Tech giants vying for position at the dawn of the AI ​​era are ET Telecom

Tech giants vying for position at the dawn of the AI ​​era are ET Telecom

Written by Julie JamotSAN FRANCISCO: Whether they’re selling smartphones, advertising or computer chips, Silicon Valley’s heavyweights have everything to prove to investors looking to see who’s best in the race to dominate the generative artificial intelligence market.

“If you’re a company, and you don’t have a mission around AI, you’re not going to be in business for a very long time,” says independent industry analyst Jack Gould.

“Everyone is focused on AI right now. Everyone is trying to out-market and out-market everyone. There is room for a lot of players.”

Over the past two weeks, major technology companies have released their earnings reports for the July-September quarter.

Most of them beat analysts’ expectations, but on Wall Street, all eyes were on plans for generative AI, popularized by the chatbot ChatGPT, the OpenAI interface that launched a year ago and stunned the world.

Google’s parent company, the global leader in online advertising, saw its profits rise 42 percent in the third quarter to nearly $20 billion — well above market estimates.

However, Alphabet shares fell more than 10% over two sessions, because Google Cloud, despite its expansion, was seen as a disappointment.

For Max Wellens, an analyst at Insider Intelligence, while the division’s credibility among AI startups could “pay off in the long run, it’s not currently helping Google Cloud enough to satisfy investors.”

“How fast is the change?”

The cloud is where most productive AI systems — which can deliver complex content like a poem or a scientific article in mere seconds — will be deployed.

Regarded by many observers as a seismic change similar to the advent of the Internet age, generative AI relies on AI systems called large language models.

These models collect mountains of data that are the building blocks for “creating” content.

Microsoft – a major investor in OpenAI – along with Google and Meta trained their own models.

Cloud companies — led by Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud — are starting to monetize AI, though costs are still high for now, says Yuri Wurmser, another analyst at Insider Intelligence.

“The excitement is about what is possible, and how quickly it can change,” Wurmser told AFP.

The main cost comes from the microprocessors needed to analyze the data.

Chipmaker Nvidia hit the jackpot by betting years ago on the development of graphics processing units (GPUs), which are now a mainstay in the rapid development of generative artificial intelligence.

But for Gould, one must understand “how AI will ultimately be used.”

“Probably 80 or 90 percent of all workloads will be inference workloads,” he says, meaning the typical performance of AI models once they are built.

US chip giant Intel is playing catch-up with its rivals, especially Nvidia, when it comes to the powerful chips needed to handle the processing demands of artificial intelligence.

“The heuristic use of these models is what we think is really amazing for the future,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said.

“A lot of that will run directly on Xeons,” he said, referring to the company’s processors.

“No one was late”

Amazon, which plans to invest up to $4 billion in OpenAI competitor Anthropic, insists on the importance of Bedrock, its service for building generative AI applications.

“It’s still difficult to know which models you actually want to use… and trying to make sure you’re getting the right results” while keeping costs under control, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy said.

“Bedrock overcomes a lot of the difficulty in those decisions in those variables, which makes people very excited about Bedrock,” he said.

Even Apple, which is loathe to let trends dictate its agenda, has not been able to escape questions about its AI plans.

“In terms of generative AI, we clearly have a work in progress,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said. “I won’t go into detail…but you can bet we’re investing a lot.”

Observers expect big things from Apple regarding its digital assistant Siri, which has not developed much in recent years. Amazon recently announced that it will gradually add AI capability to Siri’s counterpart, Alexa.

For Carolina Milanesi, an analyst at Creative Strategies, no one is left behind yet.

“No one is late in a market that has just begun and requires investments and commitments,” Milanesi told AFP.

“It first starts from the enterprise perspective before it starts from the consumer perspective.”

  • Published on Nov 6, 2023 at 07:38 AM IST

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    (Tags for translation)Artificial Intelligence

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