CES 2024 Preview: Unleashing AI to Empower the Latest Tech Wonders

The CES logo. Photo credit: Ken Yeung

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) takes place in Las Vegas from January 9 to 12. The tech landscape often sees it as a bellwether, with major themes spanning over the next 12 months. Past trends include 5G technology, AR and VR, smart homes, autonomous vehicles, and robotics. This year’s conference will be no different. In 2024, many experts believe artificial intelligence (AI) will dominate the conversation.

Given the flurry of AI activity in Silicon Valley over the past year, it should come as no surprise to anyone. In 2023, we saw major progress in AI research. Breakthroughs occurred in GenAI, deep learning, natural language processing, and computer vision. These achievements paved the way for a new era of AI-powered technologies set to revolutionize various industries.

This year’s show will highlight a wider range of products and innovations, with a stronger emphasis on leveraging AI compared to past editions. AI has been showcased in previous years, from concept demos like Samsung’s Neon project to integration into self-driving cars and robotics.

Still, anticipate companies to spotlight AI more this year, showcasing its capabilities beyond mere chatbot functionality.

The Many Forms of AI at CES

So far, the average consumer’s grasp of AI has probably been less extensive than that of individuals in Silicon Valley. For many, their first exposure to the commercialization of AI might have been through voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Samsung’s Bixby.

As an aside, it was at CES that a Samsung executive laid out the company’s expectations for AI and shed light on the crucial role its smart assistant would play in the ecosystem.

Don’t expect hardware makers to reveal plans for how their headsets, TVs or audio equipment will leverage Gen AI. But, plan for many brands to tout the use of artificial intelligence to make their service smarter and more personable in the future. Some use cases will be obvious, such as with smart devices, home technology, and autonomous vehicles. Others may require more imagination. It’s the evolution of the Internet of Things.

Unlocking AI Potential in Niche Verticals

Furthermore, focus on less consumer-oriented verticals at CES for a deeper exploration of AI’s potential impact. It’s natural to admire the latest innovations that enhance our lives, but it’s crucial not to overlook the devices necessary for maintaining their quality. This year, pay attention to how artificial intelligence will be baked into the latest fitness, medical, accessibility technology and also within the enterprise.

I’m eager to understand how AI will make strides in the medical and health tech sector. While discussions over the past year have centered around whether ChatGPT and chatbots can outperform physicians in accurate patient diagnoses, I’m intrigued by whether the latest gadgets and devices will propel AI beyond chatbots, emphasizing a more significant impact.

Moreover, consider the prospects of AI in mainstream autonomous vehicles. While achieving full autonomy may still be a distance away, Tesla’s technology is pushing boundaries. Given the swift pace of AI development, anticipate groundbreaking announcements and innovations in this space.

Finally, pay attention to chipmakers Intel and Nvidia, both of which will hold keynote addresses at CES. These companies are important parts of the AI ecosystem so their announcements will help understand where the technology is heading next.

Where’s OpenAI?

In 2023, OpenAI, a frontrunner in generative AI, took center stage in the news. Surprisingly, the CEO, Sam Altman, won’t be present at CES. This absence creates an opportunity for LLM providers to fill this proverbial vacuum and showcase how companies leverage their data. Moreover, it might offer the public a more comprehensive view of AI’s applications, extending beyond routine tasks in our daily lives.

However, just because Altman isn’t physically there doesn’t mean OpenAI won’t be a topic of conversation. The company reportedly will open its ChatGPT app store next week, allowing third-party partners to distribute or sell their AI-powered apps through the marketplace. It’s feasible a few companies present at CES may have incorporated ChatGPT into their smart apps.

What are you hoping to see at CES 2024?

Updated on 1/4/2023: Included paragraph about OpenAI's ChatGPT app store opening to the public the week of January 8.

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