Last week was Intel’s Innovation conference. Unlike Intel Vision, which lacked the “Vision” component (I mourn Intel’s former CTO Justin Rattner, who made it appear as though Intel was producing magic), this event had a lot of innovation.
Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger, who I still feel has the best opportunity of reestablishing Intel as a leader, did an outstanding job of demonstrating that Intel is stepping up. After the speech, I got the opportunity to speak with Gelsinger. I’ve always found him to be intriguing, personable, knowledgeable, and entertaining – all of which are exceptional traits in a CEO.
I believe the classic PC is nearing its end and will be evolved or replaced by a smartphone derivative. Gelsinger is obviously on the “evolve” track, as he highlighted a rapid tempo for the next few generations of AI-enhanced PCs and servers.
One of my conclusions was that you should wait until mid-December to buy your next PC because that evolution will begin with a new AI-enhanced processor and upgraded graphics that embrace the AI future better than what is now on the market.
This week, let’s talk at what came out of Intel Innovation 2023, and we’ll finish with my Product of the Week: the Spectre Foldable 3-in-1 PC, a “evolved” PC from HP that might be the perfect tool for either a sales rep or a CEO, and is a portent of things to come.
Building the Six Million Dollar Man
In the 1970s, I watched a TV drama called “The Six Million Dollar Man,” in which a wounded test pilot had many portions of his body replaced with robotic prostheses that gave him superpowers. Yes, there was a spinoff named “The Bionic Woman,” but I didn’t relate with her as much as I did with the main character.
Gelsinger demonstrated a set of hearing aides that he used and subsequently discussed with me, which leverage Intel technology to allow hearing-impaired people to surpass those with normal hearing.
Hearing aids do real-time translation and noise reduction whether listening to audio or participating in a videoconference. They alert the user of a change as someone approaches. If the user wishes to speak with the other person, they just switch the audio from the event to the new person while the AI automatically transcribes what is happening so the user does not miss any part of the call.
This, I believe, is an early sign of the next generation of prosthetics, replacement or augmentation components that not only compensate for the impairment but also produce a better outcome than nature, making the six-million-dollar-man thing even more feasible. For people who have been injured while serving in the military or as first responders who deserve our full support – prosthesis like this will alter the game.
Similar AI technology, I believe, will be used in smart glasses and other prostheses in the future.
Preventing E-Commerce Returns
Due to fraud, several shops are reducing their return policies. This is difficult for online clothes purchases since there is no easy way to assure the apparel will look well on us or fit properly, especially when sizes can vary widely both worldwide and within the same retailer.
Gelsinger also demonstrated another piece of technology: an AI-powered kiosk, available as a PC programme, that more properly matches clothing sizes to your particular build and displays you how you’d appear in the apparel. This technology would go a long way towards ensuring that your online apparel purchase goes as smoothly as if you bought it in a physical store.
I’ve never enjoyed returning items and would be grateful if I never had to do that again.
Personally Created Entertainment
I like Taylor Swift, but I don’t like her lyrics since most of what she writes seems to be about punishing an ex-boyfriend, which reminds me of some of my problematic behaviour when I was single. Gelsinger demonstrated how this new PC AI technology known as an NPU for Neural Processing Unit could make a song that sounded like a Taylor Swift song sung by Taylor Swift but was made entirely by the AI.
He also showed visuals made from the description or by combining existing photos, such as having an astronaut take the position of a ballet dancer into a still photograph that he was then able to move. This technology proposes that you may make your own television series.
While I’m sure performers are afraid that their photographs may be exploited for this reason, my objective is to include myself, other family members, and friends in the films I make. I believe I’d have a lot of fun doing this, but I’m not sure whether my friends and family would be as receptive given my movie preferences. For example, I think it would be entertaining to imagine oneself as John Wick.
Preparing for a Pivot
Gelsinger mentioned that Intel has made a major investment in ARM’s IPO, and it was subsequently revealed in a break-out session that Intel is also working with RISC-V.
These measures will help Intel if there is a shift away from PCs and towards products like Apple’s Mac, which combines classic PC form factors with a smartphone-based ARM chip. According to several of my analyst pals, the current Macs are the greatest PCs in the world.
While x86 isn’t dying yet, cellphones appear to be progressing faster than PCs. In the future, Intel may need to shift to this technology. It is the CEO’s responsibility to ensure that his firm can pivot if necessary to survive, and Gelsinger looks to be doing just that.
I recall a comment from IBM’s Thomas Watson, Jr. about being willing to alter anything but who you are. Pat Gelsinger appears to be promising that Intel will be able to do so if required.
The AI Centrino Moment
Gelsinger then mentioned that AI is at a Centrino moment, and that he expects the technology to develop in 2.5 years, much as Centrino did. My wife used to work with Gelsinger, and she told me that Andy Grove, Intel’s then-CEO, referred to the Centrino emblem as a picture of his prostate. Let’s hope Gelsinger’s logo improves the NPU’s appearance.
There is one significant distinction between AI and Centrino. Centrino, which introduced Wi-Fi to laptops, was pushed by Intel, whereas AI is being driven externally to Intel and looks to be going far quicker.
In conclusion, I doubt Gelsinger has 2.5 years, but because he is releasing goods this year, he is definitely having Intel move as a result of his actions.
PCs in the coming generations will be significantly smarter and more competent. I left the Intel Innovation event impressed with the company’s efforts and Gelsinger’s concern for Intel’s long-term survival, and I personally appreciated catching up with him. I don’t think I’ve ever thanked him enough for covering for my wife while she worked with him at Intel.
In any case, Intel is prepared for the future of artificial intelligence. While the firm works to correct missteps that have put it behind the competition, the brand remains one of the most strong in the industry, despite an inability to retain CMOs (which Gelsinger is currently working to correct).
Intel will be stronger as a result of this.
HP Spectre Foldable 3-in-1 PC
I am a big fan of new items. Foldable displays are the latest approach to include a large amount of screen real estate into a mobile platform. I also believe in screen sizes larger than 15 inches, but laptops and mobile workstations in this class typically weigh more than 10 pounds, as opposed to the three to four pounds I prefer to carry.
The HP Spectre Foldable 3-in-1 is not for the faint of heart, costing $5,000. Its unusual folding 17-inch screen would be ideal for executive or sales presentations, as well as watching films on a plane. I can only picture the look on the person sitting next to me’s face if I pulled this dog out of my computer bag.
This foldable has an intriguing design in that it can transform from a giant tablet to a compact notebook to an all-in-one PC. When in the laptop format, the keyboard charges or is powered, allowing the note book to be used in a coach seat, and the fold-out screen, with a built-in kickstand, makes for a good video device for your hotel room or when delivering a presentation.
Given the amazing OLED screen, you’d think the battery life would be terrible, but it isn’t. It boasts a battery life of more than 12 hours, which should be market-leading for a 17-inch tablet. This performance is achieved by using two batteries, which not only provide for long battery life but also provide a pleasant balance in either laptop or tablet mode.
The Spectre Foldable 3-in-1 features a separate CPU for security and Intel Unison for smartphone connectivity. Given the price, the ideal users for this include salespeople who need to sell their product in a picture or video format, top executives (such as Intel’s CEO) who need to pitch ideas to investors and other executives, and artists who need to communicate their notions and art through digital pictures.
This laptop is quite inventive. I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for it, which is why the HP Spectre Foldable 3-in-1 is my Product of the Week.
The release date is set for October 5, 2023, and it is already available for pre-order at Best Buy.