Saturday, January 20, 2024

AI revolutionising the smartphone

AI will extend its reach in 2024 through edge computing, AI on phones. AI specialised chips are in all phones (yes even Apple). They will also be in mixed reality devices such as Vision Pro, Facebook’s Glasses and other devices. This puts AI on to your head but far more importantly, into your pocket.


I’ve already written about the importance of being able to speak to technology which speaks back. It is a very different experience from text dialogue for many tasks and feels much more natural. This is enabled by AI but also enables more AI features.

Google Pixel

I have a Pixel and love Lens where you can search for what you see, also the camera and AI editing on phone (my SLR is gathering dust). But the 'circle to search' is very neat. Circle to search is an android feature and it's great. On photos, again you just circle to search which allows and it will search on that image-recognised object or word. This is neat, none of that awkward highlighting and it moves us steadily into a multimodal world. It is this multimodal move and integration that will take learning out of its obsession with text.


Galaxy AI phone is now challenging the iPhone with AI. It now does instant translations in up to 13 languages at launch, all processed on the phone. This uses the Gemini Nano model from Google. The phone can automatically summarises messages, takes voice memos and summarises them and as it recognises different voices and can summarise meeting notes. It has also folded in 'circle and search'. Once again hte integration of audio with text - multimodal.

Amazing camera stuff with tons of AI features – AI to zoom in, suggests changes, move the person or object around the photograph and it fills in the created gap. For video it will add interleave extra AI generated images and allow super-slow motion. 


Apple never use the phrase ‘Artificial Intelligence’ but it is everywhere in their kit. In the hardware (chipset) and software. They don’t want to scare the horses. Unfortunately, with Tim Cook, they seem to have settled into no longer being an innovator and Microsoft have caught up on market cap but, like every other tech company, they’re now an AI company.


No end of AI apps are already available and OpenAIs GTPs may challenge the whole App market. God knows it needs a shakeup.

Performance support

Some features are local to the device, some cloud-based. This is the way things are going. This opens up AI into what it actually is, a performance support tool, where users want to learn, solve immediate problems and learn in the flow of work and life. This point is being missed in learning. The 100 million using ChatGPT are, by and large, using it in the flow of work and life.


All of this is being enabled by AI, now local in that personal, powerful pocket device – the phone. I notice how both my sons operate, professionally, at a highly functional level on their smartphones. As Wayne Gretsky said.... "I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it's been."

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