Andrew Hewitt, Principal Analyst

Show Notes:

If you aren’t aware of the AI PC yet, you likely will be soon. These AI-powered devices made news at consumer electronics shows and will likely start showing up in the enterprise in the next year. In this episode, Principal Analyst Andrew Hewitt provides his perspective on current adoption and future potential for AI PCs, both for consumers and the enterprise.

Hewitt starts by providing a definition of what an AI PC is and some background on why they’re gaining attention now. While AI has been used in PC operating systems and devices for years, the emergence and use of dedicated AI chips in PCs has made these new devices much more useful.

The conversation then explores the factors that have contributed to the rise of AI PCs, including the rapid emergence of generative AI tools like ChatGPT and the increasing demand for AI capabilities in specific applications. Hewitt points out that today, AI PCs are marketed primarily toward consumers, with a focus on enhancing the user experience. And because enterprise IT decision-makers often prioritize cost, device management, and security for PCs more than consumers, enterprise adoption of AI PCs may lag consumer adoption, he says.

But there are definitely enterprise benefits for AI PCs, including improved computing performance, reduced latency, and cost savings from running AI workloads locally. Throughout the episode, Hewitt cites a number of specific enterprise use cases that could improve worker productivity, ranging from audio production and video editing to wellness-related use cases. One specific use case described is a speech coaching capability that can run locally on an AI PC. This would allow users to practice their speeches by detecting the usage of filler words, monitoring overall pace, and even correcting the speaker’s eye contact. It would be particularly beneficial for professionals in presentation-focused roles or executives who want to improve their public speaking skills.

The conversation then turns to the availability of AI PCs from various vendors, including major Windows OEM manufacturers and chip manufacturers like Intel, AMD, Qualcomm, NVIDIA, and Apple. Hewitt explains that the ecosystem for AI PC applications is still developing and more capabilities need to be built to fully leverage the AI chips. He also predicts that enterprise adoption of AI PCs may not happen until 2025, as annual IT budgets are already set and many organizations are still transitioning to Windows 11.

Other enterprise-focused aspects discussed include the potential impact on help desk operations and the sustainability and environmental considerations of AI PCs.

The episode concludes with Hewitt’s advice to IT and business leaders to consider AI capabilities across all devices, not just PCs, and to adopt a phased approach to AI PC adoption based on specific user needs and budget constraints.