LETTER “THE AWAKENING OF THE MACHINES” N°9 – Update on advances in artificial intelligence, and the debates it arouses.
There are silences that speak volumes. For more than two hours last Monday, during its developer conference, Apple used all the subterfuges, metaphors and convolutions to never utter the expression “artificial intelligence“. At Apple, we talk about “machine learning(seven times), fromlanguage models(the technology behind ChatGPT) and even “advanced encoding and decoding neural network“, but especially no AI. What a contrast with Google which, during its developer conference a month earlier, mentioned AI a hundred times.
Artificial intelligence is a popular expression. It fascinates as much as it worries. Apple, which shuns fads and its pitfalls, has chosen “to ignore this revolution“, headlined the magazine Wired. Moreover, during the presentation of the Vision Pro helmet last Monday, there was no more talk of artificial intelligence than of virtual reality, augmented reality and metaverse.
The Vision Pro helmet, presented by Apple last Monday. JOSH EDELSON / AFP
According to Apple, the Vision Pro headset marks the beginning of “space computing”. The third step in a journey that began nearly forty years ago. There will be, in order:
- personal computing (Mac, PC, etc.): the machine is on a desk, it is controlled by means of a keyboard and a mouse, it is most often fixed, takes little or no account of its environment (webcam).
- mobile computing (iPhone, iPad, Android, etc.): the machine is in the hand, it is controlled with the finger, sometimes with the face (FaceId unlocking), it moves with its owner (in a bag, in a pocket), records parameters in the surroundings (movements, photo, etc.).
- spatial computing (Vision Pro, Oculus): the machine is worn directly on the face, it is controlled with the eyes, sometimes with the fingers, it becomes one with its owner and becomes the only interface for interacting with reality.
This last point deserves some attention.