Microsoft seems to be on its way to becoming the cutting edge company it hasn’t been in a long time. It’s a label the company lost long ago after a series of smaller start-ups grew into Microsoft’s biggest competitors. For example, Google started out as an agile and innovative start-up that eventually beat out Microsoft in browsers, email and mobile operating systems. But now Microsoft has the potential to become an agile and innovative company that surpasses Google in artificial intelligence. It’s all thanks to OpenAI.
OpenAI is the hottest AI Lab with one of the hottest and most exciting products, ChatGPT. And Microsoft is a very good friend of that. On Monday, the two companies announced that Microsoft is investing $10 billion in OpenAI (which is in addition to the $3 billion Microsoft has invested in OpenAI since 2019), and that Microsoft will bring ChatGPT to its Bing search engine. Rumored to add. Yes, that’s right. The wildly infamous and little-used Bing may finally become a real Google search competitor.
Following the news of Microsoft’s $10 billion investment, Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said ChatGPT was a “potential game changer” for Microsoft, saying the company would “repeat the same mistakes” of missing out on social and mobile. I have no intention of doing so,” he wrote. twenty years ago. Microsoft is clearly aggressive in this area and won’t be left behind,” he wrote Ives.
There are similarities here, at least superficially. Microsoft was once a dominant player in computer technology, with its Windows operating system used in the majority of personal computers and its Internet Explorer browser used by the majority of web surfers. After that, problems arose with the US government. Microsoft sued, accusing Microsoft of using its dominant position to unfairly outwit the competition and hijack the emerging browser market by bundling Internet Explorer with Windows. The lawsuit has bound Microsoft for years. In that environment, companies like Google emerged, delivering better products that people liked in an exponentially growing market.
Microsoft is still doing well — it remains one of the most valuable companies in the world, worth more than Google — but it doesn’t have the consumer reputation it once had. The company’s enterprise clients drive the majority of its revenue through products such as Microsoft 365 and Azure. Google, by contrast, owns everything from Chrome to Gmail to YouTube, and is very well known and used by the average consumer. Its main source of revenue is the digital advertisements that consumers see as they navigate the internet, most of which use his Google services in doing so.
But now, Google is a company in trouble with antitrust laws, and the federal government and nearly every state and territory in the country have filed multiple lawsuits targeting core parts of its business, including one filed yesterday. facing lawsuits. These could pave the way for Microsoft to become a leader in a burgeoning industry with huge potential: AI. Companies like OpenAI have made great strides in this technology and are now making it available to the public, but Google’s competitors can hardly be found outside of Google’s blog updates. (Microsoft isn’t entirely clear as the Federal Trade Commission is now trying to block the game company’s massive merger with his Activision Blizzard, but it’s in a much better position when it comes to antitrust.)
That doesn’t mean Google doesn’t see the potential and importance of AI. We’ve been working on AI for years and have some of the best. The AI lab he acquired DeepMind in 2014, before OpenAI existed. We also developed the Transformer technology underlying ChatGPT (GPT stands for Generative Prediction Transformer).
But Google has refrained from offering public demonstrations like OpenAI, saying it wants to make sure its products are responsible and safe before making them public. What failed to solve the problem was a claim from the (now original) engineer that his LaMDA, Google’s chatbot tech, had become sentient. It’s been widely denied (and denied by Google), but it highlights how advanced this technology has come. It showed the risk that people would think it was something they could perceive and start treating it as such.
Now that ChatGPT is here, Google will have to catch up and figure out how they want to integrate their AI technology into their products. It reportedly recalled founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to help. The company recently published a paper outlining its approach to AI and how it’s important for that approach to be accountable (or Google’s definition of liability, given the lack of government regulation). .
“Google takes this seriously and justifies Microsoft’s attempts to use this technology to seriously compete with them in advertising, search engines and other products,” said Derek Leben, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s business school. I think it’s right,” he said. Focuses on AI ethics. “I think it’s a really great move. [Microsoft CEO] Satya Nadella. This is definitely something that positions Microsoft very well. “
But Leben cautioned that the question remains whether the benefits of these products outweigh the risks, and whether rushing products to market because of competition increases those risks. .
“It’s certainly an arms race issue,” he said. “They tend to motivate the actors within them to move faster and to accept risks that otherwise would not have been acceptable.”
Perhaps OpenAI’s technology is a game changer. Maybe it’s just a party trick. Either way, Microsoft understands it and many people think it’s great. That recognition is important. Google now finds itself in a similar position to the one it took down Microsoft 20 years ago.
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