SSD Tech Report: Covering MWC, SXSW, and a Startup CPG AI “Glow-Up”

Posted: March 20, 2024

By Cheryl Goodman, FindGood.Tech

Lenovo Redefining Transparency In Technology

MWC 2024: More AI than API Takeaways that will touch consumers

The Mobile World Congress (MWC) stands as the premier event for the mobile telecommunications sector. In 2024, MWC rebounded to its pre-pandemic glory, drawing in excess of 101,000 attendees with  2,700 exhibitors, and hosting 1,100 speakers, signaling a return to its full-scale grandeur. 59% of participants hailed from sectors beyond the traditional mobile ecosystem, showcasing the event’s evolution into a diverse technological nexus. MWC has transcended its origins as a mere gathering of telecom insiders to become a grand showcase of the future, with artificial intelligence (AI) not just as a highlight but as the driving force of the entire event. It can be challenging to discern key messages at this scale, but no doubt Artificial intelligence unapologetically dominated MWC 2024.

From keynotes detailing visions of the future for every specific topical area (infrastructure, devices, partnerships, sustainability) to countless announcements and demos on the stands, the telecom industry was keen to demonstrate to its partners and investors expected to shape how our digital life has fundamentally changed.

MWC Standout: Humane AI Pin in the Qualcomm Booth

Humane AI Pin
A laser projected from the Humane AI Pin turns your hand into a display. (Image Credit CNET)

Qualcomm’s AI Extravaganza

Qualcomm went all out, however, making it clear that AI isn’t just for the cloud anymore. Their announcements aimed at bringing AI to devices across the board—from your smartphone to your car. The Qualcomm AI Hub is a rich resource for developers, offering over 75 optimized AI models. It’s an invitation to innovate at the edge, where privacy and personalization take center stage. 

Qualcomm AI

AI-Powered Gadgets and Sustainability

The gadgets on display were not just smart; they were AI-smart. From Oppo’s smart glasses to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X80 5G modem, AI accelerators are becoming the norm. And let’s not forget about sustainability – Qualcomm’s focus on on-device AI processing for sustainability and efficiency is a call to action for startups to think green while innovating

Qualcomm’s On-Device AI and AI Hub

Qualcomm's On-Device AI and AI Hub

Qualcomm emphasized its commitment to running AI at scale on the edge. 

  • Qualcomm Revolutionizes the Future of AI and Connectivity with Groundbreaking Innovations at MWC Barcelona. Learn more here. 
  • Qualcomm Continues to Bring the Generative AI Revolution to Devices and Empowers Developers with Qualcomm AI Hub. Read more.

Lenovo- Redefining Transparency in Technology

Lenovo Redefining Transparency In Technology
Image credit Lenovo

So Why Should Startups Care?

Here’s the deal. MWC 2024 wasn’t just a showcase of the latest and greatest in mobile tech. It was a glimpse into the future, a future where AI and mobile technology are intertwined in every aspect of our lives. For startups, this is more than just exciting; it’s a goldmine of opportunities to innovate, leveraging data to drive insights. These insights help us build better products for consumers and it is a way that is more bespoke. 

SXSW: AMD Generative AI and the EXPO – Movies, Music and More

SXSW is the definitive event for technology, music, and film mashups, which also saw robust in-person returns to the event with over 345,000+ in attendance. The pinnacle of SXSW was the epic insights from AMD’s CEO Dr. Lisa Su. 


Photo: AMD, Dr. SU at #SXSW24

Dr. Su illuminated the transformative role of AI in the future of interactive entertainment and computing, emphasizing the essence of innovation doesn’t lie in magic (an annoying word that’s often evoked in AI keynotes  – more in my book out 4/24), but she focused on leveraging individual capacity to innovate (it’s a world for Startups @Startup San Diego ). Her insights made a compelling case for AI as a pivotal tool and illustrated this with references to the Oscar-winning film “Avatar,” showcasing AMD’s significant contributions to real-time processing.

AMD’s chips are used in Hollywood to make films. In a surprise appearance, director David Conley appeared on stage to discuss AMD’s tech in filmmaking. Just the night prior, he was at the Academy Awards, where his film War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko, won best animated short film.

Dr. Su detailed AMD’s strategic emphasis on AI integration across various domains, from chip design to HR, to drive productivity and climb the value chain. Highlighting the importance of collaboration and open-source development, she showcased AMD’s partnerships with tech giants like Microsoft and OEMs like HP and Lenovo, which are crucial in democratizing #AI technology. (Shoutout to Vishal Shah for his evangelism on XR.) 

What Will AI PCs Enable?

“The goal of AI PCs is to make sure everyone of us has our own AI capability… You can actually operate on your own data, you can actually ask it questions and it’ll answer for you. It will answer for you faster. It will answer it for you in a private manner, because maybe you don’t want your data going everywhere.” Dr. Lisa Su at #SXSW24

Get the full MWS and SXSW Review at Startup San Diego's Tech Report

What Would Dr. Su Do?

Dr Su And Cheryl
Pictured: Dr. Su, AMD and Cheryl Goodman, Vice Chair at Startup San Diego

Dr. Su’s “doer” approach to leadership, which focuses on ambitious goals and direct engagement with teams and customers, is a blueprint for leaders. 

Dr. Su’s narrative is not just a testament to AMD’s pioneering role in tech but also serves as an inspirational guide for embracing AI with curiosity, learning from failures, and fostering a culture of experimentation. As technology progresses rapidly, Dr. Su’s insights from SXSW underscore the significance of leadership, collaboration, and ethical responsibility. Her closing words in the keynote were AI is “mind-blowing” and “move faster!”

Fun Facts

  1. Did you know the powering of the world’s fastest supercomputer, Frontier, is at Oak Ridge National Labs (exascale computing!) is powered by AMD. Now that’s Leadership! Thanks, Dr Lisa Su. 
  2. Dr. Su and her husband Dan are based in Austin, Texas.  In lesser known news, Dr. Su and Nvidia co-founder and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang are relatives. Su’s maternal grandfather is the eldest brother of Huang’s mother.

Consumer Packaged (CPG) Goods Glow up – OKU!  


Humanity tends to deify or demonize technology—and the truth is AI is just an epic set of tools! So, to that end, we are going to talk about the process, the best tools, and the challenges of AI-ifying your business. AI tools are not a savior in themselves, nor are they the Satan-source to kill all carbon-based lifeforms. Humanity tends to deify or demonize technology—let’s set drama aside and focus on efficiency. 

Entrepreneur and CEO of OKU Carolyn Hamlet is joining us on Tech Report to talk about using AI to bring her product to market faster and better. Brian Landers at Zapier is joining me as co-host. Together, we’ll unpack the pros and pitfalls of AI for your business. We are looking at CRM and marketing, two of the most disrupted disciplines and two of the largest pain points of any business. 

Join us for the Startup San Diego Tech Report Livestream!

Startup SAN DIEGo Livestream

Want a deeper dive into the major announcements from this year’s MWC and SXSW? Tune in to Startup San Diego’s Tech Report Livestream this Thursday, March 21st, at 3:00 PM PST. Our very own Vice Chair, Cheryl Goodman, and Co-host Bryan Landers,  AI Product Designer at Zapier, will dive into some of the tech highlights. We’ll also be welcoming Carolyn Hamlet, CEO & Co-founder of Oku, for an AI-Glowup session to see how this CPG (Consumer Packaged Goods) brand can leverage AI.

Ella Napata

March 28, 2024
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