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AI beyond CES: how it already overturned consumer electronics

The year 2023 witnessed an explosion of AI-powered devices, prompting many to call it the year of artificial intelligence. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024, AI was the talk of the town, with tech giants showcasing their latest innovations. However, the truth is that AI's impact on consumer electronics is far subtler and stretches back much further than many realize.

GPU price hike

Forget crypto mania – the sky-high price of graphics processing units (GPUs) is primarily powered by AI, not Bitcoin miners. These chips, crucial for video games, cryptocurrency mining and AI algorithms, have remained stubbornly expensive even after the crypto bubble burst.

Nvidia, the industry leader, set the tone with the RTX 4080, priced at a staggering $1,199 – nearly double its predecessor. This effectively normalized the inflated costs, forcing PC gamers to dig deeper for their dream machines.

AI in our pockets

AI isn't just in high-end chips – it's already embedded in our everyday gadgets. Voice assistants, hover controls and facial recognition are just a few examples, fundamentally changing how we interact with technology.

The next big wave? Generative AI. Chips with powerful neural processing units (NPUs) are making their way into consumer devices, allowing average users to generate text and images offline. This promises smarter assistants, better background removal and improved dictation services. It also addresses privacy concerns, potentially leading to wider AI adoption, from creating chat app stickers to crafting personalized avatars.

AI in the cloud

But AI's influence extends beyond our gadgets. It lurks in the servers that power the internet, manipulating what we see and read. From your curated X (Twitter) timeline to personalized news feeds, AI algorithms are constantly recommending content, often pushing us towards echo chambers that reinforce our existing beliefs.

This isn't new to internet experts, but the power of today's machine learning algorithms has amplified this effect, dividing communities and shaping opinions at unprecedented speed. And when you voice your concerns, you might even be greeted by a friendly chatbot – another product of this very technology.

(Cover via CFP)

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