Google and Microsoft Rushing to Widely Implement Generative AI

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
March 14, 2023Science & Tech

The explosive interest in OpenAI’s ChatGPT has tech giants scrambling to capitalize on generative AI in the wider market.

On March 14, Google announced that it will begin packing virtually all of its Workspace products with generative AI—an artificial intelligence chatbot that is capable of generating creative output from simple user prompts.

According to Google’s announcement, the new AI will be able to “draft, reply, summarize, and prioritize” your emails and “brainstorm, proofread, write, and rewrite” your documents. Additionally, it will be able to produce “auto-generated images, audio, and video,” as well as intelligently analyze corporate data.

The new features will become accessible to US users by the end of the month.

“From there, we’ll iterate and refine the experiences before making them available more broadly to consumers, small businesses, enterprises, and educational institutions in more countries and languages,” Google announced. “We’re just getting started.”

Meanwhile, Microsoft—a longtime investor in OpenAI’s ChatGPT project—announced that it will host a customer event on March 16 titled “The Future of Work With AI,” where it is expected to unveil ChatGPT implementation in its widely-used Office tools Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint.

At the beginning of February, the software giant rolled out an AI-enhanced version of its Teams groupware, integrating ChatGPT-based tools for summarizing meeting notes, organizing tasks, and translating text.

“We’re bringing the power of large language models, including OpenAI’s GPT, to Teams Premium, as we make meetings more intelligent, personalized, and protected,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated on Twitter.

Both Microsoft and Google explained that their AI technology will initially be made available to a few select customers, with whom they will collaborate closely to identify bugs and improve features.

However, the sudden acceleration of widespread AI implementation has critics worried.

“The more money that flows in, the faster people are moving the goal posts and removing the guardrails,” attorney Matthew Butterick told Axios. Butterick is involved in lawsuits against several companies—including Stable Diffusion and Microsoft’s Github—over copyright infringements and open-source software piracy, respectively.

On Monday, technology medium Platformer reported that Microsoft had laid off an ethics-and-society team within its AI organization.

Platformer obtained audio of Microsoft VP John Montgomery telling his team: “The pressure from [CTO] Kevin [Scott] and [CEO] Satya [Nadella] is very, very high to take these most recent OpenAI models and the ones that come after them and move them into customers’ hands at a very high speed.”

As of now, it remains unclear what the effects of widespread implementation of generative AI will be on the jobs market.

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