From AI to TV: TWiT Dissects the Tech of CES 2024

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The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is like tech's crystal ball, offering a glimpse into the future through new products and prototypes. The TWiT podcast network recently recapped CES 2024's highlights and lowlights, touching on everything from quirky crowd-pleasers to potential game-changers during their lively discussion.

Host Leo Laporte and guests Daniel Rubino, David Pierce, and Fr. Robert Ballecer covered a wide range of innovations unveiled at the show. Laporte cited artificial intelligence as a key theme, with devices boasting new on-device neural processing units that allow tasks like background blurring in video calls without relying on the cloud. He compared it to the early days of internet expansion when no one could anticipate how revolutionary apps like Google Maps would be.

The panel also geeked out over advanced new displays with higher resolution, faster refresh rates, and improved OLED and microLED panels. But sometimes, the tech took a backseat to the form factor - Samsung’s oddball transparent TV prompted plenty of skepticism. David Pierce criticized manufacturers' obsession with making tech look less like tech and more like upscale furniture. "This is so bougie," Laporte agreed about the disguised TVs.

Pierce highlighted a positive movement toward better device interoperability, with new standards emerging for technology like fast charging and casting. But Laporte remembers that his hopes for interoperability are always dashed due to money always leaning toward proprietary technologies. So the ever-elusive dream of perfectly functioning smart home ecosystems remains just that, for now.

In the end, the panel circled back to the widespread implementation of artificial intelligence and agreed society needs a balanced approach to developing AI responsibly, allowing access to data while considering impacts on individuals' careers and livelihoods. It seems we want future tech to entertain and amaze us while also solving pressing problems like climate change. If this year's demos are any indication, we may achieve that goal sooner than we think.

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