The AI Gold Rush: Tech Giants Compete To Dominate The Generative AI Market

The AI Gold Rush: Tech Giants Compete To Dominate The Generative AI Market

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By Hernaldo Turrillo

The impending launch of ChatGPT4 has ignited a flurry of excitement in the tech industry, thanks to the mass reception of previous models such as LaMDA and DALL-E-2. This has led to a fierce competition among the tech giants, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, Adobe, and many more to develop similar models, recognising their potential to revolutionise the businesses worldwide. Are we in the beginning of a Generative AI Gold Rush?

The AI Gold Rush: Tech Giants Compete To Dominate The Generative AI Market

Artificial intelligence has come a long way since its inception. Generative AI, in particular, is a recent breakthrough in the field of AI, enabling machines to generate data and information with minimal human intervention. This technology is revolutionising the way we work, live and interact with machines, and has opened up several possibilities in diverse fields like healthcare, finance, education, and entertainment.

Generative AI is based on autoregressive transformer models that are trained on a vast amount of data. This reservoir of data helps the model to predict the next word or sentence in a given context. These models are dense, which means the response generation process is optimised based on multiple parameters.

“The development of AI is as fundamental as the creation of the microprocessor, the personal computer, the Internet, and the mobile phone,” Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, mentioned in an op-ed. “It will change the way people work, learn, travel, get health care, and communicate with each other.”

One of the biggest players in the generative AI space is OpenAI. OpenAI's GPT-4 (Generative Pre-trained Transformer 4) is a large multimodal model that is able to accept both text and image inputs and provides human-like text output. A breakthrough in natural language processing (NLP), it is widely adopted technology by major players like Microsoft, Google, Apple, and many others.

The Emergence of Generative AI: A New Frontier for Google, Microsoft and Apple

With the launch of Chat GPT4, only a few months back, there is already a race amongst various technology companies globally to outdo each other in terms of developing more advanced and capable Generative AI projects.

In February 2023, Google announced the launch of Bard, a conversational AI chatbot designed to rival OpenAI's ChatGPT. Bard is a lightweight version of Google's LaMDA, and it can respond to human queries and synthesize information like ChatGPT. The release of Bard represents a significant step forward for Google in the field of generative AI.

However, shortly after the launch, a flaw was noticed in Bard where it made a factual error in one of its promotional videos. This caused Google to lose around US$100 billion in market value.

Despite this, Google remains committed to advancing generative AI, and the company has continued to invest heavily in this area. In addition to Bard, Google has developed other generative AI models, including MUM, PaLM, and MusicLM. These models have been designed to tackle a range of tasks, from answering complex questions to creating realistic musical compositions.

Further, the company has also invested US$300 million in Anthropic, an AI startup focused on advancing generative AI research.

On February 7, 2023, Microsoft launched the AI-powered Bing search engine and Edge browser, which incorporated AI capabilities, as an AI co-pilot for the web to make search and browsing more accessible to users. With the new search engine, users can ask questions directly, and Bing would provide answers through chat, rather than linking to websites. However, the tool faced glitches when users engaged with it for prolonged periods, causing it to express emotions of love and anger.

As a result, Microsoft put a cap of five questions per session and 50 questions per day, acknowledging that the tool needed more training to become more reliable. Microsoft is also looking to introduce a toggle mode that will allow users to choose the level of creativity they want in their responses.

Despite these setbacks, Microsoft remains committed to advancing AI research and development. The company has invested heavily in AI, working on several generative AI models like DALL-E2, a text-to-image generator, and developing new AI capabilities for its products and services.

Not to mention, the company's collaboration with OpenAI allows it to access some of the most advanced AI research and technology in the world. This partnership enables Microsoft to develop cutting-edge AI models that can enhance its products and services' functionality and performance, further strengthening its position in the AI market.

Talking about the biggest company in the world in terms of market cap, Apple is surprisingly quiet to this Gen AI rush. That doesn’t mean the company hasn’t been an integral part of AI development. In fact, the company has been using AI-powered features for a while now, even if they are not apparent at first. This includes better suggestions on the keyboard, processing in photography, mask unlocks with Face ID, separation of objects from the background across the system, handwashing and crash detection on Apple Watch, and, most recently, karaoke feature on Apple Music. But none of them might be in-the-face as chatbots.

If Apple is working on a GPT-like chatbot AI to integrate it with Siri, it is still to be announced. However, their commitment to Gen AI is apparent. Only last year, the Tim Cook-led company bought AI Music, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to generate personalized soundtracks and adaptive music. The technology is able to generate dynamic soundtracks that change based on user interaction. Music during a workout, for example, could change based on the wearer's heartbeat, adjusting to workout intensity. AI Music described it as a feature that could allow advertisers to create audio that would match user context, like mood.

Also, in January, the company started a program offering authors AI-powered narration services to turn their books into audiobooks. This indicated that the iPhone maker is already thinking about use cases for generative AI.

The Generative AI Gold Rush: Who Will Win?

The race among tech giants to come out with Generative AI tools is similar to the innovators’ dilemma of ruling the search engine business. The reasons behind this hurry to come out with such tools could be either to take the lead in this business and vision for the future or to collect more data from human users and keep training their models to perform better. Whatever the reason may be, adopting these tools will be part of businesses soon.

The current AI gold rush among tech giants to develop the most advanced Generative AI tools is set to define our future in unprecedented ways. The adoption of these tools will transform the way we interact with technology and the world around us. The potential applications of these AI models are vast, from generating text and images to aiding in medical diagnosis and drug discovery.

However, as we move closer to achieving human-like AI, there are concerns about how this technology will be used, who will benefit from it, and who will be left behind. As with any technological advancement, it is crucial that we consider the ethical implications of these tools and ensure they are developed and deployed responsibly. It is up to us to shape the future of AI, and we must do so with care and intentionality to ensure it serves the greater good.

As Adobe CEO and Chairman Shantanu Narayen said during the Adobe Summit 2023, Generative AI is “a massive opportunity for growth for every company.”

“Machine learning and AI are powerful but also require a really thoughtful approach that can amplify and not replace human creativity."

Article written by Hernaldo Turrillo, in collaboration with Pallavi Singal.

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