The race is on for the “golden goose” of iPhone technology in the age of artificial intelligence

  • Tech companies are trying to capitalize on AI hype by building AI-focused devices.
  • Some tech leaders see these gadgets as the iPhone of the AI ​​age, a way to have the hardware we use to interact with AI.
  • A true successor to the iPhone could be the “golden goose” of technology, but past attempts have failed.

Get ready for a new wave of AI-powered tech hardware.

These cutting-edge gadgets won’t look like the thin glass rectangles we’re used to in the smartphone era, and will take on bold new shapes as tech companies experiment with new ways to interact with AI.

The race continues as AI generator tools like ChatGPT, OpenAI’s conversational AI chatbot, take the world by storm. Tech companies are looking to cash in on new devices that incorporate artificial intelligence features, a phenomenon tech leaders are calling the “iPhone moment.”

The key question they all face: Could personal AI tools end up being the next big thing, replicating the iPhone’s tectonic shift in the tech industry?

Some big names seem to have bet on it.

Just last week, Mark Zuckerberg unveiled the latest generation of Ray-Bans Meta smart glasses, where users can talk to the glasses through Meta AI, Meta’s conversational assistant, to receive information in real-time and use it for broadcasting. Use live video. Facebook and Instagram.

“It’s pretty weird, having a meta AI that you can talk to all day with your glasses on,” Zuckerberg told The Verge.

Zuckerberg said the AI ​​glasses are a stepping stone toward Meta’s ultimate goal: a world full of holograms you can talk to.

“You’re going to interact with people as holograms, AI as holograms, all these things,” Zuckerberg said, referring to the vision of Meta’s smart glasses.

Models that use human AI pins

Models wearing the Humane artificial intelligence pin at the Copernicus runway show at Paris Fashion Week 2023.

Victor Virgil/Getty Images

Three days later, during a runway show at Paris Fashion Week, startup Humane’s AI PIN prototype was spotted on some runway models, a badge-like wearable that included a camera and speaker but no screen.

Humane’s founder, former Apple designer Imran Chaudhari, demonstrated a range of sci-fi features for the gadget on stage during a TED talk in May, such as the ability to pin a contact on your hand, translate English to French in one click. An AI-generated version of his voice, and summarizing messages and calendar invitations he’s missed using the “catch me” command.

Chowdhury said the promise of the AI ​​pin is to create an invisible device that reimagines human-technology interactions so that humans can “return to what really matters,” a “new ability to be present.”

“Why reach for your phone when you can hold an object and ask questions about it?” Chaudhri said in his speech at TedX. “The result is almost like the whole world becomes your operating system.”

It’s even been reported that Jony Ive, the former Apple design director who led the design of the iPhone, and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman are reportedly building a dedicated AI hardware device with “a new form factor, unconstrained by are rectangular screens.

High-end names also attract high-end budgets. SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son is reportedly considering a $1 billion investment.

The mysterious device has yet to be officially announced, but Altman told Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff that soon “it will be unimaginable that data is not integrated into every product and service.”

A “Game of Thrones” battle for artificial intelligence dominance

Due to the capabilities of artificial intelligence, some technology experts believe that personal devices equipped with artificial intelligence could be the technology that turns the iPhone into the new computing device in our daily lives.

As Brad Stone, author of two books on Jeff Bezos and Amazon, recently put it: “More than 15 years after the introduction of the iPhone, ChatGPT and other productive AI services may soon be the foundation of a new kind of hardware device. constitute a completely different type of human-computer interaction.”

According to Dan Ives, a technology analyst at Wedbush Securities, tech leaders may be betting on AI hardware, in part, because hardware can play an important role in the evolution of AI.

“Altman, Nadella, Zuckerberg, Cook and Jassi all know that hardware will be the gateway to AI consumer technology,” Ives told Insider. “Software is the heart and lungs of AI while hardware represents the arms and legs.”

In fact, Ives believes it’s “now or never” for Big Tech to capitalize on the AI ​​arms race, as this “Game of Thrones battle for AI dominance” is already “making major investments, It accelerates partnerships and product launches.”

He predicts that 2024 will be the “launch pad” year for artificial intelligence.

It will be hard to keep people from snooping on your iPhone

But others are more skeptical about whether AI devices could ever be as popular and revolutionary as the iPhone.

“Personally, I find it unlikely that a separate category of ‘AI machine’ will survive in the long term,” said Thomas Hague, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who researches the history of technology and co-authored the paper. 2021 book titled “A New History of Modern Computing”.

ChatGPT on the phone

The big question is whether tech companies can convince smartphone users to opt for a new AI-focused hardware device instead of simply using apps like ChatGPT.

NurPhoto/Getty Images

Haig argues that AI is more of a marketing tactic than anything else, that companies have historically used it to raise money and promote research, and that iPhone users may continue to rely on an already established tool as Apple develops it. continue iPhone iterations with artificial intelligence features.

“Siri has long been a core feature of the iPhone, and local speech processing and other AI-branded activities have applications that justify the need for annual smartphone hardware upgrades for several years,” Haig said. So in the short term, the AI ​​trend looks set to reinforce smartphone dominance.”

Although the “smaller, lighter and more energy-efficient technologies” that underpin smartphones have opened up “other product opportunities” such as fitness-tracking smartwatches, he believes that personal AI devices will be “ultimately successful.” “Become” fail several times. Due to the failure of some wearable devices such as Google Glass.

Ives, a technology analyst, agrees with Haig’s sentiments. Although he said AI hardware innovations represent a “golden goose for technology players in the next decade along with software,” he doesn’t think they will all be successful.

However, despite AI’s impressive capabilities, Haig said that smartphones may be easier for the average consumer to use than AI devices, meaning personal AI devices may take some time to gain mainstream interest. .

After all, there is a ChatGPT app available for iPhone and Android.

“Honestly, carrying a phone around isn’t that much of a burden, and there’s still a lot that can be done with it more easily than glasses, a watch, or a phone, no matter how much AI dust you sprinkle on them,” Haig said. .

At least another decade will give smartphone dominance to the mainstream.

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