OpenAI is starting to add some basic memory capabilities to ChatGPT. Of course, AI won’t be able to be your personal assistant, primary computing interface, or serve us in any kind of ongoing relationship with out some level of persistence - and more likely near total persistence by the time we approach maturity with some of these concepts. The privacy and security challenges will dwarf the many still unresolved privacy and security challenges that we struggle with today. It will all get even more challenging as traditional interfaces fall away in favor of an AI-first approach. This will happen faster than people think.

Screenshot of ChatGPT's interface for controlling memory settings

Another AI device worth tracking - Brilliant Labs' Frame glasses appear to do exactly what you’d expect this generation of AI glasses to do. This will definitely be a successful form factor for AI delivery but I find the novel approaches seen in the Rabbit R1 and Humane devices more interesting at the moment. I don’t expect to see a single winner in the AI device space. We will, quite soon, just be serving up AI access and functions through virtually everything we make.

Frame Multimodal AI Glasses by Brilliant Labs

If you’ve seen the Rabbit r1 but found it confusing this short Rough Guide to the Rabbit r1 might help:

Basically, it’s like a very smart 10 year child with perfect recall who does exactly what you tell it to. It can watch and mimic what you do on a computer, sometimes with uncanny accuracy. Whether you’re editing videos and could use an “auto mask” assistant, or you’re always booking trips online and get tired of the details, you let the Rabbit watch what you do a few times, then, it just…does it for you.

Technically, a Rabbit is an agent, a “software entity capable of performing tasks on its own.” Those of us with a love of sci-fi will remember the hotel agent in the book Altered Carbon; we ain’t there yet, but we’re getting closer.

Of course we’ll have to see how it actually lives up to that promise once units land in users hands in April/May. I should be receiving one then. I’ll share my thoughts soon after. FWIW I don’t expect it to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be perfect to be a success. The real question is: does this human-machine interface approach and its software layer show promise? Is there enough of a foundation there to build on or is it destined for the Museum of Failure? Their pricing strategy, keeping it cheap and subscription free, shows that they understand that there’s both an attraction to, and presumption of failure for, a device like this. I think we’ll know if they can clear that hurdle soon after it drops.

This is the Rabbit R1, an AI first device with a novel OS and form factor that is aiming to be something more than phone but not quite a complete computer replacement. It’s shooting for that holy grail slot of AI companion.

We’re destined to soon start filling junk drawers filled with several generations of these AI devices before someone gets it right and this one will almost certainly end up there as well. Still, there are some interesting ideas and design choices at work here, and the price ($199 - no subscription), is right so of course I ordered one immediately.

Rabbit R1 AI Device

You can see a demo here.