6 tech predictions for 2024: Hard Fork podcast dives into the future

As 2023 draws to a close and the world starts prepping for a new year, the hosts of the Hard Fork podcast, Kevin Roose and Casey Newton, donned holiday sweaters to share their tech predictions for 2024. The final Hard Fork episode of the year was a lively and often hilarious affair, with the discussion covering everything from the fate of social media platforms to the potential resurgence of the metaverse.

Roose and Newton, two of the most entertaining tech podcasters working today, also reviewed their tech predictions for 2023 from a year ago, to see how right (and how wrong) they were.

For example, anticipated legal developments, such as the Supreme Court upholding social media laws in Texas and Florida, did not come to pass. “I predicted that the Supreme Court will uphold the Texas and Florida social media laws and make content moderation illegal there, and this has not happened yet,” admitted Newton.

Roose had predicted that Tiktok would be banned in the USA during 2023, but that did not pan out either.

But of most interest were their predictions for 2024, which we have outlined here.

Also read: How the fashion industry is using XR tech to unleash a stylish, 21st century revolution

Prediction #1: Threads overtakes X in Daily users

Newton predicts that the Meta platform Threads will surpass Elon Musk’s X in terms of daily users.

Newton said: “The Economist Tyler Cowan wrote a blog post this month where he said that essentially things are going much better on X than the media would have you believe…I don’t see that happening. I believe that by the end of 2024, it is going to be the text-based social platform of choice for the most daily users.”

Prediction #2: Lawless LLM chatbot will get 10 million daily active users

Roose thinks a chatbot that is not restricted in ways that ChatGPT or Bard are, will be created and gain a significant following.

Roose said: “I just think we are starting to see a kind of backlash to what people feel are the overly restrictive policies that some of these chatbot makers have. … we are going to see these open source models getting good enough that someone is just going to take one of them, take all of the guardrails off, put a chatbot interface, and put it online, and I think that will be a very popular product.”

Prediction #3: Google’s LLM catches up to OpenAI

The prediction suggests that Google’s large language model (LLM) will catch up to OpenAI’s LLM in terms of quality and performance.

Newton said: “I think it is very possible that the end of next year Open AI’s best product still is a little bit better than Google’s best product, I just think it is going to matter less because I think Google is going to get better and better at figuring out how to get its large language models in front of you. So I think next year you start to see the differences in quality between the LLMs matter less and distribution matters more, and Google is very good at distribution.”

Prediction #4: White collar workers will defend against AI-related job losses

The podcast predicts that white-collar workers in industries like law, finance, media and tech will start unionizing to counteract job losses caused by AI.

Roose said: “I think that 2024 may be the year that we start to see workers take real action to stand up and say, ‘This technology is happening, we’re worried about what it means for the future of our work, and we’re going to unionize in order to be able to bargain collectively about it.'”

Prediction #5: Apple’s Vision Pro will revive interest in XR and the metaverse

The podcast anticipates that Apple’s mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro, will be successful enough to reignite interest in mixed reality and the metaverse.

Newton said: “I do want to stress this is a low-confidence prediction, but Apple is the best in the world at creating tech status symbols and when this thing comes out it is going to be a an object of fascination, I think rich people are going to clamour to get them, they’ll be bragging to all their friends about what they’re doing in them and I do think that that could offer a little ground swell of support for the Metaverse.

Prediction #6: Elon Musk will get his own Hunter Biden laptop scandal

Roose’s final prediction suggests that Elon Musk will be involved in a scandal similar to the Hunter Biden laptop incident during the 2020 U.S. election, in which Twitter’s then owner Jack Dorsey was accused of censorship when he minimised access to a controversial article about Biden’s laptop that appeared in the New York Post.

Quote: “I think that in 2024, we may see a similar October surprise from the other side, and I think that when that happens, when there’s something about Donald Trump or whoever the Republican nominee is that Elon Musk doesn’t like…he is going to decide to throttle access to it or cut it off, thereby replicating the exact mirror image of the situation that made him so pissed off that he bought Twitter in the first place.”

So, Roose and Newton have had their say – what about you? Leave your own tech predictions for 2024 in the comments below.


James Durston

James Durston is the Editor-in-Chief for Blue Tech Wave, and a former editor and journalist for some of the world's biggest international media organisations.

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