This Week's Most Read: CES 2024 and AI's New Frontier

Stories that most captivated readers this week

Deborah Yao, Editor

January 11, 2024

4 Min Read
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Here are this week's most popular AI news:

1. CES 2024: Expect Lots of ‘AI-washing’ in Gadgets

With ChatGPT making AI a household moniker, it will come as no surprise that many of the more than 4,000 vendors at CES 2024 are jumping on this proverbial bandwagon. Get ready for this technology to be embedded in everything from tractors to boats to washing machines to robots.

The irony is that AI has been in consumer gadgets for years – think Alexa and Siri or the Nest thermostat. It is generative AI that is 'new' to the public after OpenAI layered a chat interface on its GPT large-language model (LLM) to make it more user friendly and seem humanlike. It can even whip up immersive images.

The fact is that embedding AI technology in devices is not particularly difficult. The reason is that LLMs like those from OpenAI, Google and Anthropic use APIs. It is a matter of writing a few lines of Python code to integrate AI into a system. This phenomenon has been known as creating AI “wrappers.” 

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2. AI's New Frontier: Training Trillion-Parameter Models with Much Fewer GPUs

Training a language model the size of OpenAI’s ChatGPT would normally require a sizable supercomputer. But scientists working on the world’s most powerful supercomputer discovered innovative techniques to train gigantic models using a lot less hardware.

In a new research paper, scientists from the famed Oak Ridge National Laboratory trained a one trillion parameter model using just a few thousand GPUs in their Frontier supercomputer, the most powerful non-distributed supercomputer in the world and one of only two exascale systems globally.

They used just 3,072 GPUs to train the giant large language model out of 37,888 AMD GPUs housed in Frontier. That means the researchers trained a model comparable to ChatGPT’s rumored size of a trillion parameters on just 8% of Frontier's computing power.

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3. AI Startup Roundup: Perplexity Gets Jeff Bezos’ Backing

Conversational AI platform Perplexity aims to rival ChatGPT and other chatbots by combining generative AI with search. Users type in a prompt and the system returns an answer providing citations and sources from where it got the information.

Perplexity contends its platform makes searching more efficient. Since launching in 2023, Perplexity claims to have 10 million monthly active users with half a million downloads of its mobile apps on iOS and Android. Last May, the startup launched Copilot, an AI research assistant that tailors search queries with custom follow-up questions.

It recently raised $73.6 million in a Series B round, counting among its investors Bezos Expeditions, which is Jeff Bezos' family foundation.

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4. Stanford’s Renowned AI Experts Agree, Clash on State of AI at CES 2024

Artificial intelligence has been around for decades and experienced cycles of euphoria and AI winters − when development, interest and funding dried up after the tech did not live up to its hyped potential.

Will it happen again today? That was the question at hand during the Great Minds, Bold Visions: What’s Next for AI? panel discussion Tuesday at CES.

Not likely, according to Andrew Ng, founder of Google Brain and adjunct professor at Stanford who once taught OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

“We’re not in a winter and that is because the business fundamentals of AI are stronger than ever, even before the generative AI wave that took off last year,” Ng said. “AI has been moving probably billions of dollars, maybe trillions of dollars. For a single company like Google to show you more relevant ads (using AI), that drives massive amounts of revenue.”

“Even if AI makes no technological progress (from this point), … there are so many use cases all around the world to be identified and built out to business use cases. I am confident it will continue to grow,” he added.

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5. Siemens, Sony to Bring Mixed Reality to Industrial Development, CES 2024

Siemens and Sony have partnered to launch a mixed-reality headset to power the industrial metaverse.

The pair unveiled at CES 2024 the NX Immersive Designer, a headset built for designers and engineers to create concepts in mixed-reality environments. The device boasts OLED microdisplays and controllers for intuitive interaction with 3D objects.

The headset combines Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of industry-focused software with Sony’s new spatial content creation system to enable content creation for industrial applications.

The headset will become available later in 2024.

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About the Author(s)

Deborah Yao


Deborah Yao runs the day-to-day operations of AI Business. She is a Stanford grad who has worked at Amazon, Wharton School and Associated Press.

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