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Big Tech Companies Consume Lot of Data to Win in AI

Currently, large technology companies are demonstrating what can be described as super-intensive data consumption, as part of their desire to become winners in the so-called race for artificial intelligence, which has become one of the main processes in the space of digital reality, which is increasingly integrated with life realized offline, and largely determines the vector of development of the corresponding matter existence, including in social, political, economic and cultural dimensions.

Big Tech Companies Consume Lot of Data to Win in AI

Matt Calkins, co-founder and CEO of Appian, a US company specializing in cloud computing and enterprise software, says that the mentioned strategy is not a guarantee that the desired result will eventually be achieved. In the context of the corresponding perception of the prospects of the current efforts of such technology giants as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon in the area of artificial intelligence, he noted that success in this sector is based not only on money. The mentioned companies invest billions of dollars to develop their AI-related business. The corresponding vector of activity and aspirations is logical since artificial intelligence is likely to become the main driving force of the next stage of human civilization’s progress in the technological dimension in the foreseeable future, which will also have a significant and in some cases, fundamental impact on the state of affairs in the economic environment, will make changes in the balance of power on the political plane and a certain scale transforms the global cultural situation by introducing into it an element of what can be called a virtual perception of the world.

This week, Matt Calkins, during a conversation with media representatives, said that, in his opinion, the machine intelligence industry is not a place where money generates money. Reflecting on the specifics of the material effect in the most advanced segment of the global technological system, he mentioned the deals that large companies such as Microsoft and Amazon conclude with ambitious startups developing foundational models of artificial intelligence. The interest of many significant business players is focused on firms such as OpenAI and Anthropic.

Microsoft invested $13 billion in OpenAI, which developed a popular artificial intelligence-based chatbot called ChatGPT, which impressed the consumer audience and the expert environment with its cognitive capabilities. As a result of this interaction, based on a commercial component, the technology giant based in Redmond, Washington, will have a stake in the firm, which has received significant financial injections from it. At the same time, OpenAI will add its GPT language models to the Azure cloud computing platform, which is part of the Microsoft digital ecosystem.

Also, the mentioned technology giant has concluded the deal with Mistral AI, a French company engaged in developing virtual products based on artificial intelligence. In this case, Microsoft invested $16 million. A large language model developed by Mistral AI has been added to Azure.

It is also worth mentioning that the board of directors of OpenAI includes an observer from Microsoft, who does not have the right to vote. The technology giant made the appropriate decision as part of the formation of a strategy for interaction with the ChatGPT developer last year. The corresponding step was facilitated by a series of unforeseen events, as a result of which OpenAI CEO Sam Altman temporarily left his post, returning as soon as possible. Hundreds of employees of the firm have strongly protested these personnel changes. They also threatened to quit and pursue a career at Microsoft with Sam Altman. Against the background of this unequivocal reaction, the CEO of OpenAI returned to his position. At that time, many versions circulated in the information space regarding a sudden personnel decision that was made in the context of any unknown disagreements and problems of misunderstanding between company representatives. The most pragmatic gossip about this provided that there were disputes about the commercial strategy at the OpenAI management level. In this case, it is implied that there was no consensus on whether a company should focus on intensive monetization of its products or operate in the context of the paradigm of striving for the development of artificial intelligence as a technology that brings global benefits, without focusing on the financial result of the corresponding efforts. Also, a kind of conspiracy assumption was spreading in the information environment that allegedly OpenAI was able to create a fundamentally new form of digital intelligence with enormous power, which has the potential for large-scale destructive effects on the space of human existence. This version implied that the company’s management could not form a unified opinion on what to do with the mentioned achievement.

Amazon, based in Seattle, Washington, invested $4 billion in Anthropic, US, a firm that developed an artificial intelligence-based chatbot called Claude AI. The business giant holds a minority stake in the company, designing digital intelligence technologies. At the same time, Amazon is not on the board of directors of the firm that developed Claude AI.

Google, headquartered in Mountain View, California, has agreed to invest up to $2 billion in Anthropic.

It is worth noting that such actions by large technology companies are logical and based on pragmatic considerations. Within the framework of the corresponding paradigm of interaction with startups operating in the area of artificial intelligence, business giants form a kind of network of cooperation with developers of advanced digital products based on AI, which, in turn, provides access to high-edging technologies.

At the same time, the authorities are wary of the mentioned deals. Currently, in the United Kingdom, local regulators are checking whether Microsoft and Amazon’s business agreements with startups developing artificial intelligence models can constitute effective mergers of such a scale that contains the potential to become a factor of significant impact on competition. The technology giants disagree with these assumptions. Microsoft argues that its deals with OpenAI and Mistral, and the hiring of employees from Inflection, should not be characterized as mergers. Amazon also denies the regulators’ claims. In this context, the company notes that its partnership with Anthropic is a limited corporate investment and, from the point of view of its specifics, does not correspond to those characteristics that form such a concept as a merger.

Matt Calkins says that the artificial intelligence industry is a market for clever people. He noted that the financial resource that allows large companies to buy anything from AI firms is impressive. At the same time, Matt Calkins stated that artificial intelligence may not be a winner-takes-all market. In his opinion, regardless of whether the deals of large technology companies with smaller firms qualify as a threat to competition in the AI industry, innovators will have opportunities to thrive.

Matt Calkins says that if coalitions had won the artificial intelligence race, Google would have long been the unequivocal leader of the AI area. In this context, he also mentioned the technology giant’s takeover of the British artificial intelligence laboratory DeepMind. The cost of the relevant deal was $500 million.

According to Matt Calkins, Google lost out to Microsoft early. In this case, it implies efforts to integrate artificial intelligence into Internet search systems. Microsoft’s activity in the mentioned area poses a potential threat to Google’s dominance in this virtual industry. The giant of the Internet search system, whose status has not yet been disputed, but a revision of this position is quite possible shortly, faced significant problems in the context of efforts in the sphere of artificial intelligence after its Gemini AI model, which converts text materials into images, generated content with historical inaccuracies. In this case, images of famous people who lived in the past are meant. The relevant content was popular on the Internet, but against the background of so-called historical mistakes, this fame turned out to be not the one that Google aspired to. The technology giant has suspended the process of functioning of this artificial intelligence tool to improve it. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai called the mistakes made by Gemini unacceptable. The corresponding statement is contained in the internal memo, which was reviewed by representatives of the media.

Matt Calkins is convinced that different artificial intelligence algorithms will be developed for different purposes. According to him, these algorithms will be more or less valuable depending on whether users upload their own data into it and how. He also suggests that for artificial intelligence systems, the only way to become truly clever and useful is to form an understanding of what consumers want from these functional structures in the context of applying them in everyday life. Matt Calkins says that the best AI is the one in which users put their data and the one that bought the biggest stack.

The CEO of Appian argues that the current configuration of the artificial intelligence race is more related to how much data a company can consume, rather than how smart the AI actually is. Matt Calkins says that technology giants are doing everything they can to get as much information as possible, but this game is almost up. Against the background of the absence of any specific laws that form obstacles to the process of data consumption by large companies to prevent privacy violations, the relevant firms were allowed to receive the information necessary to train their artificial intelligence models.

Matt Calkins is disappointed that there is no progress in regulating AI at the federal level in the United States. According to him, Europe has an advantage in the area of artificial intelligence. He explained this opinion by the fact that in the mentioned region there is clarity in regulation. Matt Calkins says that there is no full understanding of this issue in the United States, partly because the local government adheres to an overly friendly position in the context of its attitude towards Big Tech.

In March, the European Union officially approved its AI Act. This is the first comprehensive law regulating the development and use of artificial intelligence.

Matt Calkins says that companies need clarity about the framework of which algorithm they can safely apply artificial intelligence to. In this context, mechanisms for protecting intellectual property and ensuring privacy are also of particular importance.

Matt Calkins said that in the artificial intelligence industry, it is necessary to form clear rules of the game that will become the basis for understanding what data is allowed to be used.

It is worth noting that the general attitude towards the issue of AI regulation is ambiguous. Some argue that appropriate measures are definitely necessary because significant cognitive abilities of artificial intelligence can potentially become a danger factor for humanity, both within individual industries and processes and at the global level. At the same time, there is an opinion that regulation will limit the opportunities for the development of technology companies and will cause a slowdown in the process of improving AI, which will still be implemented. Moreover, in the discourse of disagreement with the idea of controlling the process of developing and scaling artificial intelligence, claims can be used that legal norms will become an instrument of government intervention in the private sector.

Stuart Russell, a computer science professor at the University of California, Berkeley who co-authored the textbook called Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach, says that it is currently impossible to form a definitive understanding regarding the security of large language models. According to the expert, such models can summarize, process, and generate a language. Stuart Russell says that these capabilities of the specified technology can bring humanity closer to general-purpose intelligence. The expert claims that the mentioned version of AI can significantly improve health and education systems, and even generate new art forms. At the same time, Stuart Russell notes that there is currently no understanding of exactly how large language models reason and whether such functional structures have some internal goals. Regulation probably won’t be able to solve this problem. The norms of using AI can form a kind of system of limits that will restrain the development of advanced technology at a level beyond which human abilities to control and understand the logic of the substance of digital thinking are either completely powerless or ineffective. However, in this case, regulation will be a stop to the evolution process and not a mechanism to prevent the implementation of various negative scenarios. It is possible that over time, tools will be developed to counter potentially dangerous algorithms for the functioning of AI systems. In this case, regulation is likely to be effective. At the same time, this scenario is potential, but not guaranteed or natural.

Already above-mentioned ChatGPT has to some extent become a kind of point of transformation of AI, after which the advanced technology has left the category of a highly specialized tool, becoming a tool for mass use. At the same time, humanity is faced with what can be described as a different form of mind, which is still trained based on those arrays of knowledge that are the result of operating human thinking. AI has the potential to gain the ability to develop independently at a certain point in its future history of existence. If this probability is realized, humanity will face a system of digital thinking with a high level of autonomy, and understanding which will be a difficult task. This potential future scenario should not be perceived as something like a description of imminent disaster. Currently, humanity controls AI and will most likely not lose this ability. Moreover, artificial intelligence can be a source of global positive transformation. For example, Elon Musk reckons that AI can become the basis for the beginning of the era of abundance.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.