Microsoft to bake AI into its laptops

Plus LG wants to put an AI robot in your home

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Microsoft will reportedly introduce AI-juiced laptops in 2024

With the rollout of its Copilot tools, **Microsoft **has not been shy about its AI ambitions. And now it seems the company is bringing the same approach to its hardware unit.

According to unnamed sources for Windows Central, Microsoft plans to launch Intel and Arm iterations of its Surface Pro and Surface Laptop machines this spring. The devices will also feature dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) chips, making them well-suited to handle on-device AI tasks.

Windows Central notes the Arm variants are expected to make use of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X chips, which the chipmaker says is “built for AI.”

Windows Central also says Microsoft will introduce improved displays for both the Surface Pro and Surface Laptop, and that the new devices should land sometime this spring.

Why it matters: With Microsoft baking a slew of AI features into Windows, the company will need shiny new hardware that can handle the load. Let’s see if these new devices can meet those demands.

Windows Central | Link to story.

LG to showcase an AI robot at CES

Every January, CES pops up in Las Vegas to show off all kinds of cool technology from a raft of manufacturers. And with artificial intelligence firmly in the consumer space now, don’t be surprised if CES 2024 is brimming over with AI-infused gadgets.

LG is getting out the gate early by previewing its so-called AI Agent - a two-wheeled multimodal robot that it says can “move, learn, comprehend and engage in complex conversations.”

The South Korean company notes the AI Agent boasts a camera, speaker, and several other sensors, allowing it to control smart home devices, monitor pets, and more. The AI-powered robot also includes the ability to recognize faces and can even discern a user’s emotional state - allowing it then play music that matches the person’s mood. Yes, really.

LG has not announced price or availability details, but hopefully we’ll get more information when CES kicks off January 9.

Why it matters: AI robots are coming, so why not make them cute?
LG | Link to story.

Square Enix opens its arms to AI

Square Enix, the game studio behind the much-beloved Final Fantasy series, is going all-in on AI this year. 

Takashi Kiryu, president of the Tokyo-based games company, has put out a New Year memo, outlining the company’s goals over the next 12 months. In the missive, Kiryu says the game-maker will be “aggressive” in its embrace of AI, noting it will implement the tech in “content development … and publishing.” 

Kiryu also discussed Square Enix’s mission to incorporate blockchain tech and cloud computing into the company’s infrastructure. “In the longer term,” Kiryu notes, “we hope to leverage those technologies to create new forms of content for consumers.”

**Why it matters: **The video game industry is valued at approximately $350 billion annually, so there could be some real spoils for AI companies who get into the space.

IGN | Link to story.

The Gray Lady fights back

If 2023 was the year the AI party really got going, 2024 could be the year of the AI hangover.

The New York Times has filed a copyright suit against OpenAI and its [patron](https://www.fool.com/investing/2023/11/21/microsoft-10-billion-openai-great-news-stock/#:~:text=Back%20in%20January%2C%20Microsoft%20(MSFT,injected%20%241%20billion%20in%202019.) Microsoft, claiming the duo used millions of articles to train their chatbots.

As noted in The New York Times’ own reporting, the company has not put a figure on how much money it wants from OpenAI and Microsoft, but it does say they should be held accountable to the tune of “billions of dollars.”
The report adds that The New York Times had tried to hash out its issues with OpenAI and Microsoft, but that they hadn’t been able to come to a resolution.

Why it matters: If what The New York Times says is true - that the parties had tried but failed to find an amicable solution - then it suggests the Paper of Record may have a case. However, a lawsuit has a way of focusing the mind, so it seems fairly likely that this case could be settled before it truly gets going.

The New York Times | Link to story (paywall).

Profile Picture of Tom Wilton

Written By: Tom Wilton

Lead Newsletter Writer

Published Date: Jan 03, 2024

Microsoft will reportedly update its Surface lineup with AI chips, while LG has an AI Agent to control your smart devices.

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