The vision three years ago of the renaissance of the PC predicted how the PC-human experience would evolve. Where does it stand now?

Three years ago, we talked about the Renaissance of the PC. While the PC has always helped us connect and collaborate, in 2020, at the height of work-from-home and virtual learning, we saw just how critical the PC is to all aspects of our lives.

Now, we have another pivotal moment at our fingertips. This time it’s with generative AI (GenAI). According to IDC, in Asia Pacific, in 2023, around two-thirds of organizations are either investigating potential applications or investing in generative AI technologies.

The advances we’ll see from GenAI will compare to the introduction of the PC 40 years ago when it brought unseen levels of productivity to the world. But what exactly does this mean for the future of the PC? How will GenAI shape the PC-human experience?

Sam Burd, President, Client Solutions Group, Dell Technologies

First, the here and now

To understand the future opportunities of AI, let’s first look at where we have been and where we are today.

Chances are you’ve been using some type of AIin your daily life already (let’s not forget AI and machine learning have been around for a while). We saw the opportunity for PCs to help drive human productivity and became an early AI adopter, making our PCs more intelligent, self-aware and user-aware.

For example, Dell Optimizer uses AI to automatically configure itself to make you more productive by doing things such as running apps faster, preserving battery life and blocking out unwanted background noise on conference calls.

As the power of the PC increases, so does its ability to have a hand in developing GenAI. Some workstations today support GPU and multi-GPU acceleration, CPU multi-threading and more. All this power helps app developers train large AI models anywhere from 5 million to 500 million parameters locally on the device — to prepare, develop, prototype and deploy GenAI models.

The opportunities of GenAI – near term

GenAI will influence how we live and work. While there’s still a lot to imagine, AI-enabled PCs are increasingly becoming part of this discussion. We saw how GenAI will unlock new levels of productivity last week with the announcement of Microsoft Copilot.

Demo after demo, we observed how PCs will collect, collate and create information faster than ever before. This puts ideas at the center, letting users shift their time to creativity, problem-solving and innovation.

Then, as we ask our devices to do more, it will require PCs that use language modelling, language processing and machine learning capabilities to improve the user experience. Running these AI applications locally on PCs brings a lot of efficiencies like cost effectiveness, improved privacy and security, reduced latency and sustainability benefits. It will also require a new architecture that doesn’t purely rely on the CPU or GPU for processing.

We’re actively working with partners throughout the industry to make this new architecture a reality in 2024. We can’t wait to show you more.

The possibilities of GenAI – long term

Looking beyond the next few years, we can anticipate the future PC to be a true digital partner. PCs will move beyond driving human productivity to driving human performance, requiring us to reimagine how we work with the familiar laptop and desktop of today.

For example, instead of mostly command-and-control interactions driven by users typing on a keyboard, there will be additional non-text-based ways to prompt technology to have a bi-directional experience between humans and PCs.

Imagine a future where users can collaborate or co-create with voice, visual commands and gestures. Envision your PC interpreting the user’s mood, facial expression, tone of voice or even a change in the way users type for a much richer experience that delivers the result they are looking for. The PC experience will transition from searching to prompting, from reading to understanding, from editing to directing.

It’s exciting to think about what’s to come, not just for devices, but the entire PC ecosystem. We take our cues from human experiences to drive human progress, and our broad portfolio of products, solutions and services will play a critical role in powering this future.

We are at an inflection point

The tech industry has always been fast-paced and exciting, but the opportunity we have ahead is unlike anything we’ve seen since PCs were introduced 40 years ago.

We’d be lying if we said we have all the answers – we don’t. The collateral benefits alone are so immense. But what’s for sure is that humans will remain at the core of progress.

Between new software developments, new architectures on the horizon, new services capabilities and our ongoing explorations that center around human connection and experience, we’re at an inflection point. End-user experiences will change for the better and quicker than ever. We’ve been handed an opportunity – go revolutionize the PC experience. We’re here for it.