The ‘AI PC’ is coming for you, whether you like it or not

There is no such tech company in the world which is not currently trying to prepare itself as an AI innovator. But as an established PC brand, Lenovo has the advantage that it can more easily incorporate AI into its products and services.

However, is there more to it than that? The brand’s PCs already benefit from several AI features. Lenovo showcased it at its Tech World 2023 conference with futuristic concepts like the Personal AI Twin, which will seamlessly leverage on-device information in an AI-assisted fashion, and help you protect personal data from the web at large. will allow. Such projects are another step toward the “AI PC,” as it is being called.

I had a chance to talk to several executives from Lenovo and its partner, AMD, to ask what defines AI PCs and when consumers can expect to see them on the market. Although the answers varied a bit, consensus came sooner than you might think. Here’s what he had to say.

What exactly is AI PC?

lenovo thinkpad z16 gen2 111
Fiona Egomuoh/DigitalTrends

First, I spoke to Lenovo CEO Yuanqing Yang, who laid out his definition of an AI PC to a room full of journalists.

“You could say AI is PC hardware, software, everything,” he said. “In our view, this should include the foundation model. Therefore, you must have a strong enough CPU, plus GPU to increase the computing capacity of your PC or smartphone. AI PC should be more powerful. Not only powerful chips, basic models and operating systems, but also rich applications.

Simply put, Lenovo sees an “AI PC” as a PC where AI is integrated into every level of the system, including both software and hardware. As an example, Luca Rossi, Lenovo’s executive vice president of Intelligent Devices Group, mentioned the Legion brand of gaming notebooks that have already been on the market for more than a year, featuring Ryzen, as a form of AI PC. AI chip included.

“We implement some AI technologies to improve the gaming experience. By explaining to the machine what kind of usage model you are going to use and then the machine fine-tunes the speed, temperature, etc., that’s probably one way to think about AI. Today, when we think about AI, everyone thinks about the big language model, ChatGPT,” Rossi said.

I think this will be one of the biggest things that moves the overall PC market forward that we’ve seen.”

He said Intel’s upcoming Meteor Lake launch in December will introduce an AI-embedded CPU that will lead to a new wave of Lenovo products.

“When? This quarter, meaning the quarter we’re in, there’s already some stuff in the market. There’s more to come with this Meteor Lake launch. And then it’s going to be a journey. As with everything “I think we should not ask ourselves when will the AI ​​PC come because that will be a journey with more devices, more upgrades coming which will be a journey that will probably last for a few years.”

AMD head of OEM PCs Jason Banta told reporters that he believes AI will be the next technological revolution after the PC graphical interface, highlighting that AI capabilities that already benefit cloud and servers should be Will be brought to hardware level.

Closeup of the Lenovo logo on the lid of a laptop.
Jacob Roach/

“Before, you just typed commands. It wasn’t that intuitive. You saw the graphical interface with the mouse, and it really changed the way you interact with productivity. How did you complete the work, how did you feel? I think AI PCs are going to be just as powerful, if not more powerful,” Banta said.

He explained that AI PCs will personally assist you with tasks that are typically time-consuming and make them enjoyable, truly creating the productivity that PCs have always been marketed for. He gave examples of the technology being beneficial for creative work, such as creating artwork presentations or putting together graphics. Additionally, the AI ​​PC will learn and adapt to your work style. Users should expect an emphasis on on-device security that can predict threats ahead of time.

“Doing it on PC will save costs. Cloud AI is expensive. This is something that CIOs have to invest in. Therefore, doing it directly on PC would be advanced but at the same time, it would be more secure and more private. Being able to do that AI right on your notebook, right on your PC, right on your workstation, will bring a degree of privacy that you can’t get the same level of in the public cloud today.

“A lot of progress has been made. It’s going to move very, very fast. I think this is going to be one of the biggest things that really revolutionizes the overall PC market for our region,” he said.

Lenovo Lineup

Lenovo ThinkPad Z13 front view.
digital trends

Lenovo VP of Workstation Business, Rob Harman, said some of the company’s AI PCs include the ThinkPad Z13 Gen 2, Yoga Pro 7, ThinkPad T14s Gen 4, ThinkPad Z16 Gen 2, P620 Workstation, Legion Pro 5, Legion Go, and Legion. Slim 5. These are some of the best Lenovo laptops you can currently buy, all of which were demonstrated during a conversation with AMD executives.

“We already have some, we also have some behind. First of all, a workstation is an AI PC. It has a lot of GPU power. Then the processor inside and the memory that the processor powers and enables. “They are all building blocks to advance AI development and advance the operationalization of AI,” he said.

Harman elaborated that Lenovo has been expanding its workstation team to include client AI since 2017 and has been introducing more consumer-accessible products since then.

“We ship millions of AI PCs to markets, and now, you’re seeing developers trying to understand it.

“So, we’re seeing NPUs and embedded AI engines coming into PCs that are for every day,” he said.

Jason Banta reiterated that Lenovo has been progressive in introducing hardware products that include neural processing and AI systems during past CES. Currently, it is the software developers and ecosystem that is catching up to the already prevalent hardware.

“We shipped millions of AI PCs to markets, and now, you’re seeing developers trying to understand it, trying to figure out how it works with their applications on an individual level, making their Apps get better.”

He said Lenovo is working with big brand partners like Microsoft to help advance the hardware and software, but other software developers are also interested in learning how to develop AI technology around hardware, allowing AI PCs. The market and level of AI will increase. simultaneous capacity.

“There is also a growing need to take advantage of and keep up with the software ecosystem. I think you’re going to find that, even if you buy an AI PC today, what you can do on it today compared to what you can do on that same PC in two or three years, because the software and applications will change. Well, this is going to be a dramatic take on the same thing. Both software and hardware are moving in parallel in that time frame, Banta said.

AMD’s approach

AMD CEO Lisa Su holds an APU chip.

AMD CVP Client Marketing, Gaston Sandoval, also talked about the software development side of AI PCs and how it ties into the hardware. He cited as an example Microsoft’s recent unveiling of its Copilot AI service, which is largely cloud-based. However, the company aims to bring elements of the system to the device as well, so it can be optimized for the hardware.

“One of the things I’m really excited about is how we’re working on the software side to make it easier for developers to tap into new edges faster and develop new applications faster because we believe That we’re not even scratching the surface,” he said. “The faster we can make that software stack easier for developers to play with. We want to start seeing more applications not only for various specific business environments but also for general consumers. So that they can see the general corpus applications coming in.

Our goal is to ensure that developers around the world are able to develop on our solutions.

Robert Hormuth, AMD VP of Data Center Solutions Group, explained that as AI PCs become more common, multiple platforms may begin to collide and will require standardization so they can work harmoniously.

“It is very important for the ecosystem to do this in a standardized way. Tell us you know PyTorch, TensorFlow, Onix. Our goal is to ensure that developers around the world are able to develop on our solutions. “We don’t want to implement things and then end them,” he said.

“We want to make sure that we’re aligning with those standards because there’s a lot of growth going on right now and everyone is doing something different… As we do that, we’re making sure that we Doing it in ways that allow people to grow and develop quickly,” he added.

Companies like Lenovo and AMD consider themselves to be at the pinnacle of AI PCs. Having laid the building blocks in its enterprise sector before now, seeing the success of other brands has inspired Lenovo to show its progress and invest further. It will be interesting to see how quickly the AI ​​PC definition will update and strengthen in the coming years, and whether it actually lives up to the hype.

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