What to expect from CES 2024? Artificial intelligence and more artificial intelligence

(CNN) — The first robotic companion with ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence (AI) smart belt that helps guide the visually impaired, as well as AI-enabled vacuum cleaners, mops and other home appliances.

After a year in which artificial intelligence has dominated the headlines and attention of the tech sector, it’s no surprise that new products unveiled at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) also revolve around artificial intelligence.

Celebrating its 58th edition, CES 2024 kicks off this week in Las Vegas with the expected mix of cutting-edge technology and extravagant gadgets.

The event, which is the largest consumer technology conference of the year, is known for robots roaming the exhibit floor, eye-catching presentations from major tech companies and the launch of outlandish products, such as a $3,000 autonomous baby stroller last year. and cars that change color.

But the event is also a breeding ground for negotiating agreements between executives, manufacturers and retailers from various sectors. It could lay the groundwork for some of the biggest tech trends of the year and show how companies intend to participate in these discussions.

“It might be worth asking what things won’t be touched by AI this year,” said Dipanjan Chatterjee, principal analyst at Forrester. “ChatGPT has created such a frenzy over the past year that companies feel they need to get on board with AI, even if they have no idea where it’s going.”

Chatterjee said he expects AI in everything, such as in chips and cards from companies like Intel and Nvidia, as well as consumer devices such as refrigerators from Samsung with an “AI Family Hub.” Various roundtables will discuss the possible impact of AI on employment and ethical issues.

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA), which organizes CES annually, said it expects about 130,000 in-person attendees this year, up from 115,000 last year and 45,000 in 2022, amid concerns about an omic variant of Covid-19. In 2024, the CTA will again offer live streaming of select events.

The event will feature more than 4,000 exhibitors and 1,200 startups from around the world. Guest speakers will include executives from companies like Samsung, LG and Microsoft, as well as discussions with Snap co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel and Walmart CEO Doug McMillon. Once again, Apple, which is typically absent from CES, is not expected to attend.

According to the CTA, the event will be attended by approximately 60% of Fortune 500 companies, allowing for a variety of product presentations and discussions across all areas of technology and beyond. Beauty is now an official product category at CES, and Nicolas Hieronymous, CEO of L’Oréal, will deliver the company’s first keynote speech at CES.

Loona's companion robot is the world's first consumer robot equipped with ChatGPT artificial intelligence technology.  (Photo: Beijing KEYi Technology Co. Ltd.)

Loona’s companion robot is the world’s first consumer robot equipped with ChatGPT artificial intelligence technology. (Photo: Beijing KEYi Technology Co. Ltd.)

CES continues to be one of the fastest growing auto shows in the world. This year, various types of transport will be introduced: from floating and rolling to air.

For example, navigation company Brunswick will present electric boats and motors, as well as self-driving pleasure boats. VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle company that just entered the US market, will introduce new models, including a small SUV. And Hyundai will unveil an electric plane from its air taxi subsidiary Supernal.

As always, several car manufacturers will also be showcasing the latest things to see and do inside their cars.

Beyond artificial intelligence

This year is also expected to see a strong focus on foldable screens, next-generation wearables and mixed reality accessories.

“Use cases (augmented and virtual reality) are expected to go beyond gaming, such as media consumption and enterprise uses such as training, onboarding and collaboration,” said Ramon Llamas, director at research firm IDC Market. “It’s important for companies to position themselves before Apple releases Vision Pro at the end of the year.”

New portable devices will also be presented. Called Dusk Rx, up for a CES 2024 Innovation Award, it promises to be the world’s first prescription glasses that will allow users to control the tint of their lenses through the frame or an app. The high-tech leggings, which are also up for an innovation award, offer high-tech microcurrent to improve athletic performance.

Some companies may introduce improved versions of previous innovations. In recent years, for example, CES has been dominated by voice-activated devices and smart speakers as companies rush to deploy their voice assistants in everything from microwaves to toilets.

While consumer use of this technology is largely overrated, these same companies could take voice to the next level with generative artificial intelligence—the technology that powers products like ChatGPT.

“It will be interesting to see if AI-powered generative capabilities can make the voice interaction experience much more intuitive and rewarding than before, resetting the clock for voice apps,” Chatterjee explained.

While CES generally remains a useful barometer for assessing market trends, the number and variety of technology products on display make it difficult for anything to really break through, says Stuart Carlaw, research director at ABI Research.

“It’s like a group of researchers blindfolded trying to figure out the size of the elephant they’re interacting with,” Carlaw said.

“The only exception is artificial intelligence,” he added. “If you don’t have a story related to artificial intelligence, are you even a technology company?”

CES runs until Friday, January 12th.

CNN’s Peter Valdes-Dapena contributed to this report.

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