AI Beyond ChatGPT

I came across this image posted on X this week, via user @AndresKG_:

It really does feel like there’s a gold rush on right now to take AI beyond ChatGPT style chat interfaces. Indeed, the company themselves are gearing up to launch something new as per CEO Sam Altman:

What this might be is anyone’s guess. But it’s clear that the AI race is entering a new phase of perhaps consolidation; not every VC funded startup will make it out alive and there’s argument to suggest the vertical AI tools i.e writing, image and video generation, customer service etc should be afraid of what OpenAI are about to announce. Here’s what I see today in terms of mainstream AI software:

  • OpenAI ChatGPT

  • OpenAI DALL-E

  • Anthropic Claude

  • Midjourney

  • Grammarly

  • Zapier

  • CapCut

  • TikTok

Notice how none of these come from the so-called Tech Giants, i.e., Google, Meta, Apple, or Amazon (though they do use their compute, another story). The Internet has always been about the long tail. Indeed, likely after GPT 5,6,7, you’ll still have AI tools built on other people’s LLMs. I guess the software margins generally allow for more players. But what about hardware?

As the graphic above shows, there’s a battle right now to sell AI-enabled hardware beyond smartphones such as the iPhone. From the top of my head I can think of the following that have decent-sized market presence:

  • Meta Ray Ban Sunglasses

  • Meta Quest XR headset

  • Apple AirPods

  • Apple Watch

  • Whoop fitness tracker

  • Oura Ring

  • Tesla (FSD)

Then throw in all the new startups, such as Humane, and you see what I mean. The hardware race is anyone’s guess right now. Even Apple’s highly polished Vision Pro product is seemingly failing to sell in large numbers.

What all this means is that 2 years into broad AI product adoption, there’s still no clear winners, and the large tech incumbents haven’t been firing. We are then no nearer to answering the question of this post i.e AI beyond ChatGPT.

What’s your take? If you could pick one software winner, one hardware winner, who would they be?

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