MWC 2024 AI bot

AI has taken over MWC 2024. From Lenovo using it to create a transparent laptop to the Honor Magic6 Pro basing its new OS on it, AI is everywhere on the show floor. But what exactly is it doing?

Since OpenAI’s ChatGPT kicked off the AI boom, we’ve known it to be large language models (LLMs) that are capable of generating text and understand complex questions. Now it goes beyond this, with Google’s Gemini and OpenAI video tool Sora creating lifelike videos from text.

Many want to hop on the bandwagon, with Samsung’s Galaxy AI, Qualcomm’s AI engine on the latest Snapdragon chip, and even telecommunication service Etisalat showing up with a realistic AI robot. The question is: where is this leading to? Well, Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis has a few answers.

He’s one of the leading experts in the AI field, having founded DeepMind in 2010 putting Google on par with the other AI research laboratory, OpenAI. During a keynote at MWC 2024, Hassabis talked about the future of AI and its impact on accelerating human progress in different fields:

Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis

Demis Hassabis on AI

“I think its an incredible opportunity for mobiles and telcos with the admin of AI. I speak to many of colleagues about this, but I think from the advent of digital assistance, I think we’re going to have next-generation smart assistance that are useful in your everyday life without feeling to gimmicky like the previous generation. There will be questions about ‘what is the right device type,’ even.

“Today, we’re seeing amazing things on phones and stuff like Android phones that we work on. We put features in like Gemini to make these phones more intelligent and much more adaptable to use. But in five years time, is a phone even going to be the perfect form factor? Maybe it will be glasses or some other device so AI can actually see better context that you’re in so it can be helpful in your daily life. There are so many amazing things that can be invented from using AI.”

Hassabis believes that we’re still in the early stages of what AI can do for us. While our smartphones are getting stuffed with AI features, the main thing it really does is help us do what we need fast and efficiently. Apart from this, however, we have a few more years until we see its next-level capabilities.

In the Wired interview, Hassabis talked about how AI companies would compete with each other in terms of appealing to customers that’s more than just AI chatbots.

Man on laptop watched by AI eye concept

“We’ve been on that track for a long time; that’s our bread and butter really, agents, reinforcement learning, and planning, since the AlphaGo days. We’re dusting off a lot of ideas, thinking of some kind of combination of AlphaGo capabilities built on top of these large models. Introspection and planning capabilities will help with things like hallucination, I think.

“It’s sort of funny, if you say “Take more care” or “Line out your reasoning,” sometimes the model does better. What’s going on there is you are priming it to sort of be a little bit more logical about its steps. But you’d rather that be a systematic thing that the system is doing.

“This definitely is a huge area. We’re investing a lot of time and energy into that area, and we think that it will be a step change in capabilities of these types of systems — when they start becoming more agent-like. We’re investing heavily in that direction, and I imagine others are as well.”

AGI (Artificial General Intelligence) was also a big talking point. It doesn’t exist (yet). It’s a hypothetical type of AI that aims to achieve human-like intelligence, and this is the type of AI that goes well beyond what many tech companies boast about on their devices. While AI systems have shown impressive capabilities in specific areas, they lack the general intelligence and adaptability envisioned in AGI.

If it’s ever achieved (Hassabis is probably on the case), it will be capable of learning and adapting to new situations and tasks without explicit programming, understanding and reasoning like humans, applying knowledge to solve complex problems in various domains, and demonstrating general intelligence across a wide range of cognitive abilities, mimicking the versatility of human thought.

In the meantime, we’ll stick with talking to AI chatbots. For more on how AI is affecting our lives, check out our chat with Norton about combating AI cybercrime.

Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from the mischievous world of online security to washing machines designed for earbuds. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for laptops into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. When he's not checking out the latest devices and all things tech, he can be found swimming laps, watching terrible shark movies, and trying to find time to game.  Previous Editor at Laptop Mag and News Editor at Time Out Dubai, specialising in food culture, nightlife events, gaming, tech and entertainment.

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