The next next thing in AI and AR | The Vergecast

The next next thing in AI and AR | The Vergecast

Microsoft and Qualcomm's New PCs

  • Microsoft's co-pilot plus PCs with Qualcomm Snapdragon X chips are now available, potentially ending Intel's dominance in Windows machines.
  • The flagship feature, "Recall," a local generative AI model for searching information, is delayed due to security concerns.
  • Microsoft stored user activity screenshots in plain text, creating a vulnerability.
  • The performance and battery life of the new Snapdragon PCs are being tested against Apple's M-series chips.
  • Microsoft aims to prevent users from switching to Chrome or Mac by introducing innovative AI features like Recall.

AI as a Platform Shift

  • Some CEOs view AI as a platform shift similar to the transition from laptops to smartphones.
  • Microsoft aims to leverage its investment in OpenAI and co-pilot to create a new way of using computers.
  • Microsoft and Apple have similar ideas for AI integration into their operating systems, but Microsoft sees it as a platform shift to entice users to switch platforms.
  • The real platform shift lies in developing software that can run on existing hardware, such as AI-powered robots like Optimus.

Qualcomm and Arm's Legal Dispute

  • Qualcomm's acquisition of Nuvia, a team of former Apple engineers, to develop consumer chips has sparked a lawsuit between Qualcomm and Arm over licensing issues.

Apple's HomeKit and CarPlay Updates

  • Apple is extending HomeKit to use the ultra-wideband chip in its phones for automatic door unlocking, raising security and privacy concerns.
  • Apple is introducing more precise location and power capabilities to its devices.
  • The next generation of CarPlay will be wireless only and will feature a co-branded experience designed by Apple and car manufacturers.
  • Apple's design toolkit will allow car manufacturers to redesign their user interfaces to match CarPlay's aesthetics.
  • Only the Apple San Francisco font will be allowed in next-generation CarPlay, with limited customization options.
  • CarPlay will be able to control car-specific features, such as massaging seats, through a feature called "punching through the automaker UI."
  • Apple aims for CarPlay to be connected and active by the time the car door opens, which requires a wireless connection.
  • Apple will provide car manufacturers with an asset package of Apple elements to run locally on the car's computer system.

Automotive User Interfaces

  • Rivian has a great user interface, while Tesla's UI is expected to become more like a web browser in the future.

Haptiq RS90 and RS90X Universal Remotes

  • The Haptiq RS90 and RS90X are upcoming universal remotes with a large screen and support for various connectivity options, but there are concerns about its speed and practicality.

Framework's RISC-V Laptop

  • Framework is releasing a laptop with a RISC-V chip, an open-source competitor to ARM, primarily intended for developers and hobbyists at this stage.
  • RISC-V aims to break ARM's quasi-monopoly in the architecture license market, leading to legal disputes such as ARM suing Qualcomm over its architecture license.

Apple's Cheaper Vision Pro Headset

  • Apple is reportedly working on a cheaper version of its Vision Pro headset, aiming for a price range of $1,200 to $1,500.
  • The cheaper Vision Pro is expected by the end of next year, influenced by Meta's push into the affordable VR headset market.
  • Apple's initial focus on the eyes in the Vision Pro has shifted, considering removing them entirely in future models due to high costs and complexity.

Meta's VR and AR Developments

  • Meta, which acquired Oculus and pioneered the VR market, has restructured its Reality Labs division, focusing on metaverse and wearables.
  • The Quest headset is now under the metaverse group, while wearables are heavily invested in Ray-Ban smart glasses.
  • Ray-Ban smart glasses have been a surprise success for Meta, with sales estimated to be around a million units, significantly higher than the first version.
  • Meta is prioritizing the development of its Ray-Ban smart glasses over the Quest VR headset.
  • The Ray-Ban glasses have a built-in AI assistant and look like regular glasses.
  • Meta plans to release an updated version of the Ray-Ban glasses next year with a heads-up display and a wristband using neural interface technology.
  • The full-fledged AR glasses from Meta are expected in 2027.
  • Apple is reportedly still working on its own AR glasses, but they are expected to be more expensive and less practical than Meta's glasses.
  • Meta believes that AR glasses are the future of computing and will eventually replace smartphones.

Safe Super Intelligence (SSI)

  • Ilya Sutskever, former OpenAI CTO, has announced a new company focused on developing "super safe AGI" (Artificial General Intelligence).
  • The company aims to be free from management overhead and product cycles, allowing researchers to focus solely on long-term AGI research.
  • Concerns are raised about the feasibility of achieving safe AGI and the lack of clear definitions and alignment strategies.
  • Sutskever's departure from OpenAI is seen as a result of disagreements over budget allocation and management decisions.
  • OpenAI is shifting towards becoming a for-profit company, with hires from Instagram and a public company CEO.

Perplexity's Content Scraping Controversy

  • Perplexity, an AI search engine, has been accused of stealing content from various websites by bypassing crawler blockers and using fake IP ranges and headless Windows 10 machines.
  • Perplexity's actions are similar to Google's early practices, which faced lawsuits but won due to the novelty of its products.
  • The tech industry seems unconcerned about the ethical implications of these actions, viewing them as minor obstacles on the path to progress.
  • The lack of historical context and liberal arts education among tech professionals contributes to their disregard for intellectual property rights.

AI and the Future of Social Networks

  • TikTok is introducing AI avatars of creators, allowing users to create more ad content efficiently.
  • A new app resembling Instagram meets character AI is gaining attention, where AI bots interact and post alongside humans, making it difficult to distinguish between the two.
  • Meta is planning to roll out a similar feature where users can create their own AIs and send them to Instagram and Facebook, potentially handling tasks like managing DMs or posting content.
  • Influencers may use AI agents to handle interactions with subscribers, offering scalability and reducing emotional strain.
  • The concern arises about the potential impact of AI on social networks and the authenticity of interactions.

Nvidia's Success and Challenges

  • Nvidia's stock has skyrocketed in recent years, making it the world's most valuable company due to the cryptocurrency boom and increasing demand for AI processors.
  • Nvidia faces a retirement problem as many employees have become wealthy in a short period.
  • Nvidia faces challenges in maintaining its position as the top GPU supplier, as competitors like AMD and Google are also investing heavily in AI processors.
  • Nvidia's strategy to justify its valuation and continue growing involves building lock-in and potentially competing directly with Google Cloud and Azure.

Adobe's Deceptive Subscription Pricing

  • Adobe is facing criticism for its deceptive subscription pricing in Creative Cloud, which tricks users into paying for a year upfront when they think they are signing up for a monthly subscription.
  • Adobe's actions have damaged its goodwill and reputation, and the company is perceived differently by the industry compared to how it perceives itself.

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