Phones are the ultimate AI gadget | The Vergecast

Phones are the ultimate AI gadget | The Vergecast

Intro (00:00:00)

  • David Pierce, the host, talks about his new label maker and his plans to organize his belongings by labeling them.
  • He mentions that labeling everything might not actually improve anything but it makes him feel accomplished.
  • He intends to label various items such as spices, tea, baby bottles, and milk.
  • His wife might have mixed feelings about the labeling.
  • Alison Johnson, a guest on the podcast, has been testing AI gadgets and proposes a theory that perhaps none of them are truly necessary.
  • David Pierce shares his thoughts on the matter.
  • They discuss the idea that a phone might be the ultimate AI gadget due to its versatility and existing capabilities.
  • Meta has been actively introducing new AI products.
  • Alex Heath, another guest, joins the discussion to help analyze the significance of Meta's actions in the AI领域.
  • The hosts open the phone lines for listeners to call in and ask questions or share their thoughts on the topics discussed in the podcast.

AI gadgets w/Allison Johnson (00:01:59)

  • Allison Johnson conducted an experiment to determine if a smartphone can replace dedicated AI gadgets.
  • Smartphones have already solved many of the problems that AI gadgets aim to address, such as internet connectivity, cameras, battery life, and regular software updates.
  • The "good enough" hypothesis suggests that people prefer the convenience of carrying one device (a smartphone) rather than multiple gadgets.
  • Earbuds, with their comfort, social acceptance, and potential for smart features, could be the solution to the problem of constant phone usage.
  • AI-powered earbuds, like the Gemini assistant, can provide a hands-free and efficient way to interact with phones, especially when multitasking or dealing with physical tasks.

Are you a voice assistant person? (00:11:08)

  • Voice assistants have not achieved widespread adoption due to initial failures and unreliability.
  • Despite improvements, voice assistants are still not widely used as the primary way people interact with their phones.
  • Headphones may be a more suitable platform for voice assistants due to social acceptability and the ability to support more powerful AI systems.
  • Smartphones currently provide a sufficient interface for AI integration, as demonstrated by experiments with Bluetooth headphones and the Humane pin.
  • Phones are becoming the ultimate AI gadgets, offering real-time information and charming animations.
  • There is a debate about whether users prefer the adorable personality of AI assistants like Rabbit or the matter-of-fact approach of tools like Siri and ChatGPT.
  • The integration of AI assistants into phones' external screens is a possibility but faces regulatory challenges.
  • Phones are the most realistic AI gadgets due to their widespread use and potential to connect to various accessories and devices.
  • Smartwatches are useful for quick tasks but have limitations in responding to texts.
  • The future of AI gadgets may involve phones acting as a central hub for connecting other devices to the internet.
  • The current state of AI gadgets is lacking, but phones continue to improve and offer new features.
  • The Vergecast hosts discuss the potential of AI gadgets, particularly smartphones, and share personal anecdotes about using AI-powered features on their phones.

Meta AI w/Alex Heath (00:29:20)

  • Meta, formerly focused on the metaverse, has shifted its attention to artificial intelligence (AI) and introduced multimodal AI to its smart glasses with Rayban.
  • Meta has also launched a new AI model called Llama 3 and integrated its AI platform, Meta AI, into various apps, making it unavoidable for users of Meta products.
  • Meta announced Horizon OS, an operating system for virtual reality headsets, and plans to license it to other manufacturers like Lenovo and Asus, aiming to become the general-purpose headset maker while allowing other companies to develop niche headsets.
  • Horizon OS comes bundled with Horizon, Meta's social network platform, similar to how Google bundles its services with Android.
  • Meta's primary focus is on monetizing the metaverse through its social network, Horizon, which will be supported by advertisements and commerce.
  • Meta aims to become the dominant platform provider in the metaverse, similar to Microsoft's position in the desktop PC market with Windows.
  • Unlike Android, which was a defensive move against the iPhone, Meta's investment in the metaverse positions them well for the long term, especially with Apple entering the market with the Vision Pro.
  • Meta's strategy involves providing the operating system for the metaverse and generating revenue through licensing fees rather than hardware margins.

Meta headsets and AR tech (00:36:29)

  • Meta predicts that fully immersive virtual reality headsets will reach tens of millions of users, while augmented reality glasses could become as widely used as mobile devices by the early 2030s.
  • Meta views hardware, especially AR and VR devices, as inherently social mediums and aims to build social experiences at scale, positioning itself as an open player in the tech industry.
  • Meta is heavily investing in AI research, particularly in large language models like Llama 3, and is releasing these models as open-source to attract developers and drive value back to the company.
  • Meta's open-source approach creates competition in the AI market, pushing other companies to do more in open-source development.
  • Meta is introducing its AI chatbot, powered by the Llama 3 model, with real-time search results from Google and Bing, targeting users who haven't tried other chatbots.
  • Meta envisions a future where users interact with indistinguishable AI personas in their feeds and messaging threads, including AI versions of celebrities and public figures.
  • Meta is exploring various AI applications, including multimodal generation like generating videos from text.
  • Meta is integrating Google's real-time search results into its AI search results, addressing the issue of recency and incorrect information in chatbots.
  • Meta is investing in wearable AI and has upcoming products like Ray-Bans with a display and a bracelet for neural interface control.
  • Meta's long-term strategy involves controlling or influencing the next computing platform, such as wearable AI devices, to avoid being solely dependent on Apple.

Microsoft antitrust (The Vergecast Hotline) (00:59:15)

  • Microsoft's practices, similar to those in the 90s, have drawn attention, but regulators in Europe and the US are taking a lenient approach due to Edge's limited impact on the market.
  • Microsoft's bundling of Teams with Office led to pressure from regulators, resulting in its unbundling globally.
  • Despite antitrust concerns surrounding Windows and Office, the case for Edge as a strong competitor to Chrome is weak, as most browsers are built on Chromium.
  • Microsoft's dominance in the tech industry is less clear-cut compared to companies like Google or Apple due to its diverse range of products and services.
  • Microsoft's attempts to promote its products, such as Edge, have faced resistance from users, indicating a self-correcting market.
  • YouTube's significant power and influence have made it a blind spot for regulators and the public, despite its complexity and difficulty in regulation.
  • Microsoft's relationship with OpenAI and the potential exclusivity of their products may attract scrutiny as the AI market grows.
  • The Vergecast team discusses recent developments in AI, particularly ChatGPT's rise and its potential implications for consumers.
  • The Vergecast team acknowledges the challenge of regulating YouTube due to its vastness and complexity, comparing it to an ocean.
  • The Vergecast encourages listeners to engage with them by sharing thoughts and questions about AI gadgets and other topics covered on the show.

Overwhelmed by Endless Content?