Humane doesn’t want you to keep staring at your screen. Image: humanitarian
A screenless, AI-focused smartphone is coming, following Human AI Pin’s announcement Friday morning, but the company’s demo shows why you need to be careful when trusting generative AI.
The Human Pin is a tiny computer that you wear on your shirt or lapel. It has a camera, speaker and microphone, but no screen.
You can choose to project a barebones interface onto your hand or wall, but designers want customers to stay away from screens and rely on interfacing directly with AI services using voice commands.
“It is a standalone device and software platform built from the ground up for AI,” said Imran Chaudhry, co-founder of Humane.
Humane’s product is initially being released in the US only at a price of US$699 plus a US$24 per month subscription fee.
The fee pays for Internet connections through Humane’s virtual mobile network – it’s partnering with US telco T-Mobile – as well as API calls to cloud services like OpenAI.
It’s all an attempt to keep the form factor down by reducing hardware requirements, while also relying on the explosion of cloud-based AI services that have emerged over the past year.
AI is the key to the human pin, co-founder Bethany Bongiorno said in a pre-recorded demo,
“We don’t make apps. Humane’s OS drives AI experiences that are on-device and in the cloud,” she said.
“The OS understands what you need and chooses the right AI at that time”
But during the company’s demo, the AI made a factual error that is indicative of an existing problem with trusting generative AI.
“When is the next eclipse and where is the best place to see it?” Chaudhary asked.
The pin gives the correct response by saying that the next solar eclipse is on April 8, 2024.
It then confidently says that the best places to view the eclipse are “Exmouth, Australia, and East Timor”: two places where the eclipse will not be seen as it passes through Mexico and much of the US.
– Humane (@Humane) 9 November 2023
human will reportedly update its video To show AI giving correct information.
Humane is not the first company to fail in an AI demo (Google famously lost). $140 billion in market cap A factual error occurred after the announcement of its Bard search engine), but the fact-checking mistake points to why AI is not yet ready to become its own operating system.
Most interactions with your phone screen at least attempt to give you the option to understand the origin of the information it provides.
Humane’s AI Pin gets in the way of your fact-checking by design, thanks to the premise upon which Humane built its tool: that smartphone screens are harmful.
Former Apple executive Jose Benitez Kang reportedly came out of retirement to join Humane and told new York Times This tool can reduce the guilt felt due to working on iPhone.
As a result of its fundamental premise, Humane has designed its devices in a way that limits the ability for customers to control and decide how to use the computer.
At one point in the demo, Chaudhary picks up a book and asks Pin how much it costs, to which the computer says, “It’s $28 online”.
But there are hundreds of bookstores online, which one did AI choose and why?
When he picks up a handful of almonds and asks how much protein they contain, the AI gives a reassuring answer. But how did this come to light? Did it count and estimate them or use some other metric?
Human has made a deal with music streaming company Tidal to bundle its service so that when you ask to play a song, that request goes through its service.
It’s not a stretch to imagine Humane partnering with a retailer like Amazon for its shopping feature, or a niche fitness company for its health features, all in the name of a frictionless user experience. Which may come at the expense of real consumer choice.