Why Europe Must End Its 30-Year Digital Winter to Ensure Its Long-Run Future

This Week in AI: ChatGPT’s Birthday, Amazon’s Ambitions, Payment Efficiencies 

Thursday (Nov. 30) was OpenAI’s ChatGPT’s first birthday. 

And what a year it’s been for the generative artificial intelligence (AI) landscape more broadly. 

We are only at the beginning of the age of AI — yet to even scratch the surface of AGI (artificial general intelligence) — and as PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster wrote, there’s no clear winner yet for who will power the generative AI operating system (OS). 

After all, most generative AI systems and large language models (LLMs) being commercialized today still struggle to reliably master math, relying on pattern recognition to produce their answers, not logical sequence cognition.

An AI model that can regularly solve math problems independently, a crucial a benchmark for reasoning, would constitute a huge advance in the capabilities of AI systems.

But despite those limitations — or development goals — OpenAI’s ChatGPT mobile app has been downloaded 110 million times in just six months, while Google’s DeepMind team has developed an AI model to identify new industrial materials that found more than 2 million hypothetical material designs, each previously unknown to science, representing the equivalent of nearly 800 years’ worth of knowledge.

That’s not too shabby.

From enterprise efficiency capture to Amazon’s recent sprint to market, supranational safety agreements, and beyond, this is the weekly pulse check on the top AI news and innovations PYMNTS has been tracking.

How Businesses can Capture AI’s Efficiencies 

new report published Tuesday (Nov. 28) by the European Central Bank (ECB) says that the speedy embrace of AI has so far created jobs rather than eliminating them.

Many of these new jobs require a base-level knowledge of how to work with the technology.

And as more enterprise AI offerings come to market — the latest being Amazon’s Q corporate chatbot announced Tuesday — it is only growing more important for individuals to learn how to leverage AI tools to their most optimal effect. 

“AI (artificial intelligence) will not take your job, someone using AI will take your job,” said Geneva Graduate Institute Professor Richard Baldwin.

That’s where prompt engineering — the act of writing queries for AI tools that yield effective results and better train the AI — comes in. 

But for the type of skills that can build and refine actual AI models, employment recruiters are reportedly targeting big banks in the search for new AI talent.

That’s because finance and payments are ripe areas to mine for AI development.

“When you ask people, a lot of them don’t know much about AI — only that it is a technology that will change everything,” Akli Adjaoute, founder and general partner at venture capital fund Exponion and author of the book, “AI Reality and Illusion” which is set to be published April 30, told PYMNTS CEO Karen Webster for the “AI Effect” series. 

“But if you go into a field where the data is real, particularly in the payments industry, whether it’s credit risk, whether it’s delinquency, whether it’s AML [anti-money laundering], whether it’s fraud prevention, anything that touches payments … AI can bring a lot of benefit,” he said. 

See more: Working Capital Tracker®: Demystifying AI’s Capabilities for Use in Payments

Big Tech is Jockeying for Top AI Spots 

The OpenAI drama is over, but far from gone.

The company has given Microsoft a seat on its new board, but no voting rights, and is reportedly proceeding with its share sale.

As covered here Wednesday (Nov. 29) the leadership drama underlined OpenAI’s “unique” corporate structure, highlighting “a curious case of a purpose-built nonprofit working toward the specific goal of responsibly achieving an artificial general intelligence (AGI) with a mission to benefit humanity.”

It also revealed cracks within OpenAI’s top position among the major AI players.

And this week, Amazon, which industry observers have tended to view as lagging behind its Big Tech competitors like Microsoft and Google in the AI race, took the gloves off against its peers.

The company unveiled a slew of AI-centric announcements at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) re:Invent event this week in Las Vegas, joining the corporate chatbot race and looking to undercut its big tech rivals with a starting price of $20 per month (per user) subscription. 

On Tuesday AWS announced Amazon Q, a new generative AI corporate chatbot that is “specifically for work and can be tailored to a customer’s business.” It also launched a new partnership with NVIDIA to deliver advanced AI infrastructure and added four new generative AI services to its cloud contact center, among a drumbeat of other announcements.

On Wednesday (Nov. 29), AWS launched new multimodal image generation capabilities for its Titan large language model (LLM) as well as a new AI model benchmarking service called Model Evaluation on Bedrock, available in preview.

The product announcements paint a compelling picture made up of data points that not only delineate how the AI commercial ecosystem is evolving but also underscore where Amazon wants to play and compete, showing that the Seattle-based giant is taking its position in the AI field seriously — and that it wants to move to the front of the pack. 

The Widespread Impact of AI

AI is rapidly reshaping not just the business landscape but also the cultural lexicon. Merriam-Webster, the dictionary publisher, reported on Monday (Nov. 27) that 2023’s most looked-up word was “authentic,” which saw a substantial increase in 2023 driven by stories and conversations about AI, with “deepfake” not far behind it.

This, as the U.S., U.K. and over a dozen other nations on Sunday (Nov. 26) released a detailed international agreement on how to keep AI safe from rogue actors and hackers, pushing for companies developing AI products and systems to ensure they are “secure by design.”

And to help firms capture the leverageable machine intelligence that AI solutions promise, while defending against the technology’s ability to be abused by bad actors, SentinelOne and Pax8 on Tuesday expanded their existing partnership to deliver more AI-powered security solutions to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). 

Tapping AI to give security solutions a shot in the arm is crucial as the holiday shopping season deepens. PYMNTS wrote about how juicing authorization rates by automating transaction approval rates with an AI-driven “naughty or nice” list can serve as an effective first line of defense. 

Underscoring the impact of AI on enterprise workflows is the fact that PYMNTS Intelligence found that companies with AI-driven strategies are already outcompeting their peers.

On Tuesday, PYMNTS unpacked how the combination of AI and accounts receivable (AR) processes can mean the difference between success and failure for companies, with 40% of finance professionals pointing to manual processes as the biggest challenge inhibiting collection.

A Flurry of AI Marketplace Moves 

Google’s chief legal officer thinks AI regulation needs to bolster innovation. If recent announcements are any indication, innovation is alive and well.

Kognitos, a builder of generative AI for business automation, on Thursday (Nov. 30) completed a $20 million Series A funding round, bringing its total venture capital raised to $30 million.

Mastercard introduced a generative AI tool that acts as a personal assistant for shoppers, while Experian has acquired Wave HDC, a health tech firm offering AI-powered data curation.

Elsewhere, reports emerged Wednesday (Nov. 29) that Stability AI, a British AI startup, is considering selling the company amidst mounting pressure from investors over its financial position.