A turning point for Artificial Intelligence, which may or may not be dominated by large cloud providers

Artificial intelligence and machine learning require large amounts of processing capacity and data storage, making the cloud a preferred option. This increases the fear of some cloud giants dominating AI applications and platforms. Can tech giants control AI narrative and reduce enterprise options?

Photo: Joe McCandrick

Not necessary, but with a few caveats, AI experts emphasize. But the big cloud providers are definitely in a position to control the AI ​​narrative from many perspectives.

This was part of a recent webcast hosted by the New York University Center for the Future of Management and the LMU Institute for Strategy, Technology and Organization, which included Professor Darren Assamog at MIT; Jacques Bugin, professor at the Salve School of Economics and Management; And Rafella Sadun, professor at Harvard Business School.

There is so much more to AI than the cloud. The complexity and diversity of AI applications goes far beyond the cloud environment in which they are run – thus reducing the dominance of some cloud giants.

Certainly, “AI needs more capacity in storage and flow of information,” Bugin said. At the same time, “the cloud is only one part of the whole pile of infrastructure. It’s part of the infrastructure, but you can develop the platform layer at home and by a third party. This integration is a hybrid, and even more important than the cloud. No, it’s a lot of algorithms, it’s very different data, that piece of integration, it requires system integration, architecture and design. That means different companies are involved in that work. “

Bugin is increasingly concerned about innovation potential from AI startups as large players block large companies and startups through mergers and acquisitions. “Companies like the big internet or AI guys go and buy very small and very intelligent AI companies.”

At the same time, Sadun suggested that small companies may be in a better position to influence AI innovations – but need help with training and education to prepare them. “This issue of who will benefit from AI is very important,” she says. “On the one hand, we think small companies can use these technologies more effectively, because they’re more agile, more agile. Companies that are already digital can use and scale AI.”

Asimoglu says even large cloud providers can assert their dominance in the data monopoly that feeds AI systems. Cloud architecture is price-sensitive and competitive based on cloud services, he explained. “But cloud architecture does not exploit you data. This is an area where I am concerned about the future of AI technologies, an area that enables companies to monopolize data. This is where companies have a huge impact on the future direction of technology. We want people-centered, people-centered AI. It’s not possible if some companies with a different business model dominate the future of technology. ”

Bugin believes that the value of an AI-based company is “not in the cloud in which it starts”. “I think there’s enough competition for the price point without destroying the value. The value comes from the fact that you integrate these technologies and the way your company works into your own back end. The back end is not a battleground. There is value in producing. “

And, for the first time, we look at the terms Traditional And Digital transformation Used together in a single sentence. As these thought leaders have described, such transitions are taking the next step, initiating autonomy, software-based activities and innovations through AI. One question is whether the big tech vendors control the momentum or whether it is marketable and practical with different options. Stay tuned.

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