How the Smartphone Industry is Embracing 'AI Phones': The Game Changing Tech in 2024

NNicholas February 25, 2024 7:01 AM

With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, smartphone giants like Samsung are leaning towards introducing 'AI Phones' to boost their sales. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the integration of AI into smartphones, the implications, and the anticipations for this technology in the year 2024.

Smartphone giants banking on AI

With a difficult stretch of time behind them, major smartphone players like Samsung are turning their attention to the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to give their sales a significant boost. The industry is set to be abuzz with talk of 'AI phones' this year, as manufacturers seek to leverage the increased interest and hype around generative AI that's been building since OpenAI released its ChatGPT in late 2022. These 'AI phones' are set to take center stage at industry events such as the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, with many manufacturers keen to showcase the potential of this game-changing technology.

On-device AI: The new norm

While the exact definition of an AI phone is somewhat nebulous, and varies depending on who you ask, there's general agreement in the industry that these devices will sport advanced chips designed specifically to run AI applications. These chips, such as those already being produced by Qualcomm and MediaTek, will enable AI applications to be run directly on the device, eliminating the need for cloud processing. This is a significant departure from the current norm, where much of the processing for AI applications happens in the cloud and then downloaded onto the phone.

Generative AI: The game changer

A critical part of the AI smartphone puzzle is the introduction of large language models and generative AI. These technologies enable a host of new features, such as chatbots that can generate text and images from user prompts. As a result, we're seeing the rise of AI utilities that go beyond simply providing assistance, and instead have the ability to generate unique content, like poems or meeting summaries, based on user input. The key difference with these AI models is their generative ability, which sets them apart from the virtual assistants we've become accustomed to.

The shift towards on-device AI offers a range of benefits. For one, it improves the security of devices, since sensitive data doesn't need to be sent to the cloud for processing. It also boosts processing speeds, as the need for data to travel to and from the cloud is eliminated. Furthermore, the move to on-device AI opens up the possibility for new applications that were previously unfeasible due to the limitations of cloud processing. These benefits are likely to drive further adoption of on-device AI in smartphones in the coming years.

AI has been incorporated into devices for some time, but we're only just beginning to scratch the surface of what's possible with the combination of large language models and on-device AI. While smartphone manufacturers are set to showcase a plethora of AI-powered features at the Mobile World Congress, the reality is that many of these features still rely on cloud processing. And even with the new AI capabilities, it will likely be a few years before we see truly game-changing applications that become indispensable to consumers.

Avoiding 'AI fatigue' among consumers

There's a risk that the industry's focus on AI could lead to 'AI fatigue' among consumers. After all, consumers aren't interested in technology for technology's sake; they want to know what benefits it can bring to their lives. If smartphone manufacturers focus too much on the AI aspect of their devices, without demonstrating the tangible benefits and use cases, they risk alienating consumers. It's therefore crucial for manufacturers to balance their AI hype with clear, compelling use cases that demonstrate the value of AI phones to the average consumer.

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