March 8, 2024

The Rabbit R1 chronicles.

Chapter 4: Don’t speculate a miracle and then expect it.

Hype is horrible thing. It sets up expectations that have never been stated. And Rabbit has had a lot of unplanned hype. If you want to know what Rabbit R1 will really be capable of on day one watch the keynote.

But many people pre-ordered their Rabbit based on the expectation that it will make phone calls and send texts. Sorry to disappoint, but at least initially, it won’t. Yeah, it has microphones, a speaker, bluetooth, a camera and an on-screen keyboard, but phone calls, video calls and texts were never the purpose of Rabbit. Founder Jesse Lyu made it clear in the keynote that Rabbit is not a phone replacement. The mission statement says Rabbit’s goal is to create the simplest computer possible. But here’s where the hype comes in: Ask Google if Rabbit can make calls and it’ll refer you to a CNET article that says yes it can. The hype led to the hope that Rabbit was a $200 replacement for your smartphone. And of course that’s obviously way too good to be true.

It can be argued that Rabbit R1 isn’t much different than Apple’s Siri. Like Siri, Rabbit doesn’t have an app. Like Siri, Rabbit will answer your questions. Like Siri Shortcuts, Rabbit R1 will run actions at the touch of a button. So what’s different? Well, it’s mostly an unrestricted scope of what’s possible and the ease in making what’s possible happen. Siri was AI before AI was cool. She already had the primitive capabilities of LLMs in answering questions found on the web, though Apple has yet to integrate its own LLM. By contrast Rabbit in not restricted like your iPhone’s OS and will be working with multiple LLMs.

What about Rabbit’s Large Action Model? Like Rabbit, Siri’s Shortcuts can complete some tasks. Shortcuts are based on the Workflows app, that’s based on the Automator app, that’s based on Applescript that dates back over 30 years ago. So Shortcuts have been refined and are very capable. But building more advanced workflows requires basic programming skills. Rabbit, by contrast, will in short order be trainable: It’ll watch you do something in a browser and then can repeat that workflow for you. It’s a simpler process that anyone can do with no programming required.

Another factor is that Rabbit’s hardware release is less than a month away, but the team is still beta testing the Rabbit OS. Jesse optimistically said he hoped the keynote would lead to 500 Rabbit pre-orders. Instead, almost 20,000 sold the first day. And at this moment Rabbit R1 is just about to hop over 100,000 pre-orders. Now If only 500 units had sold since the keynote, release day could have been more of a work-in-progress. But with the phenomenal hype and so many users waiting for their Rabbits, all eyes are on the R1 to succeed or fail on day one. While that’s not really fair, it’s a byproduct of hype with the media looking for a juicy headline and trolls looking to spew. You can expect Rabbit will do the amazing things shown in the keynote, but it can’t control satellites, clean out your fridge or—make phone calls.

Don’t get me wrong: Rabbit has so much potential. But it’s also a totally new OS. If we think back to all the bugs and issues that smartphones, tablets or watches had when they were introduced, it really wasn’t pretty. You can expect some hiccups and features that weren’t quite ready for prime time when Rabbit ships. But I think Rabbit’s aggressive development schedule will quickly have users showing off all the amazing things their Rabbit can do.

Read Chapter 5: Where the old folks play

Check out the entire Chronicles.

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Chapter 3: Virtual assistance, the next generation. Though Rabbit R1 can connect with multiple LLMs and spit out the answers to your question, its superpower is that it can do actions through its LAM.
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Chapter 5: That’s where the old folks play. I’m noticing a small trend among people who have pre-ordered Rabbit R1: The elderly are buying them. What? People who shun technology anxious to get
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