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AI is the Show Stopper at CES 2019 | Gurbaksh Singh, Chief Creative Technologist, Dentsu Webchutney

11 Jan 2019

Hello Everyone!!!

Gurbaksh Singh, Chief Creative Technologist, Dentsu Webchutney writes from Las Vegas where he is attending CES 2019, the largest consumer electronic trade show. Scroll down to read the full article or click on the link below.

In 1968, Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick imagined a future with intelligent machines that would match or even exceed the capability of human beings. They created an iconic character - HAL 9000, which was a vision of what’s to come. It stems from the firm belief of leading AI researchers of that time that such a machine would exist by the year 2001. For most people, HAL 9000 remains as an introduction to the concept and era of intelligent machines, thanks to Kubrick’s masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Far from being ubiquitous, AI wasn’t even the buzzword in 2001 or event that decade. Cut to CES 2019 – the largest consumer electronics tradeshow – now well underway in Las Vegas and one could see that Kubrick’s 2001 is finally here. In CES 2019, AI is no longer ' a thing, it is everything.AI can be seen in everything that is being showcased from self-driven cars to televisions and from bed to toothbrush.

CES 2019 has proved that AI is not a technology but technology’s new “secret ingredient.” Going forward, it will be present in everything, just its quantity and role would change. Here’s a quick glimpse of AI integrations that stood out for me.
Hisense, China’s leading electronics manufacturer showcased three quantum dot- technology TVs. All of them have AI chips which change the TV settings as per the content being watched. If you are watching sports, AI increases the frame rate to offer a smooth experience while if you are watching a movie, AI gives the surround –sound feeling and adjusts the screen for vivid picture quality.

I never expected to see the maker of Pampers and Tide at the world’s largest technology conference. But then, it is 2019. P&G, the 180-year-old brand made its debut at CES 2019. The highlight for me was a toothbrush that uses artificial intelligence to tell you if you’re missing areas when brushing. P&G’s display is a testimony to the fact that it doesn’t matter whether you are a technology brand or not, what matters is the orientation of your audience. And consumers today are led by technology.

Sony relaunched AIBO, an AI-powered robot dog that you can keep as your pet. It now comes with a 3-year subscription. As the dog spends more time with you, it learns about you, its environment and develops a unique personality accordingly. No two dogs grow to be similar as their owner and environment differ. It’s a great application of AI and its self-learning capabilities. 

Another key application for AI has been in the health sector. Many players have showcased products that use AI to keep users healthy or to predict any health issue users might face in the coming time. Samsung and Chronolife were my pick in healthcare.

Samsung’s Bot Care is designed to keep you healthy by monitoring vital signs like BP and heart rate. It tracks medication intake and also provides health advice. Samsung also exhibited Bot Air – a robot that tracks air quality in your home. It not just improves air quality but also detects pollution sources.

Chronolife exhibited Chronolife vest. A vest that helps people diagnosed with chronic or congestive heart failure. It predicts medical emergencies by measuring six parameters in real time. It can also predict the likelihood of an oncoming heart attack, thanks to machine learning.

At CES, AI has been fused with cameras, robots, beds and almost everything possible. In next 3 years, a majority of human beings will be affected by a decision made by AI. It also means that more than ever, brands and marketers will have access to unprecedented consumer data. It is not that we don’t have access to enough data now. Or that we have never had. AI will help us organize the data collected. It will give structure to massive pool of data and will help us make sense out of it. It will also generate a lot of data even at places where we generally believe that data is not there. This will help brands in designing new products, and have more relevant conversations with its audience.

CES also points out that products can no longer exist in isolation. Rather, they should not. It is time for branded ecosystems. Brands today have access to multiple touch points and they can create many more touch points or occasions to build relevance in consumers’ life. An AI powered toothbrush can not only help users maintain superior dental hygiene by helping them brush better but also recommend other dental hygiene products from brand’s stable. While Sony AIBO can help us learn about people like never before.

AI is no longer the future. It is the present. We are in Kubrick’s 2001.