What people are doing wrong this week: AI gadgets

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Since the Humane AI badge was announced in 2023, there has been a lot of hype about the portable/wearable AI assistant from those interested in the technology and early adopters. Sadly, blue sky techies dreaming of a simpler, brighter, "flowing" lifestyle are fueled by the release of the first two products in the field that have left the AI-ready brains in tatters. They're just not very good. At least until now.

Reviews of The Humane AI Pin and Teenage Engineering's Rabbit R1 are not positive. The general consensus is that maybe it would be cool to have a personal AI device that you can whip out at any time to augment your brain, but that’s not the case with these products. Not only did they not live up to their hype, they weren't very effective either.

Humane AI Pin is the more ambitious and “serious” of the two products. Pin, which retails for $699 and requires a monthly subscription fee to run, is marketed as "your assistant and second brain to keep you present and flowing," but in reality, the AI ​​is slow and Errors occur frequently and battery life is short. Short, and the user interface is terrible, unbiased technology reviewer Marques Brownlee declared the Humane AI Pin "the worst product I've ever reviewed."

Although it functions much like an AI Pin, the Rabbit R1 looks and costs more like a toy. It's safety orange, has a big control knob, and is "only" $199, with no subscription fee. But the AI ​​was often buggy, the battery life was short, and the user interface was terrible, leading Marques Brownlee to declare the R1 "almost impossible to review."

All of this ignores the unanswered question at the heart of both devices: Do people want dedicated AI devices? As many have pointed out, neither the Pin nor the Rabbit can do most things that a phone can't.

"Trust me" product and pay full price for something half baked

Both Rabbit and Pin promise more features in the future, including seamless integration with other devices and the ability to let your AI assistant complete multi-step tasks with simple commands like "Book me a vacation in Mexico." . It all hints at a phone-less, AI-driven future that has a certain appeal. But for now, Pin and Rabbit are "trust me" products: they could be really cool once the software is updated, integrations are completed, bugs are resolved, etc.

It's one thing to improve an existing product with software updates after you've bought it - video games like No Man's Sky and Fallout 76 were huge disappointments at launch but are pretty good now, while Tesla's self-driving capabilities are now more than just an empty promise. touchscreens in cars - but there's no guarantee that Humane's Pin won't go the way of the Juicero, or that Teenage Engineering won't forget about the R1 and go back to making overpriced (but very popular) drum machines that leave consumers with expensive The paperweight they can store their Zune players next.

Live in the past to avoid early adopter regret

To avoid buyer's regret over software that has all but evaporated, just wait at least 18 months before purchasing a tech product. You'll skip all those buggy launches, there'll be tons of games for every console you buy, and there'll be tons of apps for your personal AI assistant. If you wait longer, like three years, you can save a lot of money by buying everything when it's on sale, since version 2.0 will be available soon.

Dusting off before jumping into something new is what most people do anyway, but for early adopters, waiting can be hard. Luckily, I have a solution. It involves virtual time travel. If you were to carefully manage the tech media you consume and make every device you own provide only information that was out of date a few years ago, it would make the previous generation of devices feel brand new, at least for you. This was almost impossible in the past, but now it is possible. In order to achieve this goal, you first need to purchase a personal artificial intelligence assistant, such as the Rabbit R1 or the Humane AI Pin. With the AI ​​assistant at hand, explain the situation in common English. Let it go back three years for any tech-related stories so you never know when anything will be released. It'll integrate seamlessly with your phone, computer, and other devices, turn your simple commands into complex actions, and dynamically edit web pages and YouTube videos so you can — but come to think of it, that doesn't work . Maybe just wait until everything works out.

A brief, unrelated note on whether Donald Trump farts a lot.

Last week, in this column, I assessed the truth or falsity of various stories surrounding Donald Trump's criminal trial. I think the idea that the former president farted in court is "wrong," but I heard from Brett Meiselas of Meidas Touch, the source of "The News," who wrote: "Our reporting is based solely on the experts Facts, and we don’t report something unless it’s well-sourced and corroborated.”

Maybe the reporters at the court felt it was beneath their dignity to report on flatulence, so they didn’t want to go on the record. Anyway, I've changed the title of "Does Donald Trump fart in court?" Changed to "unconfirmed". No one can prove that he didn't fart, and Meiselas enthusiastically supports his story, so of course, whatever. Maybe he farts all the time.

(I don’t want to think about Donald Trump anymore because it’s depressing.)