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General computers with artificial intelligence

General computers with artificial intelligence

Microsoft CEO (CEO) Satya Narayana Nadella speaks at a Microsoft live event in Manhattan, New York City, October 26, 2016.

Lucas Jackson | Reuters

MicrosoftBuild’s Build developer conference kicks off on Tuesday, giving the company the opportunity to showcase its latest AI projects, following high-profile events hosted by OpenAI this month and Google.

One area where Microsoft has a clear advantage over others in the AI ​​race is its ownership of the Windows operating system, which gives the company a huge PC user base.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in January that 2024 will mark the year in which artificial intelligence will become “part of the top tier of every computer.”

The company already offers its Copilot chatbot assistant in the Bing search engine and, for a fee, in its Office productivity software. Now, PC users will be able to hear more about how AI is integrated into Windows and what they can do with it on new AI-enabled PCs.

The build comes days after Google I/O, where the search giant unveiled its most powerful AI model yet and demonstrated how Gemini AI will work on computers and phones. Before the Google event, OpenAI announced its new GPT-4o model. Microsoft is the lead investor in OpenAI, and its Copilot technology is based on OpenAI models.

For Microsoft, the challenge is two-fold: maintaining a prominent position in artificial intelligence and boosting PC sales, which have been stagnant for the past two years after an upgrade cycle during the pandemic.

In a recent note on Dale For investors, Morgan Stanley analyst Eric Woodring wrote that he remains “optimistic about the recovery of the PC market” due to feedback from customers and “recent bullish revisions to laptops” generated by the original design manufacturer (ODM).

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Technology industry researcher Gartner estimated that PC shipments increased 0.9% in the quarter after a multi-year decline. Demand for personal computers was “slightly better than expected,” Amy Hood, Microsoft’s chief financial officer, said on the company’s quarterly earnings call last month.

Microsoft’s new AI tools could give enterprise and consumer customers another reason to upgrade their old PCs, whether they’re made before… HPOr Dell or Lenovo.

“Although Copilot for Windows does not directly drive monetization, we believe it should drive increased Windows adoption, Windows stickiness, and customers moving toward more powerful, higher-priced PCs (and thus more Microsoft revenue per device), and potentially search revenue.” Bernstein analysts wrote in a note to investors on April 26, the day after Microsoft reported earnings.

While Microsoft will provide the software to handle some of the AI ​​tasks sent to the Internet, its computers will be powered by chips from… AMD, Intel Corporation And Qualcomm For offline AI functionality. This could include, for example, using your voice to ask Copilot to summarize text offline.

What is an AI computer?

Adding the main hardware to an AI computer is what is called a neural processing unit. NPUs go beyond the capabilities of traditional central processing units (CPUs) and are specifically designed to handle AI tasks. Traditionally, they have been used by companies such as apple To enhance photos and videos or for speech recognition.

Microsoft hasn’t said what the AI-powered PCs will be able to do yet without an Internet connection. But Google’s PIxel 8 Pro, which doesn’t have a full computer processor, can summarize and transcribe recordings, recommend text message responses, and more with Gemini Nano AI.

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PCs equipped with Intel’s latest Lunar Lake chipset with a dedicated NPU are expected to arrive in late 2024. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon During this quarter.

Intel Corporation He says The chips allow for things like “real-time language translation, automated reasoning, and enhanced gaming environments.”

Apple has been using NPUs for years and recently highlighted them in the new M4 chip for the iPad Pro. The M4 chip is expected to launch in the next round of Macs sometime this year.

Windows on arm

QualcommUnlike Intel Corporation And AMDoffers chips powered by arm-Existing architecture. One of Microsoft’s sessions will talk about “Next Generation Windows on Arm,” which will likely cover how Windows runs on Qualcomm chips and how that differs from Intel and AMD’s versions of Windows.

Intel still controls 78% of the PC chip market, followed by AMD at 13%, according to the latest reports. Data from Canalys.

In the past, Qualcomm has promoted Snapdragon Arm-based PCs by touting longer battery life, thinner designs, and other benefits like cellular connectivity. But previous versions of Qualcomm’s chips were limited in what they offered consumers. In 2018, for example, the company’s Snapdragon 835 chip couldn’t run most Windows applications.

Microsoft has since improved Windows to handle traditional applications on Arm, but questions remain. The company even has Frequently asked questions page Designed for computers running on ARM hardware.

Artificial intelligence everywhere else

Microsoft will also host sessions like “AI Everywhere” covering how to “accelerate generative AI models” on devices running in the cloud.

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The “Azure AI Studio” session will look at how developers can create their own Copilot chatbots, which may be similar to what Google and OpenAI are doing with Gemini and ChatGPT. Imagine, for example, a company creating a chatbot that can help employees choose health benefits.

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