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  • Writer's pictureElaine Hua

How AI Technology Impacts Big Tech Companies’ Decisions

by Elaine Hua on 27/03/23

With the success of ChatGPT, natural language AI is now expected by many to be a life-changing technology for all. Following this, an ‘AI arms race’ unfolded between leading tech companies such as Meta, Google and Microsoft. The critical challenge posed to them is how to effectively leverage AI technology to facilitate their own respective products.

Understanding the topic

Why is ChatGPT such a game-changer? The chatbot essentially turns the way we obtain information, from the traditional way of viewing multiple links to a description created by AI in natural human language. ChatGPT can also code, or complete tasks under very precise instructions. The technology can be applied in the business contextincluding creating personalised marketing content, increasing productivity by compiling research, etc. Utilising AI technology effectively and wisely will put tech companies in a more advanced position, which is now the new challenge.

How did companies react?

We can already perceive how AI has impacted the way big tech companies make executive and investment decisions:

  • Meta had made the second round of job cuts of 11,000 in response to the view that Meta needed to be slender so that it has more capital for big technology changes in the industry, with AI being the most important one. Despite its continued enormous investment in Metaverse (estimated at over 100 billion), investing in AI has now become its top priority. Despite being a company focusing on social networking, AI technology is essential for developing personalised advertisements for users, and this could potentially help the company tackle the challenge posed by Apple’s change of privacy settings and Tiktok’s increasing influence.

  • Google, being the leader in search engines, is naturally stung by the Open AI technology, with people even suspecting that this will be the end of Google. Google is adjusting to this new technology. Googled declared ‘code red’ and is now attempting to adapt AI into all its key products along with its search engine. It is also worthwhile to recognise why Google was not the company to bring about AI technology despite its leading position in the industry and its continuous effort in training its own language model technology (PaLM) two years ago. A useful breakdown pointed out that this is because Google has a strict AI principle, for example, it needs to make sure that all information is accurate and not misleading or biased, which makes Google’s introduction of a chatbot like ChatGPT harder. In addition, not showing links as attachments will sabotage relationships with link owners, which is a further factor restricting Google.

  • Microsoft, already forming an alliance with OpenAI, is in an advantageous position to install this technology in its product. For example, it aims to put the technology in use to Word and Excel. Users would be able to use natural language to produce content, boosting creativity and productivity.

The general trend is that companies are increasing investments in the development of AI. However, how successful are those development going to be? It is not rare to see companies installing those radical changes (such as Microsoft’s past attempt at voice assistance Cortana which it claimed will completely change computing but ended up in misery), but it’s another matter of whether those changes will actually be welcomed by users. Investors can be optimistic but should stay alert in being overconfident about open AI.

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