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Big Tech Moves Generative AI To Center Stage

 |  March 1, 2023

The world’s biggest tech companies are moving their artificial intelligence (AI) experiments to center stage.

This, as the technology itself, evolves beyond automating simple tasks within walled gardens to augment intelligence across open-ended and often complex contextual scenarios.

Companies including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Meta, and other tech giants have long used proprietary AI tools to support both front-end and back-end business processes, helping deliver users personalized content and frictionless experiences while enjoying operational and cost efficiencies.

They are now bringing those tools to the forefront of their business, rather than leaving them toiling away in the shadows.

Google’s entire search program relies on its proprietary AI solution RankBrain, and a vast array of other businesses both large and small, legacy and emergent, leverage AI technology’s applications for their own hero products — even unexpected ones like John Deere.

Read more: EU’s Breton Says They Are Being Fair Between Big Telecoms & Big Tech

But the rise of ChatGPT was a shot sent across the bow of the tech industry in particular, and many of the sector’s biggest leaders are now rushing to bring their own tools to market in order to hold on to their aura of innovation and continue to attract top talent.

Still, the next generation of AI isn’t without its pitfalls, as playing fast and loose with emergent and intelligent technology can frequently result in the spread of misinformation and toxic content.

A Growing War Over the Commercial Potential of Generative AI

In order to keep up with competition, tech companies are going on the offensive to emphasize how they are making the use of AI a priority.

“In the short term, we’ll focus on building creative and expressive tools,” Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a public post this week (Feb. 27). “Over the longer term, we’ll focus on developing AI personas that can help people in a variety of ways.”

Meta, which owns the social media platforms Instagram and Facebook, as well as messaging app WhatsApp among others, is centralizing staff who are working on the AI technology from across the company to achieve faster breakthroughs that it can apply to different products.

Meta’s AI strategy is designed to have “more relevant content recommended by our AI systems,” Zuckerberg said, rather than the existing model where people “follow” accounts. The company told investors on its most recent earnings call it will leverage AI in the short-term to improve ad-targeting and user engagement with its short-form video product Reels, a TikTok competitor.

“We have a lot of foundational work to do before getting to the really futuristic experiences,” Zuckerberg said, “but I’m excited about all of the new things we’ll build along the way.”