The 4 tech giants going wild over ChatGPT

The battle of the tech giants is heating up with Google and Microsoft currently embroiled in a highly publicised rivalry over the implementation of their large language model chatbots. For Microsoft, its early coup of getting Open AI’s ChatGPT into its fold is considered by many a move that caught Google resting on its laurels.

No one could have expected the huge popularity explosion of ChatGPT when it was quietly released in November last year. In two months it broke records for the fastest-growing consumer application ever, with over 100 million active users recorded in January alone. This popularity can be attributed to the chatbot’s power.

Although it has been restrained to refuse to answer explicit or violent, hate-filled queries, ChatGPT can write essays, compose emails for you, write a resignation letter, compose a recipe based on what ingredients you have, help you write code for an application and so on and so on.

Its limitations, apart from those set by OpenAI, are, to use a cliche, only imposed by the imagination of the user. Big tech caught wind of this and saw dollar signs.

Now, after spending billions of dollars to buy OpenAI’s super popular chatbot, Microsoft’s play is to find ways to integrate its powerful systems into Bing, the company’s search engine.

Microsoft’s power play

“AI will fundamentally change every software category, starting with the largest category of all – search. Today, we’re launching Bing and Edge powered by AI copilot and chat, to help people get more from search and the web,” is what Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said at the announcement of the company’s “new” Bing.

The new version of the search engine is currently in beta, with a wishlist open for people who want to try early access. It supposedly offers an improved search, better, more complete answers, and an enhanced chat experience powered by OpenAI’s language model.

Microsoft’s stock skyrocketed and the company has found its way back to being worth 2 trillion dollars, reports Bloomberg.

Google’s answer to ChatGPT and its ethical excuses

Meanwhile, Google’s answer to ChatGPT comes in the form of an inhouse chatbot formed from the company’s LaMDA neutral language mode. This has, apparently, been in the works at Google for some time and recently was rushed out the door to answer Microsoft’s ChatGPT play.

The product: Google Bard, a large language model chatbot like ChatGPT, which will be integrated into Google Search in a similar vein to Microsoft and Bing. In terms of its communication, Google says that its own delay in getting a chatbot to bolster its services comes in the form of ethics.

“Responsible AI” was a key point highlighted by the company at its Google Presents live stream aired on Wednesday. The company says that the reason why it’s taking its time is so that its AI integration means something, it answers the right questions correctly and won’t do more harm than good.

Something echoed by Chinese state media on Thursday. According to Reuters, a major Chinese securities publication warned that stock frenzy around AI would eventually die down in the same guise as 5G, AR, VR and antivirus garments.

China jumps on the bandwagon

Despite this warning, Chinese tech giants Baidu, the country’s Google mirror-image and Alibaba (China’s Amazon), are both said to be working on ChatGPTlikes.

According to ChannelNewsAsia, Baidu’s is called “Ernie Bot” – or “Wenxin Yiyan” in Chinese – which will see its internal testing completed sometime in March. It will be a large language model powered chatbot that has gradually grown to be able to perform tasks including language understanding, language generation, and text-to-image generation, says the company.

Alibaba is the latest company to jump on the bandwagon, with CNN reporting that the e-commerce behemoth is moving to launch its own ChatGPT-inspired tool.

“Frontier innovations such as large language models and generative AI have been our [focus] areas since the formation of DAMO in 2017,” an Alibaba spokesperson told CNN. DAMO is Alibaba’s research arm focusing on machine learning and robotics.

“As a technology leader, we will continue to invest in turning cutting-edge innovations into value-added applications for our customers as well as their end-users.” The statement saw Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares tick up 1.4 percent on Thursday morning.

With investors optimistic about the future of large language model chatbots being integrated someway, somehow in tech firms and in everyday applications, we should expect more companies to look towards AI in this way.

The real test will be if this technology continues to see growth, or if it will be forgotten, its shine all but dulled out as the NEXT THING in tech rolls along. We think it could be the “Singularity” or maybe, just maybe, we can all just touch grass instead.

[Image – Alejandro Luengo on Unsplash]


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