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  • Mariane Bunn

Would we need a new device for the AI future?


There's a robot humanoide with a sunset background.

Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, recently shared his thoughts with MIT Technology Review, suggesting that the future of interacting with artificial intelligence (AI) might not require purchasing new hardware. Despite the buzz around the latest AI gadgets, Altman believes that future AI applications could operate from the cloud, eliminating the need for specialized devices. He imagines an AI app that acts like an all-knowing, super-efficient colleague, familiar with every detail of a person's life, yet not intrusive.


Altman's perspective comes amidst speculation that he might be venturing into developing his own AI device. Reports last year indicated discussions between Altman and Jony Ive, the mind behind Apple's iPhone design, about creating a new AI hardware product, with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son also involved in the talks. However, OpenAI has not commented on these rumors.


The reception to recent AI hardware has been mixed. For instance, the AI Pin by Humane faced significant criticism, notably from popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who labeled it "The Worst Product I've Ever Reviewed… For Now." On the other hand, Rabbit's R1, a compact AI device, quickly sold out after its release, though some argue it could easily be replaced by a smartphone app.


Altman's comments and the mixed reviews of AI hardware highlight the ongoing debate about the necessity and form of future AI interactions, suggesting that the most impactful AI applications might not be tied to physical devices at all.


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