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The Pace of AI and Innovation: The Six Five’s Insights from Computex 2024 in Taipei

The Pace of AI and Innovation: The Six Five's Insights from Computex 2024 in Taipei

On this episode of the Six Five On The Road at Computex Taipei, analysts Daniel Newman, Ryan Shrout, Anshel Sag, and Olivier Blanchard discuss the rapid advancements in AI and innovation showcased at Computex 2024 in Taipei.

Their conversation covers:

  • Key trends and breakthroughs in AI technology from Computex 2024
  • How these innovations are shaping various industries
  • The impact of AI on global technology strategies
  • Insights into the future of computing and digital transformation
  • Expert analysis of the challenges and opportunities ahead in AI

Learn more at Computex 2024.

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Transcript:

Daniel Newman: Hey everyone. The Six Five is on the road. We are here in Taipei Taiwan at Computex 2024, and we have spent the last couple of days at Computex here doing exclusive coverage for Qualcomm. It’s been a great couple of days, a lot going on in the industry, but this particular segment excited to bring back all of the hosts. We’ve got the team here. We’ve got Ryan Shrout, we’ve got Anshel Sag, we’ve got Olivier Blanchard. How did I do Buddy? We have Olivier Blanchard here, and we are going to chat a little bit with all of you out there about our impressions of the overall event. Gentlemen, it’s been a good couple of days. The jet lag is just starting to wear off in time for us to go home. How are we all doing?

Anshel Sag: I’m good. I’ve been here for a week, so I haven’t been jet-lagged at all. So I’m not in a equal position as you guys, but I can appreciate the difficulty of having to do these interviews.

Daniel Newman: And you just couldn’t go with it and just give it to me there, huh?

Anshel Sag: Nah, I’m-

Daniel Newman: That’s why we love Anshel.

Anshel Sag: … I’m keeping it real.

Daniel Newman: Always keeps it honest for us. So gentlemen, I was thinking let’s start here. Let’s start with the big overall macro perspective of the event. Olivier, I kick it off over to you. First Computex, a lot going on here. We’ve been tracking all of these companies, all of these announcements. What stuck with you over the last few days?

Olivier Blanchard: Pace. The pace, the acceleration of the space. So speaking specifically of AI PCs as a category, which two years from now, we’ll just call them PCs again and Copilot+, it’s like Snapdragon started an arms race, I feel. And we’ve definitely seen AMD and Intel response, this Computex, even with Copilot+ branding, which I thought was interesting. And then obviously all the OEMs and the partners following suit and everybody’s trying to elbow each other to the front and find their lanes. And that’s another thing that I find really interesting is especially with the three different platforms, so AMD, Intel, and Snapdragon, everybody trying to find their lane and the specific value proposition that’s going to be translated into choices out in the market, both in the commercial side and on the consumer side.

Daniel Newman: So Anshel, Olivier said something kind of profound there. He said they won’t be called PCs anymore, or sorry, you said they won’t be called Copilot Plus or AI plus or Copilot. So that’s an interesting inflection. Do you follow that school of thought? Is this going to be a nomenclature that sticks Copilot+ are we going to be calling this or is a PC just going to be a PC?

Anshel Sag: I think Olivier is right. I think we’re going to be in a place where AI just becomes another capability of the PC. And we didn’t really call them WiFi PCs anymore, but that was a thing.

Daniel Newman: Was it?

Anshel Sag: There was a point where WiFi wasn’t a standard feature. And I think we will see AI just become the next thing that’s part of the fabric of Windows. And these next couple years will probably be a lot of infighting and lots of throat-cutting and backstabbing. But reality is that we will see the AI become just another PC. And I mean right now it’s heated and it’s aggressive and there’s lots of back-and-forth, and I think it’s exciting for a lot of us, but eventually it’ll become kind of boring.

Ryan Shrout: I think our conversation with Pavan led into that same type of conversation. Eventually this will just be part of every software. We joke all the time about not every piece of software is AI software, but at some point it will be the case. There’ll be underlying language models or generation models or anything else that’s going to move into every aspect of what we do. I think eventually we will just call them PCs. Maybe it’ll be a totally new nomenclature at that point. Some kind of assistant agent, whatever you want get into it because we’ve also talked about how the form factors might physically change at the same time.

Daniel Newman: Yeah, we saw that and we heard in a Q&A with this morning with Cristiano, he looked at a picture, there was a slide of different form factors and he said he saw the opportunity of all of them. And of course that really makes sense with sort of Qualcomm’s heritage of low power, high performance, mobile form factors. You referenced Pavan. And of course for everybody out there, we had a whole series, an exclusive series of content here. So we’ll make sure we click the links, check the show notes, be part of this event.

But Cristiano actually, Ryan said something to us when you and I sat down with him, great interview, you should watch it. And he talked about how applications as we know them will go with apps as we know them will change because of LLMs. Talk about a provocative thought. Right now we’re so used to picking apps and using apps, but at some point when you’re running 6, 7, 8 different language models on your phone, you talk to the model, it figures out it can actually render the graphic, it can create the… How much do you see that changing? How fast do you see this all happening?

Ryan Shrout: I think it could be pretty quick. You think back to when we brought in smartphones, we went from websites to apps. There’s some similar transition there of apps to agents or whatever nomenclature you want to use for it. And we already see some of the unique hardware options that have come out that their whole job is to interface to an Uber app or interface into a food ordering app or something like that.

Anshel Sag: KPI’s.

Ryan Shrout: Yeah, yeah. And so I think that’ll continue to be the case. So I’m curious to see how Windows handles that, how the PC ecosystem handles that. When we were talking with Steve Long from Lenovo earlier, he talked about how they build their layers on top of something like X Elite and Windows to build their own custom tailored value proposition for commercial enterprise.

Anshel Sag: Yeah. And Acer do the same thing in our sessions. And I’ll add that, I think I’ve read this, the paper that Google put out the 200 pager on assistance. But what it really talks about is these machine to machine interfaces and how a lot of the AI we’re going to be using in the future will be interacting with other AI and how that will change the interfaces. And during Asus keynote yesterday, they talked about how the PC has transitioned from text to GUI to these LLMs and conversational interfaces. So I think you guys are right that we’re going to see AI drastically change the way we interact with our PCs, but also what a PC looks like and how PCs work with each other and how we interface with them all at the same time.

Daniel Newman: And it’s interesting because the abstractions are going to change, not just PCs, not just devices, Edge, mobile phones, also enterprise and applications. We’ve had conversations with CEOs of big enterprise software companies. They’re talking about a single pane of glass, right now why do we need to go in from a CRM to an ERP to, you should be able to also use a language model to understand what you’re asking for. I want to see financial models, I want to see sales data. I want to see customer contact center data and you’ll be able to do it all.

So it’ll work this way with our consumer commercial business productivity apps. It’s going to work all the way into the business applications. Anshel, you’re a maven of all things XR. We had Alex Katouzian joined us for a session. Alex leads the XR business, talked a lot about it. And of course I believe Cristiano Ammon extended that conversation a bit. But what about that? How does this AI PC, the contextualization of devices start to tie together, maybe bring that XR trend back to life? I’ll call it a stop start, but what do you call it?

Anshel Sag: I would say that the XR trend has never stopped, it has just sped up or slowed down. So right now with Apple and Vision Pro, having given that a little bit more energy, I think you’re going to see that continue to move forward with all of the AI capabilities because a lot of people don’t realize a lot of the fundamental AI capabilities we have today actually came from XR because in XR you don’t have a keyboard. So you have to have these language models reading what you’re saying and spitting it back out, hand tracking because you don’t have controllers. So all these things that we’re seeing in AI today and other places in the phone or on the PC, all these things were already in XR, it just, they weren’t at scale. So I think what’s interesting is a lot of these interfaces that we’re seeing in the PC side are starting to converge with what’s possible in XR.

And I think you’re going to see a tighter coupling of spatial computing with PCs. And you’re starting to see it already. Lots of PC makers are doing 3D displays again. And I think the reason why is because you’re going to see people trying to collaborate with each other, whether it’s in a headset or on a PC or on a smartphone. And now the glasses free 3D is actually good, which as we all know, it really wasn’t. And 3D TVs died very easily as a result of that. But I believe in the future, we will have a very strong convergence between what you do on the PC and what’s possible in the XR device. And the users will be none the wiser because they’ll choose the interface they want because I don’t think everyone’s going to want to put on a headset, but they don’t have to. And I think that’s going to be something that drives PCs in the future in terms of graphics capabilities and AI. And I just think it’s a net positive for everybody, and it’s a great way to increase collaboration and creativity.

Daniel Newman: And you look good in those Ray-Bans. I’ve seen you in them.

Anshel Sag: I use them all the time, every day.

Daniel Newman: So we’ve got a few minutes left. I’ve got something for Olivier and then Ryan, I’m going to let you take it home. But Olivier first, we’ve talked a lot about the things that were hot here. We’ve talked about PCs. Now we’ve talked about XR. Alluded a little bit to data center, another area where Qualcomm has had a lot of successes in the automobile. We talk about contextualization, we talk about the ability to go from device to device to device. Well, the car becomes a device and they’ve had that huge 45 billion. Curious, as you’re seeing all the compute here, how do you see it extending to the Edge into other experiences, maybe the automotive experience?

Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, so that’s actually a point that came up when we were having an interview with Don McGuire, which you should also watch, it’s a great segment.

Daniel Newman: You heard it there.

Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, so it’s about the Snapdragon brands as a whole. So now obviously we’re talking about PCs because we’re at Computex, but obviously they’ve been in Mobile, they’ve been in XR, they’ve been in automotive, and they’re still accelerating there. There’s wearables and hearables as well. So there’s this whole Snapdragon ecosystem that works really well together. And I think just to add to what Anshel was just talking about with how XR might actually make not a comeback, but might swing back into the forefront of use cases.

Ryan Shrout: An accelerator.

Olivier Blanchard: Yeah, I think that as people use voice and assistants and agents with their PCs a lot more, they’ll become just much more used to that type of interface. And so I think that Smart Glasses and XR will be a natural add-on in the next few cycles. So I agree with you, and I think that’s going to be the gateway. But I think we have a similar thing going on with automobiles. So right now we’re talking about EVs and we’re talking about software-defined vehicles, a lot of technology going into these cars about data centers. And we’re basically figuring out the technical layers in the vehicle.

But ultimately it’s about experiences. All of this stuff is about experiences. And if you can create a homogenized, easy to navigate experience across all of your devices, PC, phone, XR and vehicle, you’ve got the winning combination. And so I think that where Qualcomm is actually really well positioned is they have a foot in all of these different areas, and they should be able to bring that entire ecosystem together to create that general broad experience of AI and assistance and agents that doesn’t really care what device you’re using and what you’re driving. It’s always around you and it’s always there to help.

Daniel Newman: Yeah. And if Patrick we’re here, Patrick Moorhead, my partner in crime, we would be talking about doing a victory lap right now about how we got the diversification strategy right, called it out early. And now you’re starting to see the market reward Qualcomm. And of course the Microsoft coming out Best Buy coming out, they’re starting to be rewarded the $45 billion pipeline. Look, I mean, as analysts, it’s our job to make calls about what we see in the tech industry, but also sometimes the calls are made by the market. So I’m just always glad when we get it right early. Ryan, you run Signal65, which is the testing and performance business, and you’ve been doing testing and benchmarking and your team has been looking across the landscape. How do you see the performance evolving in this particular category? We’ve got to get more performant, we need to get more power efficient, we need to see developers building apps. You’ve been doing this a long time. Love for you to take us home, give us your assessment.

Ryan Shrout: A very long time. I think what has been super interesting to me is to hear Microsoft take a very rigid stance on requirements. I think in the past you might’ve seen Microsoft be a little bit more forgiving. Maybe it could be a little bit under power efficiency and it’s not a big deal. It’s not only the battery life was good, and now they’re saying, “You need to have this level of TOPS performance. It needs to be on an NPU. It needs to have this specific power efficiency requirement.” And that is, I think, the drive that’s going to make every Silicon provider better, because now nobody’s going to take any shortcuts, and the Snapdragon X Elite is here first. It’s going to be the first out the door to address that issue, and that’s fantastic.

We talked a little bit with Pavan even today about how do you view this going forward? More TOPS is going to enable more applications. More applications are going to require more performance. And he was pretty adamant that that’s great, but it needs to maintain this power efficiency level. That’s their vision. They don’t want to get this out of balance. So I think how we look at performance is going to change a little bit. People talk about TOPS and then people talk about TOPS per watt, and they talk about time to first token and all these other things. You were talking about how machines talk to machines. This was something that-

Daniel Newman: Fluency.

Ryan Shrout: Yeah, when we were at the build event, talking with Stevie at Microsoft, talking about time to first token, when you’re communicating with a human needs to be very different than when you’re communicating AI to AI. It needs to be a much quicker thing so that consumers can see that advantage. So I think starting to look at that and measuring performance in that way is going to be really important. So I’m looking forward to it. For me, this is like an interesting renaissance of performance matters 20 years ago. It was just, what’s the frequency you can hit? And power be darned. Now how do we do this in the right way and get the performance where we need to get it from?

Daniel Newman: Yeah, well, we got to auto GPT this crew so that we can do more of these shows, more of these podcasts, more of these conversations. But gentlemen, I want to thank you all. It’s been a great time. Appreciate you joining me here. Let’s do it more often. Let’s bring Mr. Moorhead back too. We got no breaks, no breaks, we’ll leave a spot for him. But Olivier, Anshel, Ryan, great event, great show. See you all soon. And for all of you, we appreciate you tuning in. Join our community, subscribe, be part of this Six Five. We are on the road. We are at Computex, Taipei, Taiwan 2024. Big inflection in the AI space. But for myself, for Ryan, for Olivier, for Anshel, we’re signing off. We’ll see you all later.

Author Information

Daniel is the CEO of The Futurum Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise.

From the leading edge of AI to global technology policy, Daniel makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology investments. Daniel is a top 5 globally ranked industry analyst and his ideas are regularly cited or shared in television appearances by CNBC, Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal and hundreds of other sites around the world.

A 7x Best-Selling Author including his most recent book “Human/Machine.” Daniel is also a Forbes and MarketWatch (Dow Jones) contributor.

An MBA and Former Graduate Adjunct Faculty, Daniel is an Austin Texas transplant after 40 years in Chicago. His speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.

As President, Signal65 Ryan ensures the company provides valuable insight on competitive analysis, performance marketing, product positioning, and real-world experience comparisons.

With a focus on in-depth testing and nearly two decades of hands-on experience, Ryan has created a breadth of knowledge in nearly all fields of hardware including CPUs, GPUs, AI/NPUs, SoC design, memory systems, storage, graphics, displays and their integration into client and data center solutions and platforms.

He spent five years at Intel serving in roles from competitive analysis, to owning client technical marketing, and driving product delivery in the client graphics and AI division. Prior to Intel, Ryan spent 18 years analyzing hardware and technology as the owner of PC Perspective and three years as the Principal Analyst at Shrout Research.

Ryan has worked with major technology companies and their product management teams at Intel, Qualcomm, AMD, NVIDIA, Arm, MediaTek, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung, ASUS, Meta, Microsoft, and Adobe. His work has been cited and quoted by numerous technology news outlets and is a regular contributor to MarketWatch.

Ryan holds a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science from the University of Kentucky.

Olivier Blanchard has extensive experience managing product innovation, technology adoption, digital integration, and change management for industry leaders in the B2B, B2C, B2G sectors, and the IT channel. His passion is helping decision-makers and their organizations understand the many risks and opportunities of technology-driven disruption, and leverage innovation to build stronger, better, more competitive companies.  Read Full Bio.

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