By Alan Murray and Tom Huddleston Jr.
January 8, 2018

Good morning.

I’m leaving the East Coast deep freeze this morning and heading to Las Vegas, along with 180,000 of the tech-obsessed, for the annual CES show. The massive conference used to focus on consumer electronics, but it has broadened its remit in recent years and become a gathering place for representatives of every industry trying to understand how tech is going to rock their world.

Top buzzwords for this year’s extravaganza, according to CES connoisseur Shelly Palmer: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Augmented Reality. For the first time ever, the conference will include an “AI Marketplace” alongside the traditional marketplaces for TVs, smart homes, drones, robotics, etc., on the massive convention center floor. Fortune will be hosting Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang tonight at its annual Brainstorm Tech dinner. Huang is the perfect representation of the change that has overtaken CES. Nvidia built its business on Graphical Processing Units used in computer games; but its stock has skyrocketed recently as its powerful GPUs have been powering more AI applications. (Huang was Fortune’s 2017 Businessperson of the Year.)

This year’s CES is also becoming a battleground in the digital assistant war. Amazon’s Alexa is the early leader in the field, but Google has plastered its “Hey, Google” digital assistant wake-up call on billboards, buses and other vacant spaces all over the city. Apple’s entry into the war, HomePod, is expected early this year.

I’ll be reporting from CES all week. News below.

Alan Murray


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