AI will dominate this year’s CES, even without OpenAI’s Altman – January 4, 2024 at 8:24 p.m.

2024-01-04 19:24:00

Sam Altman, the boss of OpenAI, will not be present at the CES show in Las Vegas next week. But the generative artificial intelligence fever that his startup ignited last year will be here as gadget makers scramble to find mainstream uses for the technology.

From devices for the visually impaired to gun safety systems in schools to facial recognition software that can assess vital signs to cabin monitoring systems for self-driving cars , dozens of companies plan to announce at the show how they are integrating AI into their gadgets.

CES 2024, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, will be held January 9-12.

The influence of OpenAI at the show, despite Altman’s physical absence, is reminiscent of that of Apple and its founder Steve Jobs, whose influence was felt despite his absence at the show, with many companies jostling to showcase gadgets compatible with the company’s stylish products.

Mr. Altman is widely seen as the poster child for the AI ​​frenzy that has gripped the tech industry over the past year. He made headlines in November when he was briefly ousted by the ChatGPT maker’s board, then reinstated days later following more than 700 employees threatened to quit and join investor Microsoft of OpenAI, as a sign of solidarity.

Among other projects, OpenAI is working on a secret AI hardware project with famous former Apple designer Jony Ive, according to media reports.

Funding for generative AI projects exploded last year and more than quintupled to $23.78 billion as of early December compared to 2022, according to PitchBook data.

“This is the year of AI in everything,” said Maribel Lopez, technology analyst at Lopez Research. “If you don’t have AI in your product, don’t show off, it’s not worth talking regarding.

German company Bosch is expected to introduce a near-invisible gun detection system that will combine video and audio AI for proactive gun safety in schools. Japanese company NEC will unveil AI software that allows mobile devices to analyze facial shapes and pupils’ states to estimate a human’s vital signs and mental state.

Many companies are expected to show how using AI in vehicles makes them smoother and safer for drivers through better in-car virtual assistants and cabin monitors.

After years of investing in autonomous technologies using AI, automakers are now focusing on technologies that enable a “hyper-personalized” experience when buying and driving a vehicle, said Akash Arora, Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group.

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They’re trying to figure out “if I might achieve that level of customer experience, that might really differentiate me in the marketplace,” he said of companies in the auto industry.

For example, Cerence, which makes AI-powered virtual assistants, is expected to announce a partnership with Volkswagen, and Israeli company Cipia is expected to unveil a system that monitors drivers for signs of distraction and drowsiness.

Many automakers are also adopting AI at various stages of production to reduce costs, said Wendy Bauer, vice president of automotive and manufacturing at Amazon Web Services, which counts BMW and Toyota among its clients. . AI can help automakers save money by speeding up vehicle development and providing better quality controls during manufacturing, she said.

PC and smartphone makers are also likely to show how their products use AI, which for chipmakers like Intel and AMD represents a new revenue stream. Microsoft said Thursday that PCs equipped with a new artificial intelligence button on the Windows keyboard would be on display at the show.

But it’s unclear whether consumers will pay extra for AI capabilities on their computers, as these developments perform less obvious tasks than OpenAI’s ChatGPT bot.

“Consumers love ChatGPT, but the benefit to them of having it on a device is unclear,” said Jay Goldberg, managing director of D2D Advisory. “That’s why everyone is going to talk regarding it, because everyone is trying to find the utility for the consumer. (Reporting by Max A. Cherney and Abhirup Roy in San Francisco Editing: Sayantani Ghosh and Matthew Lewis)

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