There are three greatest discoveries in the history of modern humanity. The first one is the steam engine, which led to the Industrial Revolution. The second is electricity. Before electricity was discovered, many industries relied on the power of steam engines. Electricity transformed all industries, the city landscape, warfare equipment, and even human life. The third is the computer, which began with the invention of the integrated circuit or chip in 1960, leading to personal computers being marketed in the 1980s. The integrated circuit was also what enabled humans to reach the moon through the Apollo 11 mission.
The wars of the old era involved colonizing territories or countries. In the modern era, wars are waged through a clash of ideologies and technologies, such as the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States. In this discussion, we will focus on the AI war from the corporate perspective, which involves companies such as ChatGPT, Microsoft, Google, Baidu, as well as nations such as China and the United States. The good news is that we have a unique opportunity to bet on the outcome of this AI race. However, before delving into the topic of AI, it is essential to understand the global context and why a technology like AI, which is essentially a quantum leap in technology, can create a so-called ‘war’
The era of AI innovations started
It all started with the invention of the integrated circuit or chip. A chip is an electronic circuit set that uses a semiconductor material, typically silicon. Semiconductors are materials that are used to conduct and regulate the flow of electricity. To solve complex problems, a computer needs electronic signals. Before the invention of the chip, computers used thousands of wires. To eliminate these wires, scientists created the transistor. The transistor was the precursor to the microchip. In the 1950s, a single chip had only one transistor. Nowadays, a microchip such as the Apple M1 consists of 114 billion transistors, with each transistor not larger than a DNA cell. Microchips are used in various devices, including military equipment, and to process data for AI effectively.
AI is an autonomous, deep learning, and accurate technology. AI technology heavily relies on microchips. In 2016, an AI program called AlphaGo defeated the world champion Go player, Lee Sedol. Sedol, who had won 18 world Go championships, had been training since the age of 5, but was easily beaten by AlphaGo, which was owned by Alphabet or Google.
In 2018, Xi Jinping released a blueprint or vision for Made in China 2025, where China is determined to become a global leader in the AI industry by 2030. In 2021, ASML, which monopolizes the photolithography industry for producing chips, accused a former employee of stealing intellectual property and establishing a company in China, DongFang JingYuan. They have the technology, they have their AI, but they don’t have the equipment to process their AI or the chips. It’s pointless. In order for AI to run optimally, microchips are needed. AI is not just a chatbot, but it can also mean military equipment.
AI innovations competition
At the end of 2022, ChatGPT was released to the public. It broke records by reaching 100 million downloads in just 2 months, surpassing TikTok in 9 months. This record-breaking achievement signifies that AI is not just hype, but a technology that users are truly waiting for. GPT stands for Generative Pre-trained Transformer, a model developed for deep learning. This model can process questions and language that is much more natural. Unlike search engines that use keywords, ChatGPT can answer questions more accurately and naturally, like asking a personal assistant. ChatGPT even passed medical, legal, and business school exams in America.
ChatGPT has the potential not only as a disruptor for search engines but also as a legal consultant, doctor, and many other professions. AI is not just a chatbot, but can also be implemented in many things. In January 2023, the public was surprised by Microsoft’s move to invest $10 billion in ChatGPT and integrate it into BING. Google, which currently dominates the search engine market, is in a panic. They even invited Google founder Sergey Brin to advise on what steps Google should take.
Google has researched AI as well, remember AlphaGo was owned by Google. But as a giant American company, Google consider many things, including accuracy and privacy. Google’s panic was redeemed by the launch of a GPT challenger called Bard. Google also invested $400 million in an AI company called Anthropic, which also one of the AI companies funded by SBF or Sam Bankman Fried. The question is, does this era of AI chatbots indicate the era of search engines is coming to an end, or at least entering its sunset years?
Google, who emerged as the winner of the search engine race a decade ago, has dominated 90% of the search engine market, beating AOL, AltaVista, Yahoo, and Bing. What is worrying is that nearly 60% of Google’s revenue comes from ads in the search engine. ChatGPT’s collaboration with Bing will disrupt Google’s business model. For Microsoft, this is their last chance to beat Google in the search engine sector.
Google will focus on AI innovations
Google reacted by launching Bard quickly. It was launched in February 2022. Google has previously challenged competitors by creating new products, such as Google Plus to compete with Facebook. However, not all Google products end up successful. There are hundreds of products that Google has launched but failed, such as Google Plus, Google Talk, Google Video, Google OnePlus, Google Answers, and many more.
After launching Bard, Google’s stock price didn’t rise but instead dropped, causing the company to lose a market cap of $100 billion. The reason for this is that Bard provided a wrong answer in one of its ads. On the other hand, Microsoft’s stock price rose nearly 20% after investing in ChatGPT.
It’s still too early to say that Google is losing the race in the AI industry. Google has been researching AI technology for 15 years, but being the first in AI field is not a guarantee of success. Let’s look at Apple, the iPad wasn’t the first tablet, the iPhone wasn’t the first smartphone, and Google wasn’t the first search engine. And remember, ChatGPT only trained its data until 2021, and it may not even know about Bard yet. The next few months are going to be even more exciting.
What’s next in AI innovations?
China, which has a vision to become the global leader in AI by 2030, is more exciting. It’s not just a competition between two giant companies. Chinese companies are known to be very adaptable and move much faster. Baidu launched a feature like ChatGPT called Wénxīn yīyán, with an English version called ERNIE Bot, which tested in March. Its CEO, Robin Lin/Lin Yanhong, predicts that Chat bot will disrupt the search engine.
Technologies like ChatGPT can eliminate customer service jobs, that use chat communication, and no one even knows that it’s AI behind the screen. Alibaba also has its own Chat bot named Damo, which has been developed since 2021. Damo processes natural language models up to 27 billion parameters.
So now we are witnessing a race in AI, with OpenAI, Microsoft, Google, Baidu, and many other IT companies. And one day we will see AI competing to become better, more accurate, and widely accepted by everyone. In blockchain world, AI crypto is a popular investment trend in 2023. This is a major change in the history of human life.