AI Sentinel, Artificial intelligence (AI) is expensive, and the data models behind it need to be developed intensively, with complex and powerful computations to train it.
The good news is that the tools, resources and raw computing power to build these data models are readily available to almost anyone, sparking a recent explosion in AI tools, most notably OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT. The power and influence of a relatively small number of companies to support these AI-intensive applications. Almost every AI tool you can think of relies on cloud services such as Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud, or some combination of the three.
In practice, this means that even the AI startups that compete with these tech giants are contributing to the tech giant’s profits in a very real way, at the same time. The more these startups use these major cloud platforms, the more they pay to these much larger competitors. This dynamic landscape suggests that the rise of AI will only make large tech companies more powerful and entrenched in several industries, despite concerns about their monopolistic behaviour peaking.
Microsoft bans cloud customers from using Bing data to train AI
The AI Now Institute, a research institute based at New York University, was founded in 2017. It has only recently advised the US Federal Trade Commission on technical issues. Researchers at the institute say the AI boom means it’s time for regulatory action now, or it won’t be necessary later.
AI Now released a report last week detailing the impact of large tech companies on AI development, Phoenix Technology’s AI Sentinel has learned. The report found that AI development is “fundamentally dependent” on resources controlled by large tech companies, including data and computing power. The report says that much of the narrative around AI development has been shaped by large tech companies, from the need for unfettered innovation for the benefit of society to the linking of AI development to social progress, a narrative that AI Now believes favours large companies and has even influenced the way many policymakers view technology.
“If we want to make any meaningful change in the tech industry, we need to start by confronting the concentration of power,” says Sarah Myers West, managing director of AI Now.
An important aspect of this dynamic is that the tech giants are competing head-to-head with these startups and smaller companies. The difference is that they have access to resources and data that are not available to outsiders. West refers to this concept as “gatekeeper control”.