January 9, 2024: Future keyboards

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AI is taking over Las Vegas

It’s that time of year again. The tech world has descended upon Las Vegas for CES 2024. AI was only beginning to gain momentum in the run-up to last year’s event, but this year, it’s in full swing.

Here is some of the most interesting AI news coming out of CES this year:

Ballie: Ballie is a smart home robot that wanders your home, looking for things to do to make your life easier. It can feed your dogs, interact with smart objects, project your favorite movies, and even take phone calls. All that, and it’s cute.

Sound Drive: Mercedes-AMG teamed up with Black Eyed Peas star-turned-tech entrepreneur will.i.am to launch Sound Drive. It’s an AI-powered in-car DJ system that crafts playlists to match your driving style in real time.

Volkswagen 🤝 AI: Volkswagen announced that it will start integrating ChatGPT into its car line to upgrade its existing IDA in-car voice assistant.

AI grilling: Yes, you read that right. An AI grill is just around the corner. The Wild AI Perfecta Grill is a $3,500 AI-powered toaster built to perfectly grill steak.

Holobox: The future is now for Star Wars fans. Holobox is a phone-booth-like contraption that makes hologram communication a reality. It’s a two-way system that can display a real-time hologram of whoever you are chatting to.

CES isn’t over yet, and I’m sure there will be even more AI goodness to come. If you want to stay updated in the meantime, subscribe to our Daily Digest.


An AI that matches human speed and quality

Google News search “telemarketing,” and you’ll find that various fraud lawsuits make up most of the search results for at least the first few pages.

And when Americans are not getting frauded, they’re not answering their phone. Pew itself said their response rates for telephone calls declined last year to a measly 6%, down from 36% in 1997. I’d go out on a limb to guess this is a universal experience.

Can AI save the dying industry? “Robocalls” don’t exactly have a good rap.

But one YC-backed company (and YC itself, obviously) is betting on the technology.

Bland AI launched its developer-first AI phone calling API in 2023 and recently introduced Bland Turbo, a conversational AI that “delivers sub-second responses, consistently, matching human speed and quality.”

Don’t believe it? You can try a demo call, which Chris Messina said “is wild.” I was personally impressed that the AI agent even caught on to my Google Voice prompt to state who was calling before pausing to connect me to the call. 


Microsoft is adding AI to its keyboards

Kind of. The keyboards themselves won’t be AI-powered, but a dedicated key is being added to instantly bring up Microsoft Copilot, the company’s native AI assistant. Similar to how the Windows key already exists.

What’s the big deal?

To put how big this is into perspective, it’s the company’s first major update to keyboards in over 30 years.

Yusuf Mehdi, the Executive Vice President and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, compared it to adding the Windows key all those years ago, saying, “We see this as another transformative moment in our journey with Windows where Copilot will be the entry point into the world of AI on the PC.“


Paint Potion - Instantly generate trendy and customizable vector illustrations.

Rely - A developer platform with an AI assistant that you can consult with.

Stylar - An AI image generator that lets you more finely-tune the output.

Monetize your GPT - Does exactly what it says. Add Stripe to your GPT.

AppWeaver - Describe your dream app, and AI will magically build it for you.

Repurposa - Use AI to maximize your content’s reach by repurposing it.

gptengineer - Use AI to build whatever site you want right inside Terminal.

authentiGPT - A tool to reliably discern whether content is AI or human-made.


Written by Aaron O’Leary with Sarah Wright.

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