US tech giants, including Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta, are investing heavily in large-scale language models (LLMs) and artificial intelligence (AI) to improve their products and user experiences.
This move is seen as a bid to harness the power of AI while cutting costs and jobs. Since the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot at the end of 2022, these companies have been using AI models to boost their own capabilities and better compete in the market.
Generative AI programs require significant amounts of data and processing power to recreate human-like output such as text, code snippets, and computer-generated graphics. The CEOs of Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta have all spoken about their plans and financial investments to develop and deploy AI applications.
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai acknowledged the demand for producing AI products and emphasized the inclusion of generative AI development to improve search skills. Beyond search, Google is also using AI to improve ad conversion rates and fight off “harmful text.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella cited that chatbot integration doubled the number of Bing downloads and emphasized that AI will drive revenue growth and drive the adoption of the app.
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy expressed interest in generative AI and highlighted recent developments that offer game-changing possibilities. Even though Amazon primarily sells access to AI technology, it is one of the few to make the necessary infrastructure investments, such as developing its own LLMs and creating data centre chips for machine learning.
Along with Meta’s emphasis on the Metaverse, CEO Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the value of AI. Zuckerberg highlighted the company’s shift to generative underlying models and their use in machine learning proposals. Meta’s AI efforts will impact products as diverse as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp conversations and image creation tools for Facebook and Instagram.
Despite the revolutionary potential of AI, there are concerns about the loss of tech jobs. As of 2023, 136,569 employees at tech companies headquartered in the United States or with a significant number of employees in the United States will have been laid off in a wave of layoffs, according to a Crunchbase News tally. In 2022, US public and private tech companies cut more than 93,000 jobs.
While there are concerns about the impact on jobs, the potential benefits of AI are significant, and the race to harness its power will only intensify in the coming years.