AI startups need Big Tech. That could be a problem

ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. But artificial intelligence chatbots also need huge cloud computing resources to do so. The same goes for any competitors hoping to outdo it, such as Claude from the startup Anthropic and other ventures looking to capitalize on “creative AI,” which Bill Gates claims. called recently “Everything is as important as the PC, like the internet.”

While users are fascinated by AI programs that can answer questions and generate images in seconds, “the computational cost is very high,” note Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT developer OpenAI, in December.

That helps explain why this week OpenAI Launching ChatGPT Plus$20 monthly subscription offers faster response times and better access to AI chatbots on condition decrease due to traffic.

But it also points to the need for AI startups like OpenAI and Anthropic to partner with some of the tech giants that can provide them with the hugely expensive cloud computing resources they need to grow. operate. And such deals are worrying antitrust regulators. They are “exactly the kind of scenarios the Federal Trade Commission has said they will focus on,” said William Kovacic, who previously led the FTC, speak the Financial Times.

Kovacic, who currently teaches antitrust law at George Washington University, adds: “There is growing concern about how large information services companies are restricting opportunities for generations of competitors. A new competitor approaches.

OpenAI is now deeply attached to Microsoftannounced last month will invest billions into the joint venture. The tech giant also invested $1 billion in 2019, then quietly added another $2 billion in 2021.

Anthropic this week announced a $300 million investment from Google that gives the second a 10% stake in the venture. At the end of November, another artificial intelligence startup, Stability AI—users of its tools can create impressive images from the text prompt—announced it was available Selected Amazon Web Services as its partner.

Such deals give tech giants insight into the people and capabilities of such startups, but there’s little stopping them from working on similar products on their own. on one’s own. Google Subsidiaries DeepMind reported Sparrow is about to launchanother competitor of ChatGPT.

For startups, jumping from one cloud provider to another is difficult. Many people may find themselves locked into one of them, even without an exclusivity deal.

Tom Beese, CEO of Yellow Dog, told the FT: “Some academics want to move into their own startups, their first conversation being with cloud providers before they hire. use developers because they know it’s too expensive. “That’s the key.”

Beese’s company helps customers switch between cloud services, but he notes that he’s aware of several alliances between AI startups and cloud providers that form before the product is even available. launched.

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