Harvard dropout builds wearable AI companion that hangs around neck


While artificial intelligence continues to proliferate in our society in many different ways, wearable AI has yet to take off, and a Harvard dropout named Avi Schiffmann is trying to change that. 

He’s hoping his next project, Tab, reaches the masses. 

Tab is an AI necklace potentially intended to intercede with God.

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Avi Schiffmann wearing his AI Tab necklace (Jason Carman via YouTube)

From dropout to innovator

While the success of Harvard dropouts is legendary, from Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg, Avi’s focus is not just on innovation but also on how technology can create solutions through collaboration. Prior to his AI necklace invention, at 17, Ari created a COVID-19 tracking website during the pandemic, which drew tens of millions of people every day.

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He went on to be a youth ambassador to the U.N. and received a Webby Award. Despite the easy advertising dollars he could have capitalized on, he refused to cloud his website with advertising because he did not want to profit off others during a pandemic. At age 19, he created Ukraine Take Shelter, a website that matched 100,000 displaced Ukrainians with welcoming homes. Now all his efforts are in making Tab a success.

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Avi Schiffmann giving a speech (Avi Schiffmann)

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What is Tab?

Tab is a small, circular pendant that hangs around your neck and listens to you and those around you. With a battery that runs for 30 hours on each charge, it uses a microphone and Bluetooth to transmit the audio it picks up to your phone, which then goes to the cloud, where ChatGPT transcribes these conversations.

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Once transcribed, a variety of AI models will glean insights specific to and for you. Tab is supposed to be a combination of therapist, life coach and perhaps even God. The idea is that the transparency between yourself and Tab lacks the subjectivity or judgment that one might face with oneself or other humans — and acts more like the transparency one might face with God.

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How the device listens to you and reflects on your actions

Though the user experience (UX) is still under development, the two-way communication between the user and Tab is where the value can be found: you get bits of insights or information when you need them, with or without your prompt. Where therapists or life coaches only hear what patients or customers tell them, the Tab is listening and reflecting on what the wearer is doing most of the time. Therefore, you are getting insights in a consistent and radical way.

You might ask, who would allow themselves and the world around them to be transcribed and deconstructed 24/7? The $100,000 in early units sold at $600 for each Tab, which includes a year of service (at $50 per month) indicates there is a public interest. Despite AI wearables failing to launch or rather reaching a tipping point as a part of the cultural zeitgeist, Ari was able to raise $1.9 million on a valuation of $15 to $20 million for Tab.

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Big brother or best friend? Will privacy be protected?

For those who are already concerned about wearing a device and listening to every potentially embarrassing babble coming out of your mouth, fear not. Ari promises that the company will not store, sell, or share its user data.

The business model for Tab may shift in the future so that the pendant itself is free of charge and the costs offset by the service subscription. We may finally have the ultimate solution to writer’s block — or maybe even “life” block with an AI friend who is not only always around but also evolves with us one conversation at a time.

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How can you get your hands on Tab?

You can preorder Tab and, according to the official website, the device will ship out sometime this year.

Kurt’s key takeaways

Tech companies are scrabbling to create a wearable AI that “sticks.” It seems like a maverick Harvard dropout may have found the perfect blend of usability and portability in Tab. While the concept of being listened to for the majority of one’s day might be a tough pill to swallow for those wary of being under surveillance or unwilling to evolve, Tab’s creator has the intention of empowering each wearer with the power of clarity through AI. The tech world awaits with bated breath as Tab is slated to ship out its preorders in 2024.

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If you can get answers to improve yourself and your life, would you be willing to let your conversations be heard and transcribed by AI? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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