Tech went AI-ready at CES 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI), ever heard of it?

Unless you are a native of the cannibal Korowai people from Papua New Guinea, AI has been nigh unavoidable of late, and at the year’s first big tech event, CES 2024 in Las Vegas, AI was seemingly everywhere and in everything.

It’s not surprising if we’re honest. While every big tech company is currently chasing down OpenAI and its ChatGPT platform to be the generative AI provider du jour, it looks like the manufacturers of consumer electronics are also jumping on the AI wave.

Over the past week, nearly every new notebook that was revealed made mention of either being AI-ready or featuring silicon that was suitable for use on AI-related tasks and applications. Is adding access to the ChatGPT Store or shipping devices with Midjourney and other generative AI applications enough though?

The jury is still out, but the likes of ASUS, Acer, Lenovo, Gigabyte, and others certainly think so. We saw all of those manufacturers reveal new lineups of hardware with AI mentioned in some form or another.

It was not notebooks alone either as the likes of Samsung went gung-ho in terms fo embedding AI in all of its products.

The company has already teased Galaxy AI for its latest lineup of smartphones expected to unveiled later this week, but more obscure devices featured the technology, such as Ballie, which is the second generation spherical robot assistant that the South Korean firm originally debuted back in 2020.

Samsung was joined by fellow South Korean outfit, LG, which debuted its own AI robot called Agent that also putters around your home trying to be useful.

Ballie and Agent were not the best application of AI in a digital assistant from CES 2024, however, as a startup called Rabbit surprised and delighted everyone with its R1 dedicated device that can do all manner of task provided its operating system is able to call an application’s AI.

Interest in the device was so great that the limited pre-order batches for the R1 sold out within minutes of going live.

It therefore looks like even though every new piece of technology needs an AI angle, regardless of whether it actually is artificial intelligence at work.

That said, much like we saw last year, many companies are still in the experimentation phase, potentially looking for direction on how best to implement AI into their new devices, and ultimately prove covetable enough for consumers.

Where the current standard is stickers on notebooks noting if it has Intel Inside, perhaps the new version of that will be whether it has AI Inside.

Either way, if you were hoping that AI was a fad or passing trend, it is here to stay for quite some time.

We have two lingering questions when it comes to AI at the moment.

When will the technology be truly democratised, and what is the best way to ensure it offers the most benefit? It is likely that the next CES in 2025 will need to answer those questions as AI in tech starts to take a more definable shape.

[Image – Photo by Igor Omilaev on Unsplash]


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