Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon, Apple, Facebook, IBM, Microsoft, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent are all making large investments in to Artificial Intelligence.
Alphabet is widely perceived to be in the lead. It has been making big profits from AI for years and has many of the best-known researchers.
Google uses AI to categorize content on YouTube, its online-video website, and weed out objectionable material, and also to identify people and group them in its app, Google Photos. AI is also embedded in Android, its operating system, helping it to work more smoothly and to predict which apps people are interested in using. Google Brain is regarded in the field of AI as one of the best research groups at applying machine-learning advances profitably, for example by improving search algorithms. DeepMind has helped its parent save money by increasing the energy efficiency of its global data centers.
Amazon and Google have gone furthest in applying AI to a range of operations. Machine learning makes Amazon’s online and physical operations more efficient. It has around 80,000 robots in its fulfillment centers, and also uses AI to categorize inventory and decide which trucks to allocate packages to.
Cracking General Intelligence is needed for competitive advantage
Elon Musk and others are worried about what might happen when a firm finally cracks “general intelligence”, the ability of a computer to perform any human task without being explicitly programmed to do so.
“We absolutely want to” crack general AI, says Jeff Dean, the boss of Google Brain. If a firm were to manage this, it could change the competitive landscape entirely.