Monday, April 15, 2024

Lenovo eyes firms, consumers with AI innovations at Tech World ’23

Lenovo opened on Tuesday, Oct. 24, its Tech World ‘23, its annual event to showcase the Chinese technology company’s latest products, services, and plans for the upcoming year.

Markedly, this year’s event was dominated by artificial intelligence (AI).

While Lenovo is only one of many companies launching generative AI offerings during what is being hailed as the AI revolution, the tech giant sought to distinguish itself by targeting both businesses and individuals.

For enterprises, demonstrations revolved around Lenovo’s hybrid AI foundation models and turnkey AI solutions. On the other hand, ordinary consumers were treated to sneak peeks of AI-enabled devices that promised to take personalization to another level.

Before diving into their AI solutions for enterprises, Lenovo explained their unique approach to generative AI or the hybrid AI Foundation Model (FM) framework. FMs are a type of generative AI and Lenovo’s framework combines public, private, and personal FM to leverage the best features of each.

Each type of FM has its undeniable pros and cons. Public FM like ChatGPT have the widest and possibly most updated databases as they operate on the public cloud and subsequently, have access to the Internet. Enterprises, though, are wary of using public FM due to the risk of exposing their confidential information.

In contrast, private and personal AI are safer in terms of data privacy since they operate on private clouds or personal devices and can be trained to be more efficient at completing context-specific tasks.

Lenovo’s hybrid AI framework, however, utilizes a data management and privacy proxy that evaluates the query submitted to the AI, checks which parts are classified, and sources different parts of the response from public, private, and personal AI models. It then consolidates the gathered data into a coherent response.

In this way, the proxy acts as a mediator and enables Lenovo’s Hybrid AI to generate responses from a wider database, while still preserving an enterprise’s data privacy and maintaining the same level of personalization.

“By combing these all together [with our partners], we believe we’ll help enterprises and individuals reach their potential through the empowerment of AI Foundation Models.” Dr. Yong Rui, Lenovo senior VP and CTO, said.

In addition to explaining their first-in-class Hybrid FM Framework for businesses during Tech World ‘23, Lenovo unveiled its ambitious goal to become the one-stop shop for companies looking to adopt readymade AI tools.

To that end, it showcased several AI solutions for companies’ internal and external use.

Scott Tease, Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group GM for HPC and AI, noted that turnkey AI solutions are in demand because companies desire to harness the transformative potential of AI, but usually do not know where to start.

“These customers, many of them are not buying AI. They’re buying a capability to transform their business,” Tease said.

“We know that AI is really daunting for many companies. They’re figuring out how and where and why to use it. But what’s most important for them is to identify opportunities, build the solution, and implement it, at scale and with speed,” added David Rabin, Lenovo Solutions and Services Group VP and CMO.

For company’s internal operations, Lenovo focused on two AI-powered tools. First, it released Care of One, an HR platform designed to nurture a great workplace experience and increase employee productivity.

It also launched its Sustainability Engine, a Web-based dashboard that helps businesses visualize how their decisions impact their progress towards their sustainability goals and choose the most sustainable option.

Regarding customer-facing innovations, Lenovo demonstrated how AI can be used in many industries. For instance, in retail it can improve logistics management, deliver personalized advertising displays, and provide customer store analytics.

For entertainment venues, they could supply crowd analytics and shorten queuing times, automate checkout and payment, as well as manage traffic flow and safety.

Several different types of AI, such as Large Language Models and Natural Language processing, could even be linked to create virtual assistants for the banking and hospitality industries.

These solutions, though, were only the opening act. Lenovo has several other AI solutions to offer. For instance, through its AI Innovators program, Lenovo has partnered with 50 AI start-ups and such partnerships have produced more than 165 AI tools for businesses.

Another important partnership Lenovo spotlighted during Tech World was with major GPU and chip manufacturer NVDIA. Dubbed the Lenovo and NVDIA’s Hybrid AI Initiative, this program hopes to accelerate generative AI adoption and bring this technology closer to where companies store their data, whether it’s on the cloud or elsewhere.

Lastly, Lenovo tackled how they are incorporating AI into their portfolio of personal devices like their PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

Today, a number of Lenovo products already support AI such as the Lenovo ThinkStations, ThinkPhone by Motorola, and ThinkVision 27 3D Monitor.

During TechWorld ‘23, however, the company committed to bringing generative AI to more devices and through them, to ordinary users.

“Our goal is to put AI in your hands,” declared Daryl Cromer, Lenovo Intelligent Devices Group VP and CTO for PCs and smart devices.

“Lenovo is ready. We’ve been working and planning this for years. We’re the only cloud to pocket company that can support multiple devices, multiple OSs, and multiple configurations… So we’re going to be able to bring you with us on the AI journey.”

The tech firm believes that Personal FM will be an integral part of devices and this technology will soon impart a new dimension to the word “personal” in PC.

FM will allow each person’s device to gradually become more tailored to their user habits, knowledge, and experiences, so that even acts as simple as typing notes will become customized to individual users.

Besides greater personalization, Lenovo’s guarantees that its AI-enabled portfolio will allow faster processing, reduced energy consumption, and advanced privacy and security.

Notably, Lenovo also predicted that AI would drive a PC replacement cycle as they project consumers will prefer devices that are designed to handle AI workloads and support AI capabilities.

In short, from the nitty-gritty of their approach to FMs to their turnkey AI businesses solutions to the AI-enabled personal devices, Lenovo’s new lineup of AI products and services in Tech World ‘23 emphasizes how soon generative AI will be embedded into our surroundings and available at our fingertips.

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