Forrester shares its top 10 emerging technology trends for 2024

Forrester is revealing its top 10 emerging technology trends for 2024, which is a list it puts together every year based on the trends its analysts are seeing.

According to Brian Hopkins, VP of the emerging tech portfolio at Forrester, the evolution of AI agents is the most exciting development this year. AI agents are also a factor in several other technologies on the list: TuringBot agents, edge intelligence, autonomous mobility, and extended reality.

“Building upon last year’s concept of autonomous workplace assistants, AI agents are now leveraging advanced language models to perform complex tasks, make decisions, and interact autonomously on behalf of enterprises or individuals. This shift from purely generative AI to “agentic AI” promises more sophisticated and less brittle automation capabilities,” Hopkins wrote in a post

TuringBots is Forrester’s name for AI assisted software that helps developers plan, design, build, test, and deploy application code. Previously Forrester had predicted that the value timeline for TuringBots would be 5-10 years, but they’ve now shortened that to 1-2 years. 

Edge intelligence — the incorporation of AI into edge devices — is another area that is continuing to evolve. Forrester pointed to Apple’s Apple Intelligence announcement as an example, as Apple stated that its AI system would run directly on devices. 

Autonomous mobility — AI agents deployed to vehicles — will also be bolstered by edge intelligence and agents. Forrester expects that applications in shipping, physical space management, and public transportation could be seen in the next 2-5 years.

Agents will also improve extended reality (XR) and set it up to change user interfaces in the future. XR can enable users to interact with interfaces with things like voice, gestures, and eye movements. 

Additionally, generative AI remains on the list this year, but the company decided to split the category into two: generative AI for language (processing and producing text-based information) and generative AI for visual content (generating images and videos).

“This division reflects the rapid advancement and diverging applications of these technologies,” Hopkins wrote. 

Moving on from AI, the final three emerging technologies revolve around security. IoT security is on the list because of the continued proliferation of smart devices and the need to securely deploy and manage them. 

Zero Trust edge (also on last year’s list) brings together networking and security tools into a cloud-based service to help secure remote environments using the principles of Zero Trust.

And finally, quantum security was added to this year’s list. Even though quantum computers are many years away from being able to break current encryption protocols, it’s important to begin preparing by developing quantum-resistant algorithms and cryptographic agility. 

“The inclusion of these security technologies underscores a crucial point: The future belongs to those with the foresight and will to invest in security now. As AI capabilities expand, so do the potential vulnerabilities that malicious actors can exploit,” Hopkins wrote. 


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