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Google counters Microsoft’s AI push with cloud initiative

origin 1Microsoft wants to use AI to push the needle in big tech, but Google is now responding to Bing’s use of ChatGPT and wants to allow companies to build their own AI applications. Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa

Google presented a comprehensive initiative with which companies and organizations can create AI applications themselves without much effort.

Additionally, the Google Workspace office system will be expanded to include AI functions, Google announced on Tuesday.

The program involves the use of language models developed by Google. Furthermore, the Internet company would like to offer a development environment (“MakerSuite”) with which users can create their own AI applications.

With this AI initiative, Google is countering a push from Microsoft. The world’s largest software company, which has been left behind by Google in important business areas such as online advertising and Internet search, is trying to replace Google’s traditional search with queries to an artificial intelligence system developed by the Californian start-up OpenAI.

For this purpose, GPT AI technology has been integrated into Microsoft Bing search and Microsoft’s web browser. An integration into Microsoft’s Office products is also planned.

Google’s current product initiative precedes another announcement from Microsoft this Thursday. Andreas Braun, head of technology for Microsoft in Germany, explained at an information event last week that his company would later introduce the new GPT-4 version.

“We have multi-mode models there that will offer completely different possibilities, for example video,” said Braun. Support for several languages ​​also needs to be improved.

Google’s first counterpart is aimed at both businesses and private users. In a presentation, Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian used the example of the fictional furniture company Cymbal to show how commercial users could benefit from Google’s artificial intelligence.

Here, AI applications could be combined with company data, for example with the furniture store’s product catalog and new spring collection offers.

This would not only automate the updating of the website. The AI ​​could also detect applications such as a customer consultation chat, in which, for example, a reasonable combination of different pieces of furniture is discussed.

Kurian stressed that data protection will be strictly ensured when integrating companies’ sensitive data. In the meantime, customers could use encryption methods with their own key so that Google itself does not have access to the data. Additionally, customer data would not be mixed with Google’s public search data pool.

Google’s initiative also includes so-called generative AI, i.e. content produced with the help of artificial intelligence.

The most prominent example of generative AI is OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot. Google’s text bot is called Bart, but unlike ChatGPT it’s not yet available to the general public.

In the future, Google will make the corresponding functions available to its customers who use the Google Workplace office suite. This will make it possible, for example, to summarize longer email exchanges at the push of a button or to transfer the results into a presentation. Scope and hue can be changed in the process.

Google didn’t yet name pricing for AI interfaces and dev kits on Tuesday. These will be published at a later time.