Google counters Microsoft's AI push with cloud initiative

Google on Tuesday unveiled a comprehensive initiative that will enable companies and organizations to build artificial intelligence applications themselves without much effort. In addition, the Google Workspace office system will be expanded to include AI functions.

(Iconic image: Feyissa)

The program includes the use of language models developed by Google. In addition, the Internet company offers the "MakerSuite" development environment, which allows users to build their own AI applications.

With its AI initiative, Google is countering a push by 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 traditional Google search with queries to an AI system with the help of the Californian start-up OpenAI. For this purpose, the AI technology GPT was integrated into the Microsoft search Bing as well as into the web browser Bing. Integration into Microsoft's Office products is also expected.

News from Microsoft

Google's current product initiative preempts another announcement from Microsoft, which is expected this Thursday. Andreas Braun, Microsoft's chief technology officer in Germany, had said at an info event last week that his company would then introduce the new GPT-4 version. "There we have multimodal models that will offer completely different possibilities - for example, videos," Braun said. Support for different languages is also to be improved.

The early Google counter is aimed on the one hand at companies, but also at private users. In a presentation, the head of Google Cloud, Thomas Kurian, used the example of the fictitious furniture company Cymbal to show how commercial users can benefit from Google AI. Here, AI applications could be combined with the company's data, for example, with the furniture store's product catalog and the new offerings of the spring collection. This could automate not only the updating of the website. The AI could also take over applications such as a consultation chat for customers, in which, for example, a sensible combination of different pieces of furniture is discussed.

No prices

Kurian emphasized that data protection is strictly guaranteed when integrating sensitive data from companies. Customers could use encryption methods with their own key, so that Google itself would not have access to the data. The customer data would also not be mixed with the data pool for public Google search.

The Google initiative also includes so-called generative AI, i.e. the generation of content with the help of artificial intelligence. The most prominent example of generative AI is OpenAI's text robot ChatGPT. Google's text robot is called "Bart", but unlike ChatGPT, it is not yet available to the general public.

In the future, Google will make corresponding functions available to its customers who use the "Google Workplace" office suite. This will allow, for example, longer e-mail exchanges to be summarized at the push of a button or the results to be transferred into a presentation. The scope and tonality can be changed in the process.

Google did not yet name prices for the AI interfaces and development kits on Tuesday. These are to be published at a later date. (SDA)

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