It’s been a rough year for the tech world, and the Silicon Valley giants are shrinking and regrouping. But one area companies don’t want to cut into next year, if this earnings season is any indication, is artificial intelligence.
Until very recently, the tech giants seemed play safe with AI Facebookfor example, have been experimenting with AI and chatbots for several yearsbut the enormous size and bureaucracy of the biggest companies in the industry have also been criticized for stifling rapid innovation leaps in areas of deep science, such as artificial intelligence.
That all changed in November, when San Francisco-based startup OpenAI, with about 500 employees, Launching ChatGPTAdvanced chatbots and big language models put every tech giant on red alert.
In just a few short months, OpenAI’s ChatGPT has quickly become one of the most widely used applications in the world. Chatbot surpassed 100 million monthly active users in January and is now fastest growing consumer app in history, according to a Wednesday research note by Swiss investment bank UBS. In spite of its not without its informative omissionsChatGPT’s popularity is unlikely to wane anytime soon, as it continues to wow audiences around the world.
Tech giants will definitely take notice, especially after rivals Microsoft announced 10 billion USD investment that’s effectively put it in charge of artificial intelligence startups in the next few years. And they confirmed it in investor calls this week. Although some are still reeling from sales drop And thousands of layoffsMany tech leaders are signaling that AI will play a much larger role in the future.
Unlocking “the incredible opportunities AI presents to our consumers, partners and businesses” is one of the Google Parent company Alphabet’s biggest priorities come 2023, CEO Sundar Pichai said in his opening keynote at Alphabet’s earnings call with investors on Thursday.
He added: “AI is the most profound technology we are working on right now.
Big technology focuses on AI
Google has a definite interest in staying competitive with OpenAI and Microsoft, as ChatGPT puts it a direct threat and the report sparked a “code red” for the company’s longstanding search engine hegemony.
Pichai said on the call that Alphabet is about to incorporate its own AI, called LaMDA, into its search engine.
“Very soon, people will be able to interact directly with our newest, most powerful language model as a companion to Search, in experimental and innovative ways. Stay tuned,” he said.
“We have been preparing for this moment since the beginning of last year and you will see a lot from us over the next few months,” he added about the company’s plans to roll out various AI products, including including PaLM, another major product. language model.
But Google isn’t the only Big Tech company targeting a larger AI presence to counter the rise of OpenAI. During Apple’s earnings call on Thursday, CEO Tim Cook speak AI is the company’s “primary focus,” adding that its applications have the potential to “affect every product and every service we have.”
Meta, Facebook’s parent company, has also spent more money on its AI programs in recent months to maintain its metaverse ambitions and have reworked its data center design plan to ensure AI workloads can be supported.
Company leaders emphasized these points during the Meta . meeting earnings call Wednesday: “The two major waves of technology driving our roadmap are AI today, and in the long run the metaverse,” said CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg. CFO Susan Li added that the company is “investing heavily in AI” over the long term to enhance security features.
Meta has also signaled a greater focus on AI in the coming months as the company looks to Optimize the performance of the ScrollIts short form video feature on Facebook and Instagram, so far failed to simulate success about similar services from competitor apps like TikTok.
But the big tech companies are fighting OpenAI and many other startups Working on artificial intelligence and its growing list of applications can run into an inherent disadvantage: Big tech can be too big.
According to Clayton Christensen, the late Harvard economist and business consultant, disruptive technological developments such as major advances in AI tend to go to agile startups more than their peers. Large companies are weighed down by bureaucracy. wrote the book about disruptive innovation more than once. Christensen argued in his work that large firms tend to be less successful in innovating due to pressure to maintain their established businesses.
Christensen wrote in a 2000 article: “In fact, one of the bittersweet results of success is that as companies become large, they lose the ability to penetrate small and new markets. floating. article for the Harvard Business Review. “Thus, the reason that large companies often abandon emerging growth markets is that smaller, disruptive companies are actually more likely to pursue them.”
For companies like Alphabet and Meta, the disruptive power of AI can present a similar challenge. From a technology standpoint, the language models of Google and ChatGPT are “more alike than different,” UBS researchers wrote in this week’s report. But that doesn’t mean Google can get rid of bureaucratic obstacles easily.
Last month, Google released a update about its AI work reiterates its commitment to advancing the technology, but while the UBS report praises the company’s work, it cautions Google against going its own way.
“Reading this post, it feels like a company struggling with a plethora of institutional hurdles and at a time when there may be tectonic shifts taking place in the environment,” the researchers wrote. technology.
Companies like Alphabet and Meta may have more resources than OpenAI, but there’s a good reason the startup can successfully launch its product to the public before any of the heavyweights in the industry. industry, who are now at risk of being left behind.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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