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How Lenovo is enabling AI everywhere

Nurdianah Md Nur
Nurdianah Md Nur • 6 min read
How Lenovo is enabling AI everywhere
Lenovo is helping organisations leverage artificial intelligence on PCs and the cloud to accelerate AI adoption. Photo: Unsplash
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Your personal computers (PCs) will soon be your personalised artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, thanks to the rise of AI PCs. According to the International Data Corp, such devices will represent nearly 60% of all PC shipments worldwide by 2027.

Traditionally, AI tasks running directly on PCs are handled by the central processing unit, graphics processing unit, or a mix of both. This can lead to suboptimal PC performance and decreased battery life as those chips are not designed for AI tasks.

Enter AI PCs, which utilise system-on-a-chip technology optimised for running generative AI tasks and other AI workloads directly on the device. This also speeds up AI workloads and ensures data privacy instead of running AI on the public cloud, where AI workloads must make a round trip to cloud servers and back to the PC. Additionally, AI PCs can reduce costs by limiting the need to access costly cloud computing resources for AI tasks.

Personal AI

Lenovo plans to take the concept of AI PCs even further by enabling such devices to deliver unique experiences to each user. This can be achieved through personal foundation models trained solely on an individual user’s behaviour and preferences, unlike public foundation models trained on public data and private foundation models fine-tuned on industry- or company-specific data.

The personal foundation model will power an AI assistant, provisionally named Lenovo AI Now Personal Assistant, to streamline workflows and enhance collaboration in a more personal and immersive manner. Users can check and change common PC settings such as display or performance, search and summarise emails and documents, create meeting invitations, and merge live cameras and avatars during video conferencing using natural language. The rollout of the Lenovo AI Now Personal Assistant in China will begin in the first half of 2024.

See also: AI's potential in redefining the PC experience

With the personal foundation model continuously learning about the user, it will become a “digital extension of the user”, says Lenovo. The company also shares that some parts of the model are device-agnostic, enabling users to share their AI model between devices or port to new devices.

The ThinkBook 13x Gen 4 is among the devices Lenovo offers with AI PC capabilities. It comes with a built-in Microsoft AI assistant Copilot key to keep users in the flow of work by delivering relevant answers and kickstarting the writing process, among other features.

The ThinkBook 13x Gen 4 can also optimise the camera, sound, and collaboration functions in supported applications, such as Microsoft Studio Effects, to help make online meetings more engaging and immersive. Moreover, it features an integrated Lenovo LA3 AI chip that uses a software machine learning algorithm to optimise the system parameters for performance and battery life.

See also: Keys to fortifying data resilience (Part 2)

The ThinkBook 13x Gen 4 is among the AI PCs offered by Lenovo. Photo: Lenovo

Hybrid AI for businesses

To realise its vision of “Al for All”, Lenovo delivers innovations — from purpose-built AI-ready devices, infrastructure, solutions and services — to enable organisations, regardless of size and industry, to benefit from AI. “Our job is to bring a powerful end-to-end AI portfolio so that customers can select the right offering based on their needs and speed of digital transformation,” Amar Babu, president of Lenovo Asia Pacific, tells DigitalEdge.

The move supports the hybrid AI approach, where organisations use a mix of personal, private and public foundation models. Babu says: “Large language models need billions of data and powerful machines, which not every enterprise can afford. With a hybrid AI approach, they can run AI models that work with smaller data sets from the enterprise or device and those leveraging public data [to reduce the cost of running AI. This can enable the Enterprise AI Twin to find and extract relevant information within your enterprise, from devices, edge and private cloud; synthesise them into assessments and conclusions; and propose solutions.”

According to Lenovo, the Enterprise AI Twin can support various tasks, including helping supply chain teams mitigate risks based on public AI information (such as weather patterns) and enterprise AI that looks at customer orders and the impact of weather on shipments, arrival of parts, transportation disruptions and more.

Babu also shares that highly regulated industries such as healthcare and financial services are showing a keener interest in hybrid AI because it can help them meet data security requirements as they leverage AI. With hybrid AI, banks can use private foundation models for processes requiring customer or sensitive data while utilising public foundation models for less risky tasks like powering chatbots that answer frequently asked questions.

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The AI ecosystem approach

Committed to enabling AI for all, Lenovo announced in August 2023 that it will invest an additional US$1 billion ($1.34 billion) in AI innovation over three years. However, the company understands that an ecosystem must accelerate AI development and adoption.

Lenovo, therefore, launched its AI Innovators Program in 2022, which offers an ecosystem consisting of diverse technology partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), industry-focused solutions and hardware among other features, to make it easy for its business customers to adopt AI.

One of the Lenovo AI Innovators is DeepBrain AI, which offers an AI Human solution that creates virtual employees for customer service. By using Lenovo ThinkSystem SE350 Edge Server configured with the Nvidia T4 GPU to enable video synthesis on edge, DeepBrain AI’s virtual employees can understand commands from customers and provide valuable information in near real-time.

A solution like this will be useful in industries such as retail and hospitality, where customer service is a differentiator but lacks manpower. DeepBrain AI’s virtual employees can be customised to represent different demographics and support the company brand vision, whether in uniform or by reflecting real employees or known personalities, to cater to the needs of various businesses.

More than 50 Lenovo AI Innovators represent over 165 proven AI solutions across Lenovo’s key verticals. The AI solutions can be easily deployed on-premise, even at the edge close to their production areas, with Lenovo’s rugged and scalable ThinkSystem and ThinkEdge infrastructure.

Companies requiring more guidance on kickstarting their AI-driven transformation should consider turning to Lenovo AI Professional Services Practice (in partnership with Nvidia). The service can help businesses of all sizes create an AI strategy and implementation plan that puts the right AI solutions to work quickly, cost-effectively and at scale.

As tech companies like Lenovo further innovate and work with partners to co-develop ready-made enterprise AI solutions and simplify AI deployments, it may not be long before we see the widespread use of AI to power businesses.

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