Disclosure: I am a member of the Lenovo INsiders customer and product advocacy group. I am not an employee of Lenovo, an expert, paid endorser, or influencer. I am a super fan. Lenovo provided my food, transportation, and lodging to Lenovo Tech World 2023. There were no deliverable requirements, other than this article, that I would have written anyway.
There were some restrictions and oversight with regard to my social media reporting, but that guidance was provided to help keep my content compliant with US law.
- [My X Twitter Thread on Lenovo Tech World 2023](https://twitter.com/ArthurHWalker/status/1716445329124389341?t=rBqTxEa4bRr0ouU5LPmKeQ&s=19)
- [My other X Twitter thread on Lenovo Tech World 2023](https://twitter.com/ArthurHWalker/status/1716836537546186823?t=O6lEB4EIWsn6ORTDPQJnMw&s=19)
_All opinions and thoughts that follow are my own._
I have been to Lenovo Tech World before. The last time I attended was 2019, when it was held in Beijing, China. Tech World 2020, 2021, and 2022 were all virtual. I also attended Lenovo @ CES in 2016 and 2019.
# Lenovo Techworld 2023
You can watch the full 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 13 seconds of the Keynote [here](https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/events/techworld/). I recommend this particular link because there is a searchable transcript option embedded so you can skip to the bits of interest. If you are new to AI as a topic, the keynote speakers do a good job of introducing it to their audience.
I included a full speaker list below to help search the transcript.
## **AI for All: Driving Intelligent Transformation**
**Hype via Lenovo:**
> _From pocket to cloud, individual to enterprise, Lenovo is taking AI out of abstract headlines and putting its power in the hands of real people, everywhere. In this live keynote, Lenovo Chairman and CEO Yuanqing Yang will lead Lenovo’s strategic leadership and its top industry partners in an in-depth exploration of not only where AI is today, but where it’s going._
> _Through new technology demos, customer features, and partner announcements, see how Lenovo’s computing expertise is laying the foundation for the rapid, effective adoption of AI while also fueling its continued evolution._
> **Topics of interest include:**
> _1. Lenovo’s commitment to making AI—and the foundation models that enable it—more secure, more personal, and more efficient
> 2. The world’s first full portfolio of AI-ready devices, redefining the “personal” in PC and transforming the digital workplace
> 3. Optimized, AI-ready infrastructure that can accelerate AI adoption while opening up a future of AI innovation
> 4. Fully integrated, tailored AI solutions and services that make harnessing new and increasingly complex IT innovations, simple._
**My take on this based on what I saw:**
Each speaker carefully built on the narrative put forward by the last. There were a lot of speakers, listed below. The central narrative seemed to be summed up to the following.
AI is going to be informed and trained by data from three sources; personal, private (Enterprise), and public. Personal and private data would sit safely in data enclaves that could be informed by the person, or institution, respectively. Individuals could opt to have their personal data contribute to public data through a process called inferencing.
This would allow people to contribute to the public data that aids everyone in training AI, without compromising privacy or intellectual property. This hybrid AI would allow for private enterprise to capitalize on the building of Foundation Models built for specific purposes, like user-facing AI.
Before I went into Tech World 2023, I assumed having my own AI, trained by me to help me with my specific tasks, was a ways off. That I'd have to pay to use cloud and remote resources, and that any IP I generated would be forfeit to the process. The way social media companies handle our data has conditioned us to assume the worst about AI.
That is not the future Lenovo and their partners are envisioning. They seem to understand that the commercial Internet didn't start out that way, and that whatever replaces it will have to evolve in the same organic way. It was a pretty forward thinking stance to take in front of an audience composed mostly of potential enterprise customers.
#### Full Speaker List:
**Yuanqing Yang,** Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Lenovo
**Jensen Huang,** Founder and Chief Executive Officer, NVIDIA
**Satya Nadella,** Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Microsoft
**Dr. Lisa Su,** Chair and Chief Executive Officer, AMD
**Stefano Domenicali,** Chief Executive Officer, Formula 1
**Yong Rui,** Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, Lenovo
**Kirk Skaugen,** Executive Vice President and President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, Lenovo
**Luca Rossi,** Executive Vice President and President, Intelligent Devices Group, Lenovo
**Ken Wong,** Executive Vice President and President, Solutions & Services Group, Lenovo
**Matt Zielinski,** Executive Vice President, President, International Markets, Lenovo
**Pat Gelsinger,** Chief Executive Officer, Intel
**Cristiano Amon,** Chief Executive Officer and President, Qualcomm
**Pete Samara,** Director of Strategic Technical Ventures, Formula 1
**Joseph Artuso,** Chief Commercial Officer, Open BCI
**Claudia Contreras,** Executive Director, Global Sustainability Services, Lenovo
**Lexi Valasek,** Innovation Research Lead, Motorola
**Paul Daugherty,** Chief Technology and Innovation Officer, Accenture
**Yusuf Mehdi,** Corporate Vice President and Consumer Chief Marketing Officer, Microsoft
**Dr. Jonas Juselius,** Chief Technology Officer, Oceanbox
**Dr. Bernd Geiger ,** CEO, Semafora Systems
**Chris Kendrick,** Vice President, Employee Technology Services, CIBC
## Artificial Intelligence
Every Keynote, speaker, product, and service on display at Lenovo TechWorld 2023 was focused on AI. I went in looking specifically for the ability for an individual creator to access things like Foundation and Large Language Models. The ability to leverage motion capture, and generative AI in traditional digital media and XR.
Qualcomm hasn't contributed a lot to the server rack, but they have given us this [ThinkSystem Qualcomm Cloud AI 100 Accelerator](https://lenovopress.lenovo.com/lp1772-thinksystem-qualcomm-cloud-ai-100) This isn't a criticism. It is a single slot, 75 watt card designed to handle AI inference acceleration in the cloud, but it if you held it in your hand you wouldn't see a lot different from a GPU designed to go into a small form factor workstation.
It feels close to being something that could end up in the hands of independent developers and hobbyists, someday. It's probably ~10,000 USD to buy one, but that it isn't a dual or SXM slot gives me hope that it might filter out to non-enterprise customers in the future.
Then, at Tech World 2023 I watched Lenovo demonstrate "On Device AI", online, hybrid, and offline. Not just with servers and edge computing solutions, but with laptops and smart phones. Qualcomm's CEO came on and said they would have combination GPU and NPU (Neural Processing Unit) running on Windows Laptops.
[They are promising Generative AI running local on your device.](https://www.qualcomm.com/news/releases/2023/10/qualcomm-unleashes-snapdragon-x-elite--the-ai-super-charged-plat) It should be available for regular consumers, small business, and everyone at every notch on the scale. These announcements happened at both Lenovo Tech World 2023, and [Snapdragon Summit](https://www.qualcomm.com/company/events/snapdragon-summit/announcements) at the same time, a few time zones apart. No hyperbole required, it was a huge announcement that needed two stages to deliver.
For me, this means I could use my writing, all of it, including the things I never intend to publish, to inform an AI that helps me write more things. That AI could work local on my own device, informed by only my IP, my voice, my identity. The things I write just for myself do not have to sit and collect dust in a box representing my past as a writer.
They can help inform my future.
# Experience Zones
There were forty-four different experiences to consume. I'll cover the ones I was able to engage with in as much detail as I can.
## 1 - Libras Project
Lenovo's newsroom has an article on it [here](https://news.lenovo.com/ai-powered-sign-language-translation-solution-hearing-brazil/).
Libras is the official Brazilian Sign Language. Libras uses 44 distinct handshapes, the same number of experience zones available at Lenovo Tech World 2023. I'm sure that was a coincidence, but it was still cool to think about.
Libras fingerspelling employs a one-handed manual alphabet. It is thought to have evolved out of cultural diffusion, making it an excellent for using AI to interpret, and translate. Using cultural items like this to inform innovation, as opposed to the reverse, is preferable in my opinion.
It just feels better, knowing that the people who use Libras, chose it. This as opposed to government of industry trying to make a thing, and market it to them. It's more part of our arc as a species, and shows Lenovo is in touch with how to better inform AI, and innovations thereof.
## 5 - 2D 3D Compatible Design Space
Recently, I've taken a contract to build UI and UX for XR. I can't talk too much about it yet, but I will say I put VR goggles on and take them off a lot. Anything that reduces the number of times the VR goggles have to be donned and doffed is a good thing.
Lenovo had a 3D monitor positioned between two 2D displays to demonstrate a possible workspace for creators. I couldn't get video, or even take a picture of how it works, because you need two eyes for it to render the effect. The 3D display uses IR cameras to track your eye movements, and adjusts the display to create the 3D effect.
Looking from the rendered 3D image on the special display, and then back over to the 2D display to make adjustments to the reference object was seamless. I expected it to be somewhat more jarring than it was. The 2D 3D display will be released in January or February of 2024, and come in at around 3,000 USD.
Still too expensive for the individual creator at that price, but you can be sure I will be lurking for sales and coupons.
- [Lenovo's Press Release on Digital Workspaces from September of this year.](https://news.lenovo.com/pressroom/press-releases/transforming-digital-workspaces-devices-software-future-hybrid-work/)
## 12 - Moto AI Interactive
Back at CES 2016 Lenovo teased a smartphone, the CPlus model, that could bend around your wrist. At 2023 Tech World, Lenovo brought it back with Motorola branding and style. For now it is referred to as an Adaptive Display Model, or Prototype.
Part of the demonstration included a Generative AI feature that would take a picture of your current outfit, and create a stylish wallpaper to match. The first attempt at doing so using my outfit choked. The second attempt was better, but it is clear the technology is still emerging.
Generative AI for crafting visual assets is hard. That Lenovo and Motorola have something running on a phone that even attempts it is dazzling. That it makes the attempt in a few seconds is amazing.
Other features are described [here](https://news.lenovo.com/pressroom/press-releases/motorola-redefines-possible-ai-adaptive-display-tech-world-2023/).
Also, I discovered something else that is amazing. Pictured below is my Lenovo YogaBook 9i, and the Motorola Razr in Glacier Blue. Like, [Pantone](https://www.motorola.com/we/pantone) Glacier Blue. The finish on the edges of both devices, the colors, the way the milling hides the antennae and so forth. How often does your laptop match your phone, color and design aesthetics?
I don't have a Motorola Razr+ right now, but I need one. I need one in Glacier Blue. Need.
## 15 - Thinkreality VRX F1 Speedway
I just started contract work for a client doing UI/UX in XR for a K-12 audience. Aside from my curiosity as a tech hobbyist, there were a ton of things that related directly to the work I'm performing right now. This particular booth was high on my list to visit.
I got to speak to Jason McGuigan, Head of Commercial VR at Lenovo during the visit. I declined the demo because I had so my questions. My current set of VR goggles are very good, but not very comfortable for extended use. I have to wear a headband to wear them longer than an hour.
I put the Thinkreality goggles on and was amazed at how comfortable they are. They have a higher vertical resolution than what I use in my work, but a narrower FOV, and less Pixels Per Degree. My set for work is, in theory, going to provide a better experience for games.
_I say in theory because I have never played a game in VR, they've been a tool for work so far._
Lenovo's Thinkreality goggles are going to be _far_ better for productivity, and they provide a better experience, just in general. My work goggles are about 500 USD, and Lenovo's Thinkreality goggles are 1300 USD. Is there 800 USD more quality and comfort built into them than mine?
Yes, especially if you're using them for long hours to train people in XR to do tasks in commercial and industrial environments. If you're wearing goggles for more than 20 hours a week for productivity applications, absolutely worth it. Finding the sweet spot for maximum clarity of view was easy and comfortable.
Jason McGuigan told me they have a [whole suite of services](https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/thinkrealityvrx) for people looking for XR goggles as a solution to enterprise and productivity problems. It sounds like you can get goggles specifically branded for your organization as well. Custom look and feel, inside and out.
I didn't ask specifically, but I bet if you want hot pink with flames on the side, Lenovo would make it for you. That said, does [Thinkreality VXR hardware](https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/p/smart-devices/virtual-reality/thinkreality-vrx/len101r0001) deserve to be Think branded and sit beside Thinkpads, and similar? Yes, and if I decide to get a set of these, they will be tuxedo black.
Sidenote - The materials on the goggles are designed to be wiped down to keep them hygienic when used by multiple trainees, or customers. The battery pack is positioned on the back of the headband, and easily removed for adjustments, or to recharge.
Also, if you have not seen this [VR thing](https://thehydro.us/immerse-vr) Jason McGuigan produced, you should check it out.
## 21 - Project Chronos
At it's core, Project Chronos is a device that captures your movements and translates them into motion on screen via a rendered 3D avatar. Feels like a small thing until someone figures out how to use it to quickly create content for TikTok or Instagram.
Then, a community springs up building custom avatars. Pretty soon game developers are using this as a cheap way to render motion capture for game characters. Later, someone figures out how to capture their own movements to inform a visual avatar of themselves to represent their AI Twin stored in a personal enclave.
- [Project Chronos hype from CES earlier this year.](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fg5oEuXPUYk)
It sounds like science fiction, but Lee Highsmith, Lenovo's Senior Storytelling Technologist, listened to me posit these various scenarios and nodded. He wouldn't confirm that these were all things Project Chronos was capable of, but said he could get me in touch with the person heading up the project.
- [Project Chronos Datasheet](https://news.lenovo.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Project-Chronos_datasheet_CES.pdf)
I am definitely going to follow up. I need to know where the limits of this device really are. Even if it just lets me make silly videos on social media, I totally want this device.
## 34 - ## AI Avatar - DeepBrain
>Lenovo's description of this experience:
>_The AI avatar UI by Lenovo AI Innovators partner DeepBrain, presents an interactive, engaging interface for generative AI applications._
It's impressively lifelike, still has ticks, but has way less jank than your standard shopkeeper in Skyrim. [Deepbrain](https://www.deepbrain.io/) had their Paris (or Gabriela at Tech World) and Jonathan Announcer AI Avatars on display, both performed like they'd had a little while to adjust after migrating from the Uncanny Valley.
They have deployed these AI avatars in South Korea, [to cover a news anchor during promotional bits](https://www.nextplatform.com/2023/09/28/bringing-ai-to-reality/), and as clerks at convenience stores.
It requires powerful hardware to render these AI avatars. In this case, [Lenovo ThinkSystem SR675 V3 servers](https://lenovopress.lenovo.com/lp1611-thinksystem-sr675-v3-server). It will be a minute before individuals are able to access this level of compute to create content. That it even exists in my lifetime feels like a big deal.
[Lenovo had a data scientist on site to explain things to visitors.](https://youtu.be/w938qJBC4zo) He did a pretty good job of showing how the avatar is essentially separate from the LLMs and Foundation Models that would inform it. If the AI Avatar is repurposed from being a customer facing entity to one that trains internally, just hook up different data.
It is not how we think in terms of people. Having that distinction made with these Avatars was an epiphany moment for me. At the same time, it makes the visual manifestation of this technology easier to digest. I was expecting to be uncomfortable, and I wasn't.
## 37 - Deepbrain AI for F1
>Lenovo's description of this experience:
>_Visit this life-size “AI Human”, and imagine the possibilities. This technology is deployable in an almost infinite number of use cases--tutors, anchors, hotel concierges, brand ambassadors, and sports settings like Formula One, to name a few! Meet our AI driver and get a taste of the future while learning a little bit more about F1._
Same thing as the above, with a slightly different application. This avatar only had twenty question and answer pairings and was incredibly rudimentary. That said, I watched it respond to noise over an empty microphone with some fascination. It repeated itself, but each repetition didn't grate on me like I thought it would.
I don't know for sure if it was bringing slightly different mannerisms and vocal inflection with each response, but it seemed to. Something about the way it faces the user breaks up the banal way machines are built to attempt relationships with people.
All I want to do now is design characters for a role-playing game in VR, each with their own unique way of responding to players as they make navigate an Generative AI fantasy world. The ability of individual creators and developers to be able to do such things feels like it is on the horizon.
Maybe not within the context of my generation, but people younger than me? For sure.
## H - Help Desk
Cindy with ESG is the best, that's all that need be reported here. I wish I'd gotten a selfie with her.
# Thought Leadership Sessions
## **From K-12 to Higher Education, AI Is Already Transforming the Way We Learn:**
>Lenovo's description of this Thought Leadership Session.
>_Join **Chris Babson, Director of Lenovo’s Worldwide Education Portfolio Strategy**, and **Marc Hoit, Vice Chancellor for IT and CIO, North Carolina State University**, will focus on the spaces that make up Higher Ed, and to learn how AI is already impacting everything from students, to classrooms, labs, administration, and more._
I came to this hoping to get some insights into the K-12 environment. It is what I'm building UX for in VR right now. The entire 20 minutes was consumed by higher education. I have a lot of contact with higher education through my spouse, and my friend circle. AI is a pretty common topic, and there wasn't a whole lot new that got dispensed to this particular listener.
This is new ground waiting to be broken. Because we are dealing with children, it has to be done with the utmost care. AI, particularly Generative AI has the potential to radically change how humans learn and record knowledge.
Grandparents could spend their time jointly informing an AI to pass on their stories, wisdom, and legacy to posterity for generations. Academic institutions will have to engage in research to find the best way for culture to inform these innovations. They will be partly responsible for creating a stable relationship between AI and the humans that will rely on those Foundation Models to learn about the past, and build the future.
Higher Ed is not ready to do that, but I think they are aware and working diligently to adapt. I'm both nervous and hopeful.
## **The AI Catalyst: How Generative AI Is Supercharging the XR Industry:**
> Lenovo's description of this Thought Leadership Session.
> _The current avalanche of AI-powered services is acting as a major force multiplier for XR developers. Exploring the newly launched Lenovo ThinkReality VRX, **Jason McGuigan, Head of Commercial VR at Lenovo** and **Greg Jones, Director of Global Business Development/Product Management for XR at NVIDIA**, will discuss how the XR industry is adopting these technologies to deliver profound new experiences for customers._
> _With GAI tools, smaller teams have the capacity to do more, reduce the costs of development, and speed the time to market. The results of these advances will be nothing short of revolutionary, enabling enterprise organizations to solve for a greater variety of use cases in higher quality, more cost-effective VR solutions._
I already have hope that I will be able to build Foundation Models with my own textual and visual assets, things crafted with my own hands, to inform output for regular projects. The idea that this might be possible for my XR work as well.
I might be able to ask a Generative AI to craft a character from one of my books in XR to look like my own renderings, responding in chat using the dialogue I've written. I know that in most cases it will be way too little data to create a compelling product that faces toward my audience.
But, for my own use? To inspire or spark creativity, or prototype ideas?
Oh, I want to be able to do this so badly. My intrinsic memory feels very limited, so I create a large body of work to act as my extrinsic memory. I fill notebooks, doodle in the margins, and generate a lot of text. If I could digitize that body of work at a scale that informs my projects as an individual creator, it would be a powerful force multiplier.
## Personal Impact
I am going to be going back through all the technical language I use to describe things in my science fiction series, and adjusting them to align with the patois employed at Lenovo Tech World by them and their partners. It is important that we share a common set of terms when we talk about AI, but that those terms emerge from the community. Putting these ideas in front of my readership won't do that, but the feedback I receive will help with the next step.
Where a term doesn't convey the right meaning or bounces off cultural norms, it will have to adapt. My job as a writer is to iterate on the narrative of our species. I really believe Artificial Intelligence will be a force for good in that pursuit.
There are those who think they will be replaced by AI. We are AI, and it is us. AI will never achieve sapience beyond what we possess, nor will likely it gain the spark that autonomously allows it access to human epiphany. AI is part of the evolutionary arc of our species, like any other tool we discovered, or invented, to solve a problem.
I disagree with the notion that AI will replace creatives, designers, writers, or artists. People who already have those skills, employing their own personal Generative AI Enclaves informed by their own IP, will run circles around people relying entirely on public data. Artificial Intelligence cannot capture or replicate human epiphany. We can only acquire that in the presence of each other.
Artificial Intelligence will increase that connectivity between peoples, and necessarily create a better, decentralized network that replaces the current iteration of the commercial Internet. The Metaverse, Omniverse, Cyphersphere, or whatever we choose to call it, will be democratized by virtue of people's access to the tools, hardware, and privacy necessary for that digital medium to thrive.
If our various cultures are allowed to inform these new innovations, particularly LLMs that fuel Generative AI, the world will be better off. Lenovo and most of their partners are trying to steer the ship in that direction. Are there market forces that could push that ship the other directions?
Absolutely, and it is up to each of us to make sure that does not happen.
# Lenovo INsiders
There were five of us in attendance. My colleagues informed this narrative quite a bit, and I'm grateful they were there.
## Arthur H Walker
Hey, that's me! I write, draw, and engage in all sorts of related pursuits, aided by technology.
- [My Linkedin](https://www.linkedin.com/in/arthurhwalker/)
## Jacqueline Cromwell
She was constantly making me reassess how technology influences relationships and serves to mark the passage of time.
- [blog.nerdfamily.com](http://blog.nerdfamily.com) (NerdFamily Blog)
- [nerdfamilythings.com](http://nerdfamilythings.com) (NerdFamily Things)
- [nerdfamilyfood.com](http://nerdfamilyfood.com) (NerdFamily Food)
- [NerdMom](https://twitter.com/NerdMom) (Twitter)
## Nikhil Chawla
When I was looking at gadgets, he was off talking to the people that were involved with making them. I need to be more like this.
## Tom Payne
The best kind of ethical pessimist, willing to ask hard questions about technology, while being both objective, and kind. I really appreciated having him there.
- [Lenovo Tech World 2023: A.I. Revolution for Travellers](https://t.co/mFfJGaPYhh)
## Thomas Rogers
Chronicles the evolutionary arc of laptop design, and saw so many things I missed. Thank goodness he was there.
- [Thomas's video summary of Lenovo TechWorld 2023](https://youtu.be/eOiGWSgKLcg)
- [And, his article of the same.](https://laptopretrospective.com/design/my-lenovo-tech-world-2023-experience/)
- [YouTube Channel](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-wmf-Avorzz9QPKzdYFgeg)
#arthurhwalker #creativeprototyping #LenovoTechWorld
#writer #digitalartist #digitalassetmanagement #gamedesign
#sciencefiction #techadvocacy #LenovoIN #techreviews