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With generative AI is the OS


Large Language Models like ChatGPT and GPT-4 are starting to disrupt the operating system market, and this is just the beginning.


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The Humane AI Pin and Rabbit R1 handheld have captured a good bit of press interest for their individual approaches to integrating Generative AI with hardware where increasingly users just text or chat to their phones and then the Generative User Interface just actions it and does whatever it’s been asked to do without the need for pre-loaded apps. Humane, in particular, presents its wearable as a look at life beyond the smartphone which naturally prompts the question: what, precisely, is wrong with the smartphone? While it’s true that the form factor has plateaued, these devices are still out in the world, in billions of hands.


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Earlier this week Jerry Yue, the CEO of chatted about his vision for the future of smartphones, which is something that I researched a long time ago for Huawei, and painted a compelling picture of how generative AI might be foundational to the next generation of devices as we look towards a future that might be dominated by AI agents and so called Large Action Models. That is if the likes of Apple and Google feel charitable and release their grip on their app stores that is.

The whole “future of smartphones” bit may be hyperbolic, but at the very least, I suspect some of the biggest names in the business are currently studying the way first-party generative AI effectively forms the backbone of the product’s generative operating system.


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But while phone companies may see the future in this way the interface may prove foggier for consumers. The implementation turns the current smartphone operating system paradigm on its head, requiring a demo to fully comprehend how it’s different and why it’s useful.

The In Brain’s case the OS isn’t wholly disconnected from Google’s open operating system, but only in the sense that it’s built atop the Android kernel. As we’ve seen from the Trump-era development of Huawei’s HarmonyOS, it’s entirely possible to create something distinct from Android using that as a base. Here, generative AI is more than just integrated into the system, it’s the foundation to the way you interact with the device, how it responds and the interface it constructs.


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The notion of an “AI phone” isn’t an altogether new one. In fact, it’s a phrase you’re going to hear a lot in the coming years. I guarantee you’ll be sick of it soon. Elements of AI/ML have been integrated into devices in some form for several years now. Among other things, the technology is foundational to computational photography — that is the processing of the data collected by the camera sensor that occurs on the chip.

Earlier this month, however, Samsung became one of the first large companies to really lean into the notion of an “AI phone.” The distinction here is the arrival of generative AI — the technology behind programs like Google Gemini and ChatGPT. Once again, much of the integration happens on the imaging side, but it’s beginning to filter into other aspects, as well.

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