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Artificial intelligence to 'transform PCs into personalized computers'

By LI JIAYING | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-24 09:12

A visitor (right) tries out a mixed reality guiding service at the 2023 World Conference on Display Industry, which kicked off on Spet 9, 2023 in Chengdu, Sichuan province. [LIU ZHONGJUN/CHINA NEWS SERVICE]

Artificial intelligence is expected to spur the personal computer market going forward, with AI-powered laptops estimated to account for nearly 90 percent of total laptop sales in China by 2027, industry experts said.

AI-powered PCs, or AIPCs, integrate AI into the processors. They are capable of independently running large language models (LLMs) and applications, and are free from traditional cloud dependency — a critical turning point in the development of electronics, according to a white paper released by market consultancy International Data Corp and US chipmaker AMD recently.

At a time when the global PC market has remained sluggish on the back of falling demand and other uncertainties, AI-enabled chips are expected to usher in new growth points and drive stable growth of the PC sector in the next few years, the white paper said.

Global PC shipments fell 7.6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter to 68.2 million units.

According to IDC, laptop shipments in China are expected to surpass 34 million units in 2027, with AI-powered laptops accounting for 86 percent of the total market share.

The consultancy attributed the trend to the nationwide efforts to boost innovation.

Total investment in China's AI market is expected to exceed $38 billion by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate of about 25 percent, IDC said.

"We have noticed that compared with their foreign counterparts, Chinese companies tend to focus more on AI-powered growth," said Kitty Fok, managing director of IDC China. "We believe China has become the most crucial forefront for the innovation of AI technology and applications."

Ablikim Abrimiti, vice-president of Lenovo Group, said: "AIPC is a personal AI twin designed to transform personal computers into personalized computers.

"With the assistance of a personal LLM formed by combining local models and personal databases, AIPC can become one's exclusive assistant that truly understands users' needs."

The integration of AI and chips is also believed to extend from the PC sector to internet-connected devices such as smartphones, smart speakers and other home appliances.

By 2026, nearly 50 percent of the processors used by terminal devices in the Chinese market will feature AI engine technology, the white paper said.

"Increasingly refined user scenarios will drive the development of relevant devices incorporated with specialized AI engines, and gradually complete an AI ecosystem meeting different ends such as work and daily life," said Wang Jiping, vice-president of IDC China.

In this case, products such as large-screen electronics, speakers and projectors for office use may hold great potential, Wang said.

Integrating AI engines into electronic devices and the product performance will thus be crucial winning factors in the near future, he added.

"We are currently in a transitional phase in the application of generative AI. Now, it's mainly through different platforms and apps that users get access to AI services, but a future where users directly interact with their personal AI assistants to accomplish almost all tasks is waving at us," said Zhou Zhengang, vice-president of IDC China.

"This shift could lead to significant changes in the underlying application development logic, foundational infrastructure design, and the entire ecosystem for application development. While we may not have fully entered this phase yet, a complete change in the ecosystem is almost certain to come in the next few years."

The integration of generative AI into industry applications is an increasingly clear and important trend. In the future, generative AI will be more deeply integrated into industry applications, evolving into a productivity tool that can bring actual benefits and generate growth for various industries, Zhou said.

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