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The Tech Company News Brief: Google Wants More of that AI Pie by@sheharyarkhan
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The Tech Company News Brief: Google Wants More of that AI Pie

by Sheharyar KhanNovember 16th, 2023
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It looks like Google will throw money at any company developing AI these days, perhaps in an effort to never be bamboozled by the likes of Microsoft again.

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It looks like Google will throw money at any company developing AI these days, perhaps in an effort to never be bamboozled by the likes of Microsoft again.


A new report from Reuters indicates plans by the Alphabet-owned company to funnel "hundreds of millions of dollars" in an AI startup called Character.AI that offers users a chatbot that mimics popular people, like Billie Eilish or anime characters. The company is a hit with young people, who make up more than half of those using the service.


Google's investment in the company will follow that in OpenAI competitor Anthropic just a while ago which was for a cool $2 billion.


Now, maybe Google is trying to catch lightning in a bottle or it's trying to make sure it's not being left behind by peers like Microsoft and Amazon in expanding its presence in AI. but whatever the case, it's ramping up investments in AI companies to stay relevant, particularly considering the disastrous launch of its generative AI tool Bard.


Meanwhile, the company defended the billions it paid smartphone makers such as Apple or Samsung to remain the default search engine on their devices.


During testimony last week, the company called in Kevin Murphy, who teaches at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, to testify in a case brought by the federal government accusing the search giant of monopolizing its dominance.


Murphy argued that Google's billions helped lower the costs of phones and that the only reason why the payments were so high were because Apple played the company against Microsoft, which wanted smartphone makers to offer its Bing service instead.


Google ranked #4 on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings this week.


Google Rank on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings



Sam Altman Signals What to Expect Next

This might be a big one, folks. It looks like humanity might be closer to the kind of AI we've seen in sci-fi media.


In an interview with the Financial Times, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said he was seeking more funds from primary sponsor Microsoft to finally make artificial general intelligence a reality.


This could be huge for a number of reasons, though, would largely depend on who you ask. Elon Musk is certainly terrified of a future where computers are just as smart as humans if not smarter, but it could also signal a new kind of world where advances in health, environment, and business are enabled by machines who free up humanity from more mundane parts of existence. Maybe artificial general intelligence would make it possible for planet earth to become a more hippie-like place where humans are busy creating art and music and thinking about the deeper meanings of life.


Or maybe, it would signal the end of our species and lead to an all-out war. Whatever the case, it looks artificial general intelligence is where we're headed next.


Meanwhile, OpenAI is also opening up generative AI capabilities to more and more consumers, announcing last week a marketplace that users can use to build their own task-specific AI models.


So look out for a GPT near you ;)


Microsoft ranked #7 in this week's Tech Company Rankings.


Microsoft Rank on HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings



Youre reading part 2 of HackerNoon's Tech Company News Brief, a weekly collection of tech goodness that combines HackerNoon's proprietary data with internet trends to determine which companies are rising and falling in the public consciousness. Part 1 went live yesterday. Prefer reading the whole thing a day early AND in one go? No problemo! Just subscribe here to receive the complete newsletter in your inbox every Tuesday.



In Other News..

  • Threads users can keep their posts off Instagram and Facebook now via The Verge.
  • Microsoft, Google will not challenge EU gatekeeper status via Reuters.
  • Nepal joins a growing list of countries banning TikTok via TechCrunch.
  • Apples scary fast upgrades hint at its vision for the AI era via CNN.
  • YouTube to require creators to disclose use of generative AI via Axios.
  • Nvidia unveils H200, its newest high-end chip for training AI models via CNBC.



And that's a wrap! Don't forget to share this newsletter with your family and friends! See y'all next week. PEACE! 殷


Sheharyar Khan, Editor, Business Tech @ HackerNoon


*All rankings are current as of Monday. To see how the rankings have changed, please visit HackerNoon's Tech Company Rankings page.