The 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas put artificial intelligence (AI) front and center, with major product launches and announcements showing how AI is transforming consumer devices and experiences. From self-driving cars to intelligent gaming PCs and laptops, CES highlighted AI’s expanding role.
AI Powers New Windows and Android Features
Microsoft announced several AI-powered updates coming to Windows 11, including an improved Copilot feature that will suggest code as users type as well as enhanced voice capabilities. Meanwhile, Qualcomm revealed new AI capabilities coming to Android phones and Chromebooks, with natural language processing enabling more intuitive voice commands and interactions.
“We’re bringing AI down to the silicon to make on-device experiences more responsive, personalized, and aware,” said a Qualcomm executive. The company demonstrated Android phones booking restaurant reservations and making vehicle service appointments through natural conversations.
Nvidia Cements AI Leadership with Groundbreaking Chips
Graphics chip specialist Nvidia cemented its leadership in AI with new offerings optimized for AI workloads. This includes two new CPU chipsets designed specifically for AI applications, providing up to 6x higher AI performance than previous generations.
“AI is transforming every industry, and Nvidia is leading the way,” said Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang. He highlighted partnerships with auto manufacturers, scientific researchers, and startups applying Nvidia technology across healthcare, smart cities, factories, and more.
|Key AI Capabilities
|Up to 1,000 trillion operations per second, 6x performance leap over predecessor
|Scientific computing, AI development/training
|Up to 1,000 TOPS, enables software-defined vehicles
PCs Enter the AI Era
AI is coming to everyday laptops and desktops. Multiple PC makers including Dell, HP, and Lenovo previewed coming devices featuring AI accelerators and capabilities baked directly into the motherboard.
“We’re bringing AI down to the PC architecture level so consumers benefit from more intuitive, proactive experiences,” said an Intel executive. New Intel AI Boost technology in upcoming chips aims to handle tasks like background processing and notifications without impacting main workloads.
AMD and startups like Cerebras also demoed AI optimizer chips designed to work in tandem with CPUs and GPUs for complex workloads like video editing, coding, and design. Rather than offloading to the cloud, AI acceleration happens on-device.
“The era of the AI PC is here,” said industry analyst Patrick Moorhead. “Over the next few years, we’ll see AI become as ubiquitous to laptop and desktop computing as technologies like Wi-Fi and high resolution displays.”
AI Assistants Show Progress
AI-powered digital assistants took on expanded roles across devices. Google demonstrated an experimental tablet with no traditional UI – just a microphone and camera. Users rely completely on the Assistant to handle common tasks via voice commands. While still in early stages, it points to a future of AI managing devices with minimal direct input.
Samsung’s Bixby assistant has also progressed to become more conversational and contextual. It can now book rides through Uber and recommend YouTube videos to match interests by processing natural language requests. Qualcomm revealed a new AI Engine intended to power assistants across a range of devices from phones to cars to smart speakers.
Rise of AI “Chips-to-Cloud” Ecosystem
Rather than siloed applications, CES products highlighted the emergence of an integrated AI ecosystem spanning devices, connectivity, and the cloud. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon offerings cover consumer devices along with 5G modems and infrastructure to enable continuous environment sensing. New software development platforms help translate that data into user experiences via AI cloud processing.
‘We’re moving from chips shipping as components to becoming the foundation of AI-first platforms,” said a Forrester analyst. She noted the stacks now have the performance for serious edge computing applications via end-to-end hardware and software optimizations.
Transformative Potential Alongside Risks
However, alongside promises some ethical concerns remain regarding data privacy, algorithmic bias in AI, and the likelihood of job losses from automation. Several interactive art installations explored the darker potential of technologies like surveillance and facial recognition enabled by AI and computer vision.
Experts say policies and safeguards haven’t kept pace with rapid advancements. “There seem to be more questions than answers about how AI could undermine civil liberties or further concentrate power in the hands of a few corporations,” said the policy director of a digital rights non-profit. She called for government regulatory attention on par with innovations themselves.
Industry observers expect the AI rollout to ramp up exponentially. Market research firm Gartner forecasts over 75% of enterprise applications will use AI within the next three years. Along with smartphones and PCs, the biggest potential impact may come in sectors like manufacturing, healthcare, and transportation. AI promises continued disruption of entire workflows and business models.
Stay tuned for AI’s inevitable and increasing everyday presence in the months and years ahead.
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