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Why Google, Facebook and Microsoft are investing so much in AI (and why you should be too)

Posted by Ditto on May 13, 2019, 8:50:00 AM

 

72 percent of business executives believe that artificial intelligence will be the most significant business advantage of the future, and 54 percent of executives say AI solutions deployed in their business have already increased productivity, according to PwC

The major players are investing hundreds of millions into AI research every year. But to what benefit?

Here’s why Google, Facebook and Microsoft are driving the AI revolution, and why your business should be investing, too. 

Google’s DeepMind

Google bought DeepMind in 2014 for £400 million. Since then, the department has reported operating losses up to £279 million. But they still continue to heavily invest. In fact, Google is investing £19.2 million ($25 million USD) into AI that solves needs unrelated to their business. 

But why?

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Like Apple and the iPhone, AI and machine learning will undoubtedly change how the world operates. As explained by Jacquelline Fuller, president of Google’s charity arm, Google.org:

‘AI can help us revisit problems that were previously seen as unsolvable. We’re optimistic that AI can accelerate research and engineering efforts to tackle the world’s biggest humanitarian, environmental and social problems.’

AI is not just another business tool. It’s so much more, and its opportunity is almost unfathomable.

Facebook and FAIR

With new technologies like artificial intelligence comes a change in regulatory boundaries; we’ve already seen AI bots backfire and preach racism on the internet.

While the potential for AI is massive, it’s important to ensure that decisions made by AI are responsible, explainable and accountable. Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Research department (or, ‘FAIR’) has invested £5.7 million ($7.5 million USD) in an AI ethics institute in Germany. According to Dr. Christoph Lütge, who will lead the institute:

‘We will explore the ethical issues of AI and develop ethical guidelines for the responsible use of the technology in society and the economy. Our evidence-based research will address issues that lie at the interface of technology and human values.’

But explainable AI shouldn’t be a top-down approach. Every business needs to build AI with accountability and transparency in mind, and we must all work to lift the lid the off black box of AI.

Microsoft and AI

Microsoft has poured more than £30.7 million ($40 million USD) into AI technologies that solve humanitarian issues, alongside a £38.5 million ($50 million USD) pledge in AI for Earth, which will help fight climate change, and a £19.2 million ($25 million USD) investment in AI for accessibility, which aims to help people with disabilities.

By building patented AI technologies that solve vital problems, Microsoft can create demand for themselves. Today’s business landscape is less about building and selling a product, and more about solving an issue of critical importance and then selling that solution as a service.

AI-as-a-Service

Google, Facebook and Microsoft aren’t just leading the race in AI, they’re also changing how companies are operating. 

Artificial intelligence is the next wave of ‘as-a-service’ products, and by building patented AI technologies and outsourcing them, they have the potential to dominate not just the foundations of the workplace, but how society works as a whole.

The issue that comes with this, however, is trust in technology. Here at Ditto, we’re working to build trustworthy AI for a responsible future. It’s our goal to bring AI out of the black box and make it explainable for businesses.

To find out more, read our blog or contact us here.

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Topics Trust Explainable AI Future of AI