The Big Pull at CES Conference? Generative AI

The CES Conference plans to amaze attendees with its generative AI capabilities, and we’ve got the scoop on how publishers and advertisers can make the most of their experience. 

Last year, some digital media skeptics disregarded generative AI as another fad set to fade away in a couple of months. But the AI takeover is now in full speed. If the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) conference in Las Vegas indicates its trajectory, this is the new tech hot commodity. 

CES expects more than 130,000 people to attend this week, and generative AI was one of the biggest draws for the conference. Companies such as Digitas are sending a large cohort of attendees to ensure they are up to date on the latest AI innovations.  

“With trends like AI hitting the pre-show headlines in such a saturated way, we’re eager to be on the ground to interrogate what is real and relevant, where our clients should invest, and how they should think about the future,” said Melissa Levy, chief customer officer at Digitas North America. 

Although this is unsurprising, 2023 was a landmark year for generative AI. Despite the initial hype and some regulation concerns, generative AI has proven its benefits — content creation, customer targeting, personalization, and testing

But what are they saying at CES in Las Vegas? 

AI’s Dominance at CES 2024

The conference hosts dozens of talks centered around AI, including a specific focus on marketing, social media, and entertainment. In addition, before the conference starts on January 9, they will host a media preview with a host of AI discussions: the media preview include titles like “Virtual Humans: Hollywood CGI to Generative AI Video & Chatbots” and “Monetizing Immersive Hollywood = Real-time AI + Advertising + Metaverse.” 

CES 2024 will host AI policy discussions involving speakers from various branches of the U.S. government. These discussions will encompass a bipartisan panel on emerging tech policy, including U.S. Senators Ben Ray Lujan, Jacky Rosen, and Cynthia Lummis. Additionally, representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, the National Security Council, and the U.S. Treasury Department will participate in other conversations.

This is necessary as the U.S. federal government is working to regulate AI. Critics raised concerns about privacy and misinformation. Even ChatGPT has a disclaimer on its website: “All the information on this website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. ChatGpt Connect does not guarantee this information’s completeness, reliability, and accuracy.” However, there are endeavors to regulate tech, such as at the White House and European Commission, that discuss AI development. 

Generative AI City

Rumor has it that CES has embedded AI into almost every aspect of the conference. Marla Kaplowitz, president and CEO of 4A’s, emphasized how the conference will extensively integrate AI into everything on display. While the show historically spotlighted voice-enabled tech, Kaplowitz pointed out that the recent emergence of AI and chatbots could further enhance the usefulness of gadgets and services.

“The chatbots have tremendous capability,” said Kaplowitz. “The key for brands is making sure they understand what the customer experience is like.” 

Of course, the gadgets are the main attraction at CES, and they are pulling out all of the stops. Many incorporate AI enhancements that have new capabilities spanning beauty, music, smart home, TV, etc. This includes gadgets such as: 

  • An AI-powered toilet that offers easy urinalysis in the comfort of one’s own home. 
  • AI mirror, created by Mirrorroid Inc, will attempt to give users a futuristic salon experience by using Face ID technology to simulate hairstyles and other looks.
  • LG is unveiling a smart home AI agent with two legs intended to watch over a person’s home while they’re away.

Although, it’s essential to consider the actual extent of “AI-powered” capabilities in these tools. Some warn that the term’s widespread use has led to its reduced significance. According to Dipanjan Chatterjee, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, “AI’ is the label that has replaced all other labels.” 

How Publishers and Advertisers Can Make the Most of Their CES Experience

Companies like Microsoft, Meta, and Google are showcasing their new AI technologies, and brands are striving to figure out how they will work for their capabilities. According to Dan Gardner, chief executive of agency Code and Theory, each tech provider will showcase their AI developments behind closed doors. He urges brands to prepare for the meeting by coming up with a list of questions related to their business. 

“These inquiries should address the long-term potential of prospective partnerships, including the length of a typical commitment and how a provider can guarantee that a brand’s experience on the platform will be competitive,” said Dan Gardner, chief executive of agency Code and Theory. 

Chatterjee from Forrester adds that publishers and advertisers should consider whether these technologies will strip away their unique identity. You must make sure your unique identity aligns with the AI product you’re using. 

Dan Rua, CEO of Admiral, warned us about this. He said, “Readers come to publishers for their content or knowledge, which are two different things. There are the individual articles written, but then there’s the knowledge infused in those articles that readers are getting. There will be publishers that are differentiated by the knowledge they bring to the world. Then, there will be publishers that are differentiated by their presentation of knowledge. Every publisher should have an AI brain or an AI agent that has leveraged the knowledge of that publisher, and that knowledge is some combination of all of their content.”