Intelligence (It’s Artificial): Takeaways From the CES 2024 Show Floor

Clarke Stevens
Broadband Industry Professional

Feb 22, 2024

Key Points

  • In his CES 2024 report and an accompanying CableLabs webinar, broadband industry professional Clarke Stevens explores the role of AI in new innovations.
  • AI-powered technologies rely on strong network connectivity — opening up a world of opportunity for broadband operators.

If you attended CES in Las Vegas, you’re probably finally starting to emerge from your technology-overload coma and trying to make sense of it all. We’ve got you covered!

If you haven’t read it yet, check out my recap from the annual trade show: “Clarke’s CES 2024 Report: Are You Smarter Than Your Technology?” I hope it will get you thinking about some of the great technologies that were on display and even entertain you a bit.

In the event, however, that you’re prioritizing your real job over reading my (admittedly lengthy) report, we’ve still got you covered! CableLabs is sponsoring a webinar in which I’ll discuss the technologies and solutions I saw and give my analysis on how they’re relevant (or not) to the broadband industry and to consumers in general. If you’re a CableLabs member, register now for the webinar on March 6.

In the meantime, here’s a brief summary to whet your appetite.

AI Spreading Outward

The primary theme of the show was that intelligence is becoming artificial. You might believe you already know all about artificial intelligence (AI), but now the technology is becoming more pervasive, spreading to common electronics.

Consider, for example, the Flappie cat door, whose motion sensor and night-vision camera will keep an eye on your cat and prevent him from coming inside the house until he drops the mouse he’s captured. Other AI-powered tools enable you to also measure your vitals just by looking in a mirror or communicate with people in your own voice when you can’t speak like you used to.

Because products like these rely on strong network connectivity, broadband operators will be an innate part of their success with customers. The industry opportunity doesn’t end there. Somebody must install, provision and maintain these products. Operators have the technical staff, vehicle fleets and monthly billing relationship with customers that give us a distinct advantage in the pursuit of new business opportunities beyond simple connectivity.

AI also presents operators with the prospect of new, futuristic market opportunities. AI-assisted cameras in cities can identify vehicles, animals and people. They can spot vehicle congestion and reroute traffic, and even call police, ambulances or firefighters.

AI Focused Inward

Cable companies can also use AI to anticipate, repair and even proactively prevent problems in their own network infrastructure. The benefits include a more reliable network at a reduced cost, fascinating new revenue opportunities and an improved ability to meet high-demand needs and provide appropriate service levels. Our combination of proven networking technologies and private networks can be leveraged to provide continuous connectivity to support new business models or simply make existing businesses more efficient.

A sometimes-overlooked opportunity in our industry is to increase our customer base by engineering our solutions toward new kinds of customers. For example, AI-powered “glasses” for the blind can replicate some of the benefits of a guide dog (sadly, not love). Not only can they guide a person around obstacles, but they can also integrate GPS for navigation and even help identify items on a grocery shelf. Let’s see the dog do that!

Many companies today are focused on conducting their business with an eye toward sustainability. Electric vehicles of every kind are replacing fossil-fueled alternatives. Fancy “leather” goods are being manufactured from pineapple waste. Bioengineered house plants are being bred to work as efficient (and decorative) air filters.

And, as always, great people are a natural advantage for the cable industry. AI and the other emerging technologies featured at CES are allowing those people to be more efficient, productive and happy.

A Limitless Future

New technology is improving your health, your daily life and your bottom line. You owe it to yourself to learn more about the emerging AI technologies that will make a difference in your near future.

In the webinar on March 6, I’ll cover some of the crazy ideas that blossom on the way to innovation. This is the kind of conversation that will improve your water cooler game as you stand around your Nube “no-plumbing” water generator that condenses and purifies moisture from thin air!