CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is in full swing, and for the new stuff it's pretty much more of the same. 75% pie-in-the-sky stuff that will either never be released, be released but is prohibitively expensive, or is released and doesn't even remotely live up to the hype they built. The remaining 25% is stuff that's all grey area. And I never quite know what to make of it.
By far the most fascinating thing to me this year is the Rabbit, which is a kind of magical AI box. And, unlike the utterly baffling Humane AI Pin which makes zero sense to me... this one kinda does. Maybe?
Here's their keynote if you want to watch it. If you don't, I'm talking about it below.
It's cute and capable (in a demo) and it's orange-red! AND NO SUBSCRIPTION? Nifty!
Now, I'm just going to point out the huge, huge elephant in the room... Apple, Google, and others have been very clear that they are working to update their digital assistants with AI smarts. And the minute... nay, the second... that Apple unleashes their AI model on Siri, well... what the heck are you going to do if you bought a $200 Rabit device? Still carry two devices around? Or ditch the Rabbit and use the device you already carry around everywhere that can do the same thing?
Let's face it. This is just another phone-like device that doesn't have an actual phone in it.
This entire company is just one feature away from being bought out by Apple or Google or Amazon or whatever.
Setting aside the imminent obsolescence of Rabbit, I have a number of questions about how this AI is going to actually work in context of Real Life. I use to travel a lot. Like a lot a lot. So I admit the trip planning alone is a compelling feature. But what are you actually getting? Does it know your seat preference for the plane ticket? What about food preferences, are they taken into account? When it comes to the hotel, is it comparing features as well as price?
Maybe if the AI is very smart, it would be able to look through all my old email confirmations to understand what I typically like and how much I typically spend and such, but it seems like there's a lot of access it would need to your life, which your phone already has. Rabbit would have to get to all that some how, I'm guessing.
And so... yeah. Rabbit is cute. But I anticipate Apple will add all of these capabilities to Siri on my iPhone within a year, so I'll just be waiting it out.