May 14, 2024

The Race Against AI

Exploring the surge in AI investments through Big Tech and their particular interest for narrow AI.

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The Race Against AI


AI is where it’s at now, with global investment expected to hit $200 billion by 2025. The spotlight is especially on narrow AI, revolutionizing areas like healthcare by personalizing diagnostics and treatments. However, Big Tech’s dominance in AI investment, especially by giants like Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft—who dropped $40 billion in just one quarter—poses challenges in competition and raises concerns about our data privacy.


Just a little while back, the biggest craze was “decentralization” and “blockchain”. Millions of dollars were being funneled into projects that advocated for the autonomy of information and data. But that’s in the past and now it’s the season of artificial intelligence, with investments expected to reach $200 billion globally by 2025.

Different Types of AI

Understanding the different types of AI is crucial in comprehending the capabilities and limitations of artificial intelligence systems. Narrow AI, such as Siri, Alexa, and recommendation systems, is tailored for specific tasks and lacks the ability to function beyond its programmed boundaries. General AI, while theoretical, possesses human-like cognitive abilities, enabling learning and application across diverse tasks. Machine learning, a subset of AI, empowers systems to learn and improve autonomously from experiences. Deep learning, a specialized form of machine learning, employs deep neural networks for complex tasks. Reinforcement learning, utilized in robotics and autonomous vehicles, enables decision-making through interaction with the environment. Symbolic AI leverages logical rules and symbols for problem-solving.

LLMs, such as ChatGPT or Shadow, belong to the category of narrow AI due to their specific functionalities and limitations. These models excel in natural language understanding and generation tasks but operate within predefined boundaries, focusing on language-related tasks like text generation, summarization, and conversation. Despite their impressive capabilities, LLMs lack the broader cognitive abilities associated with general AI, such as understanding context beyond language or learning from experiences in different domains.

The Rise of Narrow AI in Healthcare

Narrow AI is revolutionizing the healthcare landscape by spearheading the era of personalized care. Leveraging vast datasets, AI-powered diagnostic tools are reshaping how medical professionals approach patient treatment. With drugs essentially derived from data sets, the integration of narrow AI allows for more accurate diagnoses and tailored treatment plans. This technology enables healthcare providers to assess individual health against a backdrop of thousands of cases, facilitating early detection, precise prognoses, and personalized interventions. Investment in AI-powered diagnostic tools underscores the transformative potential of narrow AI in optimizing healthcare delivery, enhancing patient outcomes, and ultimately advancing medical science to unprecedented heights. Nvidia has made 8 investments in AI startups in healthcare in 2023, with 7 of these focusing on AI drug discovery, as the main business.

If healthcare is a sector that interest you, you can check out the laws regarding AI and healthcare in our previous article here.

Quick Recap on Big Tech and AI Investments

You’ve probably guessed it with some of the billions and millions mentioned above. Yes, Big Tech is showing an overwhelming dominance in the field of artificial intelligence. This means a lot of money is being fueled in AI but it also raises significant implications for innovation and competition. Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft—have collectively invested $40 billion in the first quarter alone, primarily in data centers designed to support increasing artificial intelligence (AI) demands. These tech giants essentially own and control the landscape of AI and they’re still looking for more computing power. As a result smaller players are forced to be heavily reliant on their computing infrastructure and vast datasets. Let’s take a look at Microsoft for example. The recent collaboration between OpenAI and Microsoft, highlighted by the appointment of Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan to lead Microsoft AI. It underscores the power dynamics at play. With Microsoft's $13 billion investment in OpenAI, these partnerships further consolidate Big Tech's influence over AI development and deployment.

Why This is Important for Us

This concentration of power not only stifles competition and innovation but what this means for individual users is that there are concerns regarding privacy and personal data safety. This deal isn’t only a significant business move but it also highlights the need for vigilant oversight and regulation for individual users and smaller business. Having such protection will ensure that the benefits of AI are equitably distributed and that ethical considerations remain at the forefront of technological advancements. At the end of the day it isn’t Big Tech that’s constantly utilizing Chat GPT and feeding it data that’s both personal and connected to our cookies/google accounts. It’s US. Just some food for thought for you all this week.