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AI's expanding role: SAS's 2024 predictions unveiled
Fri, 1st Dec 2023

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ubiquitous and its potential impact on various sectors is significant, according to industry-specific predictions from SAS, the leader in AI and analytics. SAS executives and experts predict key trends and crucial business and technology developments in AI for the year ahead.

Technologies such as Generative AI, according to SAS's Chief Technology Officer, Bryan Harris, are set to augment, not replace, comprehensive AI strategies in various sectors. Organisations are expected to integrate Generative AI as a complement to their respective AI strategies. In banking, for instance, simulated data for stress testing and scenario analysis will aid in predicting risks and preventing losses. In the healthcare sector, it can facilitate the generation of individualised treatment plans, whereas in manufacturing, Generative AI can simulate production to identify opportunities for improving quality, reliability, maintenance, energy efficiency, and yield.

Contrary to concerns in 2023 about the potential job losses due to artificial intelligence, the focus in 2024 will be on the job creation potential of AI, states Udo Sglavo, Vice President of Advanced Analytics at SAS. The emergence of new roles, such as "prompt engineering", which bridges a model's potential with its real-world application, is one such instance, he said. Although, the introduction of new AI technologies in 2024 and beyond may cause short-term disruptions in the job market, the resulting creation of new jobs and roles will strategically enable economic growth, notes Mr. Sglavo.

Among the predictions for artificial intelligence in 2024, SAS experts also anticipate considerable developments in fields such as responsible marketing, fraud protection in financial firms, government operations, patient care in healthcare, and climate risk management in insurance. Jennifer Chase, Chief Marketing Officer at SAS, underscores the necessity for responsible marketing, drawing attention to the fallibility of AI and the potential for bias. To combat this, SAS Marketing is deploying 'model cards', akin to an ingredient list for effective and fair AI algorithms.

Simultaneously, AI is expected to play a crucial role in addressing complex challenges, like the increasing fraud vigilance owing to generative AI and 'deepfake' technology, and CIOs grappling with 'shadow AI', as pointed out by Stu Bradley, Senior Vice President of Risk, Fraud and Compliance Solutions at SAS and Jay Upchurch, Chief Information Officer at SAS, respectively. Furthermore, multimodal AI and AI simulation are set to reach new frontiers, with potential applications in augmented reality [AR], virtual reality [VR], and simulating complex physical systems like digital twins, remarks Marinela Profi, AI/Generative AI Strategy Advisor at SAS.

From a public health perspective, AI is set to transform interventions, with a significant uptick in academic researchers conducting AI-driven modelling and forecasting on the government's behalf, says Dr. Meghan Schaeffer, National Public Health Advisor and Epidemiologist at SAS.