The Best and Worst of AI at CES

Artificial intelligence dominated the annual consumer tech show, for better or worse

January 12, 2024 1:17 pm
JH Han, CEO of Samsung Electronics speaks at the Samsung press conference on January 8, 2024 at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada
JH Han, CEO of Samsung Electronics, speaks at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas
Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

CES 2024 is concluding this week, and all 130,000+ attendees at the annual consumer electronics showcase in Las Vegas were bombarded with the latest and greatest in tech — which this year pretty much meant artificial intelligence on everything.

And we mean everything, whether the device or gadget actually needed AI. But in a year where ChatGPT dominated tech conversation, companies felt pressed to make their case for AI-assisted gadgets.

“You don’t want to show up at the costume party in plain clothes, right?” Dipanjan Chatterjee, principal analyst at Forrester, told CNET. “Everyone’s going to be there saying AI. You’re probably going to look like a fool if you don’t.”

We’ve been down this trendy road before: Foldable screens, Internet of Things devices, the Metaverse, etc. There’s usually one technological idea that dominates CES, and this year it just happens to be AI. Thankfully, the inclusion of artificial intelligence doesn’t just mean a load of glorified chatbots placed upon random gadgets (though that’s certainly part of it); some of the new tech looks interesting and, yes, useful.

Below, we spotlight five devices that debuted at CES touting their AI abilities, ranging from interesting to unnecessary.

Rabbit R1
Rabbit R1
Rabbit Inc.

Rabbit R1

Possibly the coolest-looking device at CES (well, after transparent screens), Rabbit is a portable AI pocket companion full of color and some nice tactile details, like an analog scroll wheel. Featuring a 2.88″ touchscreen and a rotating camera, the R1 is basically an assistant that doesn’t need your phone and works through verbal orders. The Verge called it a “universal controller for apps” and it appears to be a pretty versatile device (do anything a phone with apps can do, without needing a phone or apps). It’s already sold out of its first two production runs, though at the moment this seems more like a cool design than an everyday necessity.

PureWash E930 Bidet Seat

Kohler’s been making “smart” toilets for years, so it may maybe no surprise that the Wisconsin-based company introduced an elongated bidet toilet seat with a remote control at CES. The “AI” here is really just the utilization of a voice assistant (Google, Alexa) to turn on the bidet spray, warm air dryer and UV cleaning. The company itself doesn’t seem to be applying the AI tag to its product, even if other publications are using the label. So we’ll give the company a pass here; and hey, having hands-free control for your fancy bidet is pretty hygienic.

Perfecta grill


“The world’s first AI-powered grill” is how they’re touting Perfecta. The new Seergrills appliance utilizes proprietary NeuralFire technology, a bunch of sensors, vertical infrared burners and an integrated AI chef to determine how long your food needs to cook, which seems like it’s taking all the fun out of outdoor grilling. It apparently can cook a 1″ ribeye steak in 90 seconds.

How an Artist Painted a Nude Portrait Using Artificial Intelligence
Mario Klingemann just won the Lumen Prize for his portrait, which was generated by algorithms.


Once you stop thinking about AI as just ChatGPT, it’s easier to recognize real-world use cases for the technology — such as Whispp, which offers assistive voice tech for people with a voice disability and people who stutter severely. At this year’s CES, the company announced a phone-calling feature that converts whispered or vocal cord-impaired speech into a user’s natural voice in real-time via AI assistance.

AX Visio
AX Visio
Swarovski Optik

AX Visio 10×32

The Visio is an example of a niche and very expensive product that could attract enthusiasts. Here, those enthusiasts would be bird watchers. These AI-supported binoculars help people identify birds and other animal species at the push of a button, with obvious camera and video capabilities built in.

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