Always Be Curious #189: Humane's AI Pin, Micron's memory roadmap, and a spinal implant to treat Parkinson's
This week in ABC: Start-up Humane launched its new AI-powered device, Micron published its latest memory roadmap with a bunch of new tech, and a man with Parkinson's can walk again with an implant.
This week, Silicon Valley start-up Humane launched a wearable gadget called the “AI Pin”. 💡 The tiny device clips onto your clothing and uses artificial intelligence to “create an experience that allows the computer to essentially take a back seat”, according to founders (and ex-Apple engineers) Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno. They’re basically re-imagining our relationship with a key technology in our life: the smartphone. 📱 For the past 2 decades, the smartphone has been our window to the world and to our lives, greatly impacting how we work, live and play. And what Humane wants to do is to strip away a key layer of how we interact with that core technology: no more device in your hand, no more homescreens, settings or applications. Instead, the Pin is built on the premise that you can just talk to it or tap it, say what you need, and it will jump into action. For an extra sci-fi touch, the device can project a laser display onto the palm of your hand, so you can see stuff like new messages or your calendar. The Pin is the culmination of 5 years of R&D, a few dozen patents, hundreds of millions in funding, and close collaboration with AI giants like OpenAI and Microsoft. The device’s laser display alone took 3 years to miniaturize, from the size of a matchbook to the size of a golf tee. 🤓
It all feels very Star Trek, right? I have the distinct feeling that we’re witnessing the start of a paradigm shift in how we interact with technology in our daily lives. Technology will continue to miniaturize, packing more computing power in a smaller form function, and that will open up new possibilities for human-technology interaction. Perhaps the AI Pin will fail to be succesful. Perhaps the tech isn’t quite ready. Or perhaps people aren’t ready. It might be about something seemingly small but really meaningful, like a good friend noted: are people really willing to get a new mobile phone number to use this product? Anyway, I think that Humane just moved the needle, folks. So what’s next?
Have a good week, stay safe and sound,
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👨💻The round-up in sci-tech💡
Humane’s AI wearable is here — but what is it for?
How a small plane’s 16-day trip from Vermont to Florida might foreshadow a new era of battery-powered air travel long considered implausible.
Bill Gates shines his light on AI tools today—and tomorrow.
“Most of the AI tools available today are bots: you ask them questions, and they spit back whatever relevant information is available within a single website or app. But imagine if, instead, the thing you were communicating with could contextualize your request, remember your preferences, and accomplish tasks across apps. That’s an agent—and this type of AI tool is not far off. In 5 years, agents will be able to give health care advice, tutor students, do your shopping, help workers be far more productive, and much more.”
🔮 ‘AI can teach us a lot’: scientists say cats’ expressions richer than imagined and aim to translate them (The Guardian)
Artificial intelligence is being used to unpick meanings behind vocal and physical cues of host of creatures.
🇳🇱 AI-expert: ‘Als de overheid niet snel ingrijpt, gaan we in de komende twaalf maanden de consequenties voelen’ / AI expert: “If the government doesn’t intervene soon, we’ll bear the consequences in the next 12 months’ (NRC)
Stuart Russell is one of the most prominent AI experts in the world. He reflects on the British AI summit in this interview in Dutch newspaper NRC.
Giant black holes were supposed to be bit players in the early cosmic story. But James Webb Space Telescope observations are finding an unexpected abundance of the beasts.
In verse and in color, a Nobel physicist and a visual artist collaborate to portray black holes, gravitational waves and other preposterous features of Einstein’s universe.
Ensuring users can hang onto their phones as long as possible would help reduce the biggest source of emissions: producing phones in the first place.
🤓This week in chips⚠
🇰🇷 Samsung Electronics opens Samsung AI Forum 2023, showcasing key advancements in AI and computer engineering (Samsung)
This week, Samsung opened the Samsung AI Forum where it shared the latest research achievements in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer engineering (CE), contributing to enhancing the company’s next-generation semiconductor technology.
Kye Hyun Kyung, President and CEO of Samsung Electronics’ Device Solutions (DS) Division, said in his opening remarks, “The spotlight has recently shifted toward Generative AI technology, as it provides us the potential to unlock new solutions and address long-standing challenges. But the need for in-depth research on the safety, trustworthiness and sustainability of AI is increasing at the same time.” About the event, Kyung added, “We expect this forum — where top global experts have gathered — will be a platform to discuss ways to create a brighter future through AI and semiconductor technologies.”
Micron on Thursday introduced its latest high-performance and high-capacity memory technologies set to arrive over the next five years.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon X and Apple M3 show Arm architecture gaining ground
AI, a key driver for what is expected to be a trillion-dollar industry by 2030, is placing new focus on semiconductor performance.
Japan's efforts to regain its position as a leading manufacturer of chips are "impressive", the head of a leading chip research organisation said on Thursday.
🇨🇳 China's AI analog chip claimed to be 3.7X faster than Nvidia's A100 GPU in computer vision tasks (Tom’s Hardware)
China's ACCEL races into view.
Nvidia is planning to release three new chips for China, local media reported on Thursday, weeks after the U.S. blocked it from selling two high-end artificial intelligence (AI) chips and one of its top gaming chips to Chinese firms.
The order by one of China's leading AI firms adds to signs that US pressure is prompting Chinese acceptance of Huawei's products as an alternative to those of American chip giant Nvidia.
Thomas Caulfield, president and chief executive officer of GlobalFoundries, joins 'Squawk on the Street' to discuss how the company's quarterly earnings results fit into the overall narrative, how the chief executive thinks about growth next year, and more.
📈By the numbers📉
"In the third quarter, GF's dedicated teams across the world delivered financial results at the upper end of the guidance ranges we provided in our August earnings release," said Dr. Thomas Caulfield, president and CEO of GF. "Although the global economic and geopolitical landscape remains uncertain, we are collaborating closely with our customers to support their efforts to reduce inventory levels, while growing long-term partnerships to drive foundry innovation and differentiation across essential end-markets."
“The third quarter’s revenue of this year was $1.62 billion, up 3.9% sequentially, which was at the midpoint of the guidance; gross margin was 19.8%, down 0.5 percentage points from the previous quarter. The company’s overall shipments continued to increase, up 9.5% sequentially. Due to the total capacity as the denominator, increased to 796 thousand wafers, the average utilization rate decreased by 1.2 percentage points to 77.1%. The Company expects the fourth quarter’s revenue to grow by 1%~3% sequentially; the gross margin will continue to be under pressure from the depreciation of the new capacity, which is expected to be in the range of 16~18%. The whole year’s capital expenditure is expected to be revised upwards to around $7.5 billion.”
❤️For the love of tech❤️
💪 A man with Parkinson’s regained the ability to walk thanks to a spinal implant (MIT Technology Review)
The implant delivers bursts of electrical signals, stimulating his spinal cord to make his leg muscles move.
Always Be Curious is the personal newsletter of Sander Hofman, Senior Creative Content Strategist at ASML. Opinions expressed in this curated newsletter are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.