Bogdan Maioreanu, eToro analyst for Romania: The AI you can touch
For the passionate tech consumer the beginning of the year is an important time. All the new products and technologies for the year are showcased in the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
At the beginning of 2024, CES is about AI. But this time is the type of AI that can be seen, touched and even tasted by the consumer.
Your TV set, multi-channel receiver, dishwasher, robotic vacuum cleaner or laundry washing machine have already incorporated AI for several years now. But it is the kind of unseen AI that does some things inside the machine. Sometimes, the presence of AI is manifested by an AI setting inside the menus or a faint AI lit indicator on the front of a device. But this year, electronics manufacturers decided to put AI front and center in your living room. LG and Samsung presented AI assistants that are in fact small robots capable of understanding vocal commands and performing simple tasks. They somehow look like some droids from Star Wars.
Samsung AI robot Ballie was first presented in 2020 but returned this year to CES with an incorporated projector. The new version is designed to be a companion, an entertainment device and a guard dog with its front and rear cameras. Ballie can follow you around the house, come when called and can even greet you at the door. The robot has capabilities to detect human posture and to adjust its projection to the best viewing angle possible. The robot has three wheels that allow it to travel around the house. Samsung’s rival LG introduced its own robot companion, the Smart Home AI agent. The robot is relying on machine learning to understand context, so it can offer tailored emotional responses to individual members of the home. It’s powered by a generative AI large language model, so you can chat with it while you’re doing chores but it will not fold the laundry for you. While not having projection capabilities it has a face with animated cartoon eyes on a display. The robot can serve as a pet monitor and patrol the house, can also alert you when you need to take medications and also make emergency calls.
Asus, Dell, ACER and others have laptop PC’s using Intel’s new Meteor Lake Core Ultra chips with a dedicated AI core. Microsoft added its first new keyboard button in three decades, that opens its AI assistant CoPilot. At the same time, both NVIDIA and AMD respectively launched a new GPU series and graphics card and emphasized the advantages that AI processing brings to frame generation. But maybe one of the most interesting devices is a portable AI personal assistant looking like a combination of a cell phone and a Game boy. The start-up’s Rabbit device AI assistant is capable of conversing and receiving voice tasks and solving them by interacting with the applications on your mobile phone. And we have also seen AI powered kitchen appliances, like a grill promising to deliver the perfect steak every time.
While 2023 was the year of Chat GPT and pushed prices of technology companies stocks up, 2024 is shaped to bring a broadening of stock market performance and rotation toward the more soft-landing and interest rate cut sensitive segments that lagged last year. The tech sector may take more of a backseat but will still do fine. Lower interest rates will support the already high valuations whilst already double-digit earnings growth prospects are underpinned by this broadening of AI adoption and use-cases.
More retail investors plan to own AI stocks than do today, per the most recent eToro Retail Investor Beat survey of 10,000 investors in 13 countries. While 50% of Romanian retail investors plan to own AI stocks, more than the 27% already do, with only 18% saying that they are not interested at all in investing in AI.
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