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Forrester: Generative AI is top emerging technology in 2023

The hype of ChatGPT may have contributed to the increasing interest in generative AI, which resulted in the technology topping the list of Forrester, a research and advisory firm.

According to Forrester, enterprises can look forward to a “significant” return on investments in the next two to four years. However, companies need to be aware of the risks adopting generative AI entails. 

Along with this development is conversational AI, which is powered by generative AI, coming in second in the emerging technologies in 2023. Forrester also noted that e-commerce and customer service functions will have the most use of this technology.

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“While many emerging technologies show great promise, it is imperative for tech leaders to assess whether these technologies can deliver value and if their business can navigate their associated risks,” said Brian Hopkins, VP for emerging technology portfolio, Forrester. 

The other emerging technologies that will impact businesses in the next two to four years include: 

  • Decentralized Digital Identity (DDID). DDID will ultimately replace physical proof-of-identity documents, with financial services, government, and education likely to benefit most. Blockchains and zero-knowledge proofs will play a substantial role in this slow transformation. 
  • Edge Intelligence. Turning massive data sets produced by computer vision and sensors into real-time action requires more intelligent software running at the edge of business and consumer networks. Customer digital experiences will benefit from edge intelligence the most. 
  • Explainable AI (XAI). To be useful, new AI software needs to be trustworthy, which means it must be explainable. While XAI capabilities are still immature, this technology will see its greatest utilization in highly regulated and high-risk use cases in the finance and healthcare sectors. 
  • TuringBots. There has been a dramatic acceleration in the number and capability of TuringBots, AI-powered software robots that help developers build applications. In two to four years, a substantial part of enterprise applications could be generated by this technology. 

Some emerging technologies that will take at least five years to deliver tangible value for enterprises include:  

  • Extended Reality (XR). Only 20% of US online adults are comfortable using virtual reality or augmented reality to consume information, which means that XR will take more years of hardware innovation and consumer adoption. In the short term, enterprises will benefit in the areas of employee training and onboarding. 
  • Web3. Despite its promise of a new, more democratic web, Web3 remains a self-referencing ecosystem of financial engineering fraught with risk and scandal. Key technical challenges surrounding web3 still exist for enterprises, including scaling and security, identity and key management, and privacy. 
  • Zero Trust Edge (ZTE). ZTE embeds Zero Trust security principles into software-defined networks that are deployed to offices and physical spaces but controlled centrally via the cloud. The improved security and performance promised by these tools will take more time as security and networking vendor offerings merge and mature. 

 “Firms must also ensure that their time frame for implementing these technologies is commensurate with their overall risk/reward tolerance,” said Hopkins.

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