AI Pin founder: The next era of computing will be driven by AI

Bloomberg recently conducted an exclusive interview with Humane founders Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri.

After leaving Apple to found Humane and launching the first AI device, the AI ​​Pin, the couple is determined that the next form of computer will be an AI-driven device. They believe that although AI Pin seems a bit ahead of its time, eventually people will accept it just like the iPhone. The two also talked about their experience working at Apple and their relationship with investor Sam Altman.

The high selling price and subscription fees, as well as the unfamiliar operation methods, make AI Pin look unattractive. Humane acknowledges these issues, but they remain committed to their vision of integrating AI into daily life and "redefining how we interact with technology."

AI Pin may not replace smartphones yet, but it depicts a prototype of the future of human-computer interaction.

Here is the compiled content:

Humane founders Bethany Bongiorno and Imran Chaudhri both worked at Apple. Both of them were once one of the people in charge of iPhone and iPad products. They once handled the research and development of the first generation iPad. Chaudhri also participated in the creation of the iPhone interface.

The couple’s latest product, AI Pin, completely abandons the touch screen they helped define back then. AI Pin is a square device with magnets that can be stuck on clothes to take photos, write text messages or serve as a personal assistant. This device has no screen and interacts with gestures, voice and camera.

Interview author Shirin Ghaffary has experienced this device:

I was wearing a thin polyester jacket that felt lighter than expected. The laser feature is really impressive, allowing you to control the Pin by touching the projection on your palm. I felt like I was in Star Trek as I held the flashing green light in my hand and played songs from my high school days.

The device has raised some doubts, but Bongiorno and Chaudhri are both calm and confident that the AI ​​Pin will eventually win over the doubters.

When someone is really interested and critical, you're doing a really good thing.

The next generation of smart devices will be driven by AI

The couple involved in the development of the iPhone and iPad believe it's time to discuss the next generation of smart devices.

Each generation of smart devices has a 15-year life cycle, and we have reached the end of the smartphone era, and the development of smartphones has entered a stable period.

In the first year after the two left Apple, Chaudhri thought a lot about the new generation of computers, and he ultimately believed:

The next shift in computing will truly be driven by AI.

An experience of eating out also brought some inspiration to the two. At that time, there was a family sitting next to them, two parents and three children. All five of them had been playing with their mobile phones, completely ignoring their family members who were right next to them. This triggered some questions from the two about the social impact of mobile phones. discuss.

Therefore, AI Pin is not only completely driven by AI, but also designed as a device without a screen. Bongiorno believes:

What really matters is that we want to live more in the present moment.

The difference between AI Pin and AI on mobile phones, Bongiorno believes, can be traced back to the vision of software and hardware:

For us, (the vision) is to build a contextual computer. A very personal computer. A multimodal computer, meaning it can use different contextual elements, just like a human.

Humans can handle things through vision, sound, and memory. AI Pin is also equipped with a camera and earpiece. Through these elements, AI has multi-modal processing capabilities. AI Pin will be able to understand the user, understand the user's memory, understand the user's orientation, understand what the user is looking at, and understand what the user hears.

▲Laser projection of AI Pin

The advanced design concept brought controversy to this device. The price of US$699 and the monthly subscription fee of US$24 are enough to buy a regular smartphone, and a smartphone can also directly access various apps and accounts, while AI Pin also requires other devices to access websites. to view a user's personal photos, notes, and other data.

Therefore, the AI ​​Pin is more like an accessory device at this stage and cannot operate independently. It is far from replacing a smartphone, which makes people question whether anyone really needs such a device.

In the face of these criticisms, the two have a very positive and optimistic attitude, Bongiorno said:

This is just the beginning. It's not perfect. Nothing is perfect.
There will be a lot of things that people will dislike about it, or wish things were better. This is true for every 1.0 we develop, and that's the fun part because now we can continue to add and improve.

The product can do very little at first, but it will do more and more

This "relaxation" in making products also comes from the two people's working experience at Apple.

Before founding Humane, most of Chaudhri's work experience was concentrated at Apple, where he spent a lot of time learning how to make products "do what they say". He also created some new products and learned from them:

Some new products present a lot of opportunity, but can only do very little at first, and then there is a very clear path to the product gradually being able to do more.

In fact, the iPhone and AI Pin were in very similar situations when they were first released. The iPhone was not immediately popular when it was released, and there were even a lot of skepticism. Bongiorno himself was initially skeptical of the device's lack of a physical keyboard.

▲The first-generation iPhone was questioned because it did not have a physical keyboard and stylus.

Chaudhri believes that many new products are difficult for people to appreciate immediately because they are new and unfamiliar. For example, Tesla Motors was initially questioned by "Why do you really need this kind of thing?" It is precisely because of these doubts that it shows that someone really cares about what we are doing.

These all constitute AI Pin's "product philosophy". Although the current functionality and usability are relatively limited, Humane is full of hope for its future.

The current AI Pin already has a new computer architecture, and as time goes by, more and more functions will enter the AI ​​Pin. Humane also announced a software development kit that will allow others to build for AI Pins.

Therefore, Bongiorno and Chaudhri believe that the best thing to do at this stage is to listen to the various receptions and criticisms of the product and ensure that it continues to evolve.

Appreciation from OpenAI CEO

Although there are many voices from the outside world that doubt and do not understand AI Pin, there is one person who understood Humane from the beginning. That person is OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who is also one of Humane's major investors.

▲OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

Both Bongiorno and Chaudhri believe Altman's support for Humane is very important:

We wouldn't be where we are today without the support of people like Altman.

When the two of them need Altman, he will always appear by their side to help them think about problems. Altman will also get his AI Pin device soon.

In 2018, when Humane was just starting out, many people couldn't really understand Humane's philosophy and felt that they were too ambitious. Altman was one of the few who really understood it in the early days.

When it comes to the recently revealed news that Altman and former Apple chief designer Jony Ive are building new AI hardware, Bongiorno and Chaudhri said they weren't sure what it would be.

However, they expressed excitement about it. In fact, it's not just Altman and Jony's new device, they're excited about everything to come in this space:

We are convinced that AI will change everything, and there is a lot of work to be done in almost every field. We're excited to do our part and I can't wait to see what others do.

Original address: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/newsletters/2024-04-04/humane-s-founders-are-ready-to-win-over-skeptics-of-their-699-ai-pin
Original author: Shirinn Ghaffary

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