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Generative AI Takes a Back Seat at CES 2024: A Year of Anticipation

Generative AI Takes a Back Seat at CES 2024: A Year of Anticipation
The CES 2024 annual consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas featured a display of the Android mascot in front of the Google house on January 10, 2024.|Generative AI Takes a Back Seat at CES 2024


  • Generative AI disappoints at CES 2024.
  • Companies struggle to turn excitement into practical gadgets within a year.
  • Gadgets with generative AI fail to impress.
  • AI startup Humane faces financial challenges, lays off employees.
  • Automotive industry adopts generative AI, showcased in Volkswagen vehicles.
  • Analysts optimistic about future generative AI gadgets at CES.
  • Hopes for handheld devices with offline generative AI in the future.

The highly anticipated Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024 in Las Vegas fell short of expectations as generative AI, which was predicted to dominate the tech landscape, failed to make a significant impact. Industry observers noted that the fever for generative AI gadgets, which had gained momentum in the 2023 hype cycle, was notably absent this year. Despite the promising potential of AI, it seems that companies have not yet fully translated the excitement surrounding large language models, such as ChatGPT, into tangible gadget innovations.

Challenges in Implementation

Only a year after the launch of ChatGPT in 2022, companies faced challenges in integrating generative AI into practical and marketable devices. Jay Goldberg, CEO of D2D Advisory, commented on the difficulty of making it all work, emphasizing the need for both suitable silicon and software. The industry is still in the early stages of adopting and adapting AI technology, with many players still getting on board.

Disappointing Debuts

Several companies showcased prototypes with aspirations to revolutionize various industries using generative AI. From disrupting the meat-grilling industry to creating AI-powered pet interactions and even a machine-learning-based boxing glove, the gadgets failed to capture the imagination of CES attendees. The lackluster showing raises questions about the immediate viability of generative AI in consumer electronics.

Financial Struggles

The challenges extended beyond the showroom floor, as AI gadget startup Humane announced layoffs of 10 employees just ahead of the launch of its $699 AI-powered device intended to replace smartphones. This move was attributed to the need for a restructuring amid uncertainties in the nascent device sector. The setback highlights the risks associated with the heavily hyped generative AI sector, where financial returns are far from guaranteed.

Automotive Industry Takes the Lead

While generative AI struggled to gain traction in consumer gadgets, the automotive industry embraced the technology. Volkswagen showcased vehicles featuring a voice assistant powered by ChatGPT’s technology, allowing drivers to listen to research content while on the road. However, concerns about the accuracy of AI-generated information led Mercedes-Benz to launch a virtual assistant cross-referencing data from Google to ensure precision.

Hope for the Future

Despite the subdued presence of generative AI at CES 2024, analysts, such as Syed Alam from Accenture, remain optimistic about the future. Alam predicts that next year’s CES will witness a surge in gadgets and products incorporating generative AI as companies have more time to develop suitable hardware and software. Handheld devices capable of offline generative AI could become a reality, signalling a potential resurgence in the technology’s presence at consumer electronics showcases.

CES 2024 may not have been the year of the AI gadget, but the industry’s ongoing efforts and the optimism of analysts suggest that the future holds promise for generative AI. As technology continues to evolve, the challenges faced this year may pave the way for more innovative and successful integrations of AI into consumer electronics in the years to come.

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