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15 big ideas that will revolutionize industries and economies, led by AI

These innovations will change business during the next decade and beyond, according to ARK Invest, and AI will play a significant role.
Written by Vala Afshar, Contributing Writer
ARK Invest logo on phone balanced on keyboard
SOPA Images/Contributor/Getty Images

More tech-led transformation is coming and artifical intelligence (AI) will be at the heart of that change, says a report by ARK Invest, which is an investment management firm that focuses on disruptive innovation in public equity markets. 

"We're all about finding the next big thing. Those hewing to the benchmarks, which are backwards looking, are not about the future. They are about what has worked. We're all about what is going to work," says Cathie Wood, founder, CEO, and chief investment officer of ARK. 

Also: 4 ways to help your organization overcome AI inertia

ARK publishes a Big Ideas report annually, which provides a comprehensive analysis of technological convergence and its potential to revolutionize industries and economies:

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

The ARK Big Ideas 2024 report is titled 'Disrupting the Norm, Defining the Future' and it highlights 15 big ideas, which are: 

  1. Technological Convergence - The global equity market value associated with disruptive innovation could increase to 60% by 2030.
  2. Artificial Intelligence - Scaling global intelligence and redefining work: AI training costs should continue to fall 75% per year.
  3. Smart Contracts - Powering the internet-native financial system, smart contract networks could generate fees of $450bn in 2030.
  4. Digital Wallets - Digital wallets could grow select vertical software platforms' revenues to $27-$50bn in 2030.
  5. Robotics - Generalizing automation, thanks to the convergence of AI software and hardware. Generalizable robotics represent a $24 trillion-plus global revenue opportunity.
  6. Digital Consumers - Transitioning toward digital leisure, where spending could teach $23 trillion in 2030.
  7. Electric Vehicles - Lower battery costs powering adoption mean EV sales could reach 74 million in 2030.
  8. Robotaxis - Robotaxi platforms could create $28 trillion in enterprise value in 2030.
  9. Multiomic Tools & Technology - Translating biological insights into economic value: R&D spending could decline by more than 25%, thanks to multiomic tools and technology.
  10. Reusable Rockets - Satellite connectivity revenues could exceed $130bn per year in 2030.
  11. Autonomous Logistics - Global autonomous delivery revenue could reach $900bn by 2030.
  12. Bitcoin Allocation - Growing the role of bitcoin in investment portfolios. During the last seven years, bitcoin's annualized return has averaged around 44%.
  13. Bitcoin in 2023 - After challenges in 2022, bitcoin's price surged 155% last year, reaching $827 billion in market cap.
  14. Precision Therapies - Curing disease more efficiently and less expensively. The enterprise value of companies focused on precision therapies could reach $4.5 trillion by 2030.
  15. 3D Printing - Revenues could grow 40% at an annual rate to $180bn by 2030.
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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

The 2024 Big Ideas report by ARK identifies five innovation platforms converging and defining the technological era: AI, public blockchains, energy storage, robotics, and multiomic sequencing. ARK also looks at the historic impact of converging technologies and estimated economic impacts. 

The company identifies AI as the central technology catalyst. Let's take a deeper dive into the AI chapter of the 2024 BIg Ideas report. 

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

AI: Redefining Work

The research suggests coding assistants are early success stories that have boosted the productivity and job satisfaction of software developers. AI-powered assistants are increasing the performance of knowledge workers and, interestingly, benefiting underperforming workers relatively more than high performers:

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

Foundational models are improving across domains. With larger training datasets and more parameters, GPT-4 outperforms GPT-3.5 significantly. Increasingly, foundation models are becoming "multimodal" -- supporting text, images, audio, and video -- and are not only more dynamic and user-friendly, but also more performant. The analysis says the cost of authoring the written word has collapsed:

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

AI-training performance is rapidly improving. What's more, training costs should continue to fall 75% per year.  The research notes that after focusing initially on large language model (LLM) training-cost optimization, researchers are now prioritizing inference costs. Based on enterprise-scale use cases, inference costs seem to be falling at an annual rate of around 86%, which is even faster than the fall in training costs. Today, the inference costs associated with GPT-4 Turbo are lower than those for GPT-3 a year ago:

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

The open-source community is competing with private models. ARK states that the performance of open-source models is improving faster than closed-source models. LLM performance advances will require nuanced techniques, with the Stanford HELM framework highlighted as an example in the report. 

Also: Why open-source generative AI models are still a step behind GPT-4

ARK also notes that computing power and high-quality training data appear to be the primary contributors to model performance. As models grow and require more training data, will a lack of fresh data cause model performance to plateau? Research institute Epoch AI estimates that high-quality language/data sources, such as books and scientific papers, could be exhausted by 2024, although a larger set of untapped vision data still exists:

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

The reserach suggests the acceleration of employee productivity using AI could have a multi-trillion dollar impact. AI has the potential to automate most tasks in knowledge-based professions by 2030, dramatically increasing the average worker's productivity. Software solutions that automate and accelerate knowledge work tasks should be prime beneficiaries:

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

The ARK Invest Big Idea 2024 report is the gold standard for detailing the disruptive technologies that will shape industries and economies for the next decade. The summary of the report's AI chapter includes potential possibilities for AI beyond 2030, and potential scenarios by 2040: 

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ARK Invest 2024 Big Ideas

The report also includes other great content. The Digital Consumer and Digital Wallet chapters of the report are important for business leaders in any sector and any size. For example, the report suggests social commerce should grow 32% at an annual rate, from $730bn today to over $5 trillion in 2030. 

Also: Five ways to use AI responsibly

The Big Ideas report is a comprehensive study of disruptive technologies, with more than 160 pages of analysis. To learn more about the research, you can visit here.

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