Who Will Rule AI? The Cloud Giants' Growing Influence

Cloud computing has emerged as a pivotal component, influencing the development and deployment of AI technologies like Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Who Will Rule AI? The Cloud Giants' Growing Influence
© Getty Images News/Justin Sullivan

Cloud computing has emerged as a pivotal component, influencing the development and deployment of AI technologies like Google’s Bard and OpenAI’s ChatGPT. This integration of cloud platforms in AI development signifies a significant shift in how these technologies are powered and managed.

The Four Pillars of AI

The creation of an AI chatbot involves a blend of several key elements. First, there's the engineering expertise required to design the AI model. Then comes the extensive training data that the model processes to learn how to respond to user prompts.

A third crucial component is the advanced semiconductor chips that perform this training—a process that can span months, even with the fastest chips. Now, cloud platforms have become the fourth essential ingredient. They consolidate information from the in-demand semiconductor chips, offer online storage, and provide various other services.

These platforms rent out their capacity to AI companies needing significant processing power and storage for their training data.

Dominance and Concerns in the Cloud Market

The cloud market, worth approximately half a trillion dollars, is dominated by a few major players: Amazon, Microsoft, and Google.

The concentration of power in the hands of these tech giants raises concerns among policymakers and industry critics.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren expressed her apprehension to CNN: “I am deeply concerned that a handful of Big Tech firms dominate cloud computing and storage.

Without commonsense regulation, those companies will entrench their dominance over AI, crush competitors, and put consumer privacy and safety, innovation, and national security at risk. We must protect competition in this critical industry”.

As per Gartner, a market research firm, the public cloud market, currently valued at $563 billion, is expected to surge by over 20% to $679 billion next year. AI could account for 30% to 50% of this market within five years, as forecasted by Gartner and other industry analysts.

The growing dependency on a limited number of cloud platforms for massive processing requirements raises further questions about market control.

Matthew Prince, CEO of internet monitoring and security company Cloudflare, highlighted this in an interview: “As AI developers and other businesses looking to use AI become more dependent on cloud providers, I think that they certainly are going to have a bigger role in picking the winners and losers of the AI industry”.

Google Chatgpt
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