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Tech companies want you to wear artificial intelligence

It's not enough that your phone already listens to everything

Welcome to The Level Ups, modern business news for the future business leader (in plain-Jane English).

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t slowing down. From cheating on exams with ChatGPT, to winning art competitions with generative AI, it’s here to stay.

We’ll be wearing it soon.

Today, we cover:

  • AI on the runway.

  • Meta’s new AI glasses.

  • The pros and cons (many risks).

  • Why it matters to the rest of us.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes & 6 seconds.

Let’s get into it.

Wearable AI is coming.

Humane AI, a San Francisco-based tech company, made a statement at Paris Fashion Week, where Naomi Campbell walked the runway wearing their new AI pin.

Humane’s pin is the black box on Naomi’s lapel (via Coperni).

It looks good, a surprise since most new tech products are quite ugly. It kind of looks an Apple rip-off, but it's good.

The pin looks like the iPhone’s little cousin (via Design Boom)

There are no screens but many sensors, so the machine can “weave seamlessly into the users’ day-to-day.”

What does that mean?

Not much until we see it in action live (which we didn’t see in Paris).

But the promise is that it’ll read your messages, take calls, use your voice to write, and translate the conversation into any language. It’ll even tell you if you’re allergic to something in that chocolate bar.

This takes Apple’s “a thousand songs in your pocket” to the next level.

They call it a “standalone device,” which is key. They’re trying to make it a smartphone without the phone, so you could leave yours at home and use this instead.

It’s built from the ground up using artificial intelligence by former Apple design director Imran Chaudhri and his team (now you see why it looks like an Apple product).

Here’s how it works:

via Humane

It’ll flash the message onto your hands or surfaces and (presumably) will come with a version of AirPods.

The full release is scheduled for November 9th.

Want one? Join the waitlist here (they did not pay us for this).

Meta’s AI glasses (again, but better).

Meta takes a second shot at smart eyewear. The new glasses include mics, speakers, and camera lenses integrated with their AI.

While the original release didn’t do so well, this looks very promising.

They’ll take pictures, calls, and live stream your face to Facebook and Instagram. Considering 54% of 13-18 year-olds want to be influencers when they grow up, young people will probably be interested. Of course, the pictures can be taken in portrait, so they’ll look good on IG.

A full review covers the 360 audio. and improvements since the last version, if you’re interested.

Now, the important question.

How much?

While the Humane AI pin is not yet for sale, the Meta sunnies start at $299 ($369 CAD), and you can pre-order them now (they did not pay us for this).

I expected them to cost more, so overall, not a bad deal.

The Pros and Cons

There are many risks with all this.

Privacy is the big one. The pin and the glasses are “always on,” listening to your every word like that ex who loved starting fights.

Jokes aside, it’s creepy and makes you wonder:

  • Where does all the data go?

  • What do the recipients do with it?

  • Can you really trust these companies?

Meta literally got one of the largest (non-criminal) fines in human history ($5B - with a “B”) for privacy violations.

Why it matters to the rest of us.

Regardless, there are serious risks.

  • Hacks that lead to identity theft.

  • Manipulating the news you see based on your conversations.

  • Advertising manipulation.

  • What if Humane’s pin is wrong and someone eats a deadly chocolate bar?

To be fair, our phones already listen to us.

Ever notice how you and your friend talk about something, and it’s “coincidentally” the next IG ad?

But do you care?

Considering we’re still using IG, chances are we (in general) don’t care that much.

The potential gets worse. The things we see in movies slowly seem more possible, but we won’t go down that rabbit hole.

The flip side is the convenience. Human beings love when tech does the work for us. Again, it’s why we care, but not really.

That’s why Chat GPT is the fastest-growing app of all time. Even though it’s used to cheat in school, do our work for us, and so much more (much of which is considered a “gray area.”

It’s a lot to think about.

Would you buy one of these?

I might, and if I do, I’ll post a review.

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend.

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