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Humane’s latest AI is a wearable personal assistant

Humane has recently introduced a demonstration of a wearable AI device that acts as a personal assistant—wait, what?

Humane found Imran Chaudhri wearing Humane’s AI assistant device in his breast pocket, activating it with the press of a button.

You read that right. Bleep, bloop, blorp! The robot overlords are a-coming! 

Most people are aware of the recent proliferation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools popping up in all kinds of spaces and industries. While AI is only as good as the learning it does, and human writers, engineers, and English majors are the future of the AI revolution, it is wild to see how many areas where AI is being used. 

Wearable AI and big ambitions

Humane co-founders and former Apple executives, Imran Chaudhri and Bethany Bongiorno, have been working on a mysterious product that techies have been anticipating. Chaudhri introduced the wearable device in a recent TED Talk that was almost immediately leaked ahead of its official release. 

In the talk, Chaudhri showed off some of the capabilities of the device, such as summarizing emails, calendar invites, and other incoming messages for the user. With a simple tap of the device, or supposedly a voice or gesture command, the device wakes up and answers commands, like Alexa or Siri would. The device likely pulls the information from Cloud-based information, as Humane claims that it operates independently of a smartphone or other linked device. 

In fact, Chaudhri and Bongiorno have claimed the device will replace smartphones entirely. Ambitious? Sure. Go big or go home, right? Realistic? It’s hard to envision that this type of device will have the type of mass appeal that replacing smartphones would require. It should be interesting to see if early adopters. Tech nerds, and gadget geeks, embrace or eschew the device. 

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Is this real life or Sci-Fi?

Another feature of the device is being able to project onto nearby surfaces. To what purpose is still unclear. In the TED Talk, Chaudhri demonstrates the feature by showing an incoming call from Bongiorno projected onto his hand. He did not interact with the projected image, though, and it wasn’t immediately clear how he answered the call. 

The AI personal assistant also keeps track of user information, such as dietary restrictions. The device has a camera that can identify objects in the vicinity as well as photograph them. During the presentation, Chaudhri had the camera identify a chocolate bar and tell him whether or not he should eat it, based on his dietary restrictions. He also showed off its translation capabilities, playing his own voice speaking French. 

AI is here to stay

While the device may or may not appeal to the masses, the development of AI programmed to do more and more “human work” is happening. ChatGPT predicts it will replace human workers in at least these ten jobs. Google is working on an AI that writes music in a variety of genres. AI may soon be able to create ads for Meta platforms. Companies may begin to use Midjourney and other AI text-to-art generators to replace designers

None of these AI tools are fully living up to the hype just yet. We have seen the disaster that was Microsoft’s teen girl chatbot. We know that text-to-art AI systems fail at creating realistic images of hands or feet. And McSweeney’s challenged Midjourney’s to create images of a woman laughing alone with a salad, resulting in pure nightmare fuel

It’s safe to say that while Humane’s new app, along with all these other AI creations are starting to bridge the gap between living in the real world and stepping into the pages of a Sci-Fi novel, they aren’t there just yet. Humanity may win out, after all. Fingers crossed, humans. I’m rooting for you.

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Joleen Jernigan is an ever-curious writer, grammar nerd, and social media strategist with a background in training, education, and educational publishing. A native Texan, Joleen has traveled extensively, worked in six countries, and holds an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language. She lives in Austin and constantly seeks out the best the city has to offer.


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