In a recent article, it was reported that Anthropic, a public-benefit corporation focused on responsible AI, has formed a partnership with Amazon worth up to $4 billion. This collaboration highlights how even companies with a mission to create ethical AI are being pushed into the arms of Big Tech due to the high computing power required for training AI algorithms.
To develop “generative” AI systems like chatbots and image generators, a large amount of computing power is needed. These systems have to process vast amounts of data in order to produce human-like text and photorealistic images. As a result, start-ups like Anthropic still rely on the resources and financial backing of Big Tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft.
The fact that these start-ups must rely on the dominant players in the market raises concerns about competition and potential anticompetitive behavior. Regulators, such as the Federal Trade Commission, are closely watching the AI market for signs of unfair practices. Some worry that this dependence on Big Tech could hinder the growth of smaller players and stifle innovation.
However, not everyone is as concerned about the control that Big Tech has over computing power. Some argue that as competition and efficiency improve, the cost of running AI models will inevitably decrease. They believe that the industry will become more efficient and that the barriers to entry will be lowered.
The partnerships between start-ups like Anthropic and Big Tech companies like Amazon also raise questions about independence and the potential for changes in leadership to impact the direction of these companies. Some AI workers and researchers worry that by relying on the financial backing of Big Tech, start-ups risk compromising their independence and mission.
Despite the concerns and challenges, it is clear that the AI boom is playing into the hands of Big Tech, as their vast resources and computing power are crucial for training complex AI models. While responsible AI companies like Anthropic may continue to advocate for ethical practices, they are still dependent on the infrastructure and financial support of Big Tech.
The future of AI and its relationship with Big Tech will continue to evolve, and regulators will play a crucial role in ensuring fair competition and preventing anticompetitive behavior. It remains to be seen how this dynamic will impact the development and deployment of AI technology in the years to come.