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Can artificial intelligence make PC cool again?| GuyWhoKnowsThings

The race to bring artificial intelligence everywhere is taking a detour toward the old laptop.

Microsoft on Monday unveiled a new type of computer designed for artificial intelligence. The machines, Microsoft says, will run artificial intelligence systems on chips and other hardware inside computers to make them faster, more personal and more private.

The new computers, called Copilot+ PCs, will allow people to use AI to make it easier to find documents and files they've worked on, emails they've read, or websites they've browsed. Its artificial intelligence systems will also automate tasks such as photo editing and language translation.

The new design will be included in Microsoft's Surface laptops and high-end products running the Windows operating system offered by Acer, Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo and Samsung, some of the largest PC manufacturers in the world.

Industry analysts believe the AI-enabled PC could reverse a long-standing decline in the importance of the personal computer. Over the past two decades, demand for the fastest laptops has declined as much of the software has moved to cloud computing centers. The only thing most people needed was a good Internet connection and a web browser.

But AI takes that long-distance relationship to its limits. ChatGPT and other generative AI tools run in data centers packed with expensive, sophisticated chips that can process the largest and most advanced systems. Even the most advanced chatbots take time to receive a query, process it, and send a response. It is also extremely expensive to manage.

Microsoft wants to run artificial intelligence systems directly on a personal computer to eliminate that delay and reduce the price. Microsoft has been reducing the size of artificial intelligence systems, called models, to make it easier to run them outside of data centers. He said more than 40 will run directly on laptops. The smaller models are generally not as powerful or accurate as more advanced AI systems, but they are improving enough to be useful to the average consumer.

“We are entering a new era in which computers not only understand us, but can anticipate what we want and our intentions,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at an event at its headquarters in Redmond, Washington.

Analysts expect Apple to do the same next month at its software developer conference, where the company will announce a siri reviewits virtual assistant and an overall strategy to integrate more AI capabilities into its laptops and iPhones.

Whether the AI-enabled PC takes off depends on companies' ability to create compelling reasons for buyers to upgrade. Initial sales of these new computers, which will cost more than $1,000, will be small, said Linn Huang, an analyst at IDC who closely follows the market. But by the end of the decade – assuming AI tools prove useful – they will be “ubiquitous,” she predicted. “Everything will be a PC with AI.”

The computer industry is expecting a shakeup. Consumers have been upgrading their own computers less frequently, as the music and photos they once stored on their machines are now often found online, on Spotify, Netflix or iCloud. Computer purchases by businesses, schools and other institutions have finally stabilized after booming (and then busting) during the pandemic.

Some high-end smartphones have already been integrating AI chips, but sales have been lacking because the features “are not yet sophisticated enough to catalyze a faster refresh cycle,” Susquehanna analyst Mehdi Hosseini wrote. International Group, in a research note. . It will be at least another year, he said, before enough significant advances make consumers take notice.

At the event, Microsoft showed off new laptops with what appeared to have photographic memory. Laptops can remember anything a user asks them to find because artificial intelligence systems constantly scan everything the user does on the laptop. Microsoft said the information used for this “recovery” feature was stored directly on the laptop for privacy reasons and would not be sent back to the company's servers or used in training future artificial intelligence systems.

Microsoft also demonstrated live transcripts that translate in real time, which it said would be available in any video streamed through a laptop screen.

microsoft last month AI models released Small enough to run on a phone that he said worked almost as well as GPT-3.5, the much larger system that initially underpinned OpenAI's ChatGPT chatbot. when it debuted at the end of 2022.

(The New York Times defendant OpenAI and Microsoft in December for copyright infringement of news content related to AI systems).

Chipmakers have also made advances, such as adjusting a laptop's battery life to allow for the enormous amount of calculations that AI demands. The new computers have dedicated chips built by Qualcomm, the largest supplier of smartphone chips.

Although the type of chip inside the new AI computers, known as a neural processing unit, specializes in handling complex AI tasks, such as generating images and summarizing documents, the benefits may still be imperceptible to consumers, said Subbarao Kambhampati, professor and researcher. of artificial intelligence at Arizona State University.

Most data processing for AI still needs to be done on a company's servers rather than directly on devices, so it's still important for people to have a fast internet connection, he added.

But neural processing chips also speed up other tasks, such as video editing or the ability to use a virtual background within a video call, said Brad Linder, editor of Liliputing, a blog that has covered computers for nearly two decades. So even if people don't believe in the hype surrounding artificial intelligence, they may end up purchasing an artificially intelligent computer for other reasons.

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