisions are fair, unbiased, and aligned with ethical and moral values. We believe AI should augment human decision-making, not replace it entirely.

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