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Google's Gemini home page displayed on a smartphone in a photo illustration.

Jonathan Raa/Sipa USA via Reuters

Hard Numbers: Pay for Google?, Indonesian investment, Amazon walks out on AI, Scraping YouTube

175 billion: Google said it made $175 billion in revenue from its search engine and related advertising last year, but is it ready to risk the golden goose? The company is reportedly considering charging for premium features on its search engine, including AI-assisted search (its traditional search engine would remain free). We’ve previously tested Perplexity, one of the companies trying to uproot Google’s search dominance with artificial intelligence, and you can read our review here.

200 million: The chipmaker Nvidia is teaming up with Indonesian telecom company Indosat to build a $200 million data center for artificial intelligence in the city of Surakarta, according to Indonesia’s communications minister. This news comes weeks after AI played a central role in the country’s presidential election, and it represents a major investment from one of the world’s richest tech companies in a key emerging market as Indonesia seeks to modernize its economy.

1,000: Amazon’s Just Walk Out in-store AI system for cashier-less grocery store checkout relied heavily on more than 1,000 contractors in India manually checking that the checkout transactions were accurate. Now, Amazon has announced it’s ditching the technology, which was being used in 60 Amazon-branded grocery stores and two Whole Foods stores.

1 million: One OpenAI team reportedly transcribed more than 1 million hours of YouTube videos to train its GPT-4 large language model. The company built a speech recognition tool called Whisper to handle the massive load, a move that may have violated YouTube's terms of use. YouTube parent company Google is a major rival to OpenAI in developing generative AI. Google hasn’t filed suit yet, but legal action could eventually come.

A visitor plays a video game with virtual reality glasses at the Mobile Word Congress The Mobile World Congress has closed after four days of activity with a figure of 101,000 visitors according to the Director of Fira de Barcelona Constantí Serrallonga.

Ramon Costa / SOPA Images via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: Game devs have qualms, Pulitzer-winning AI, Klarna it, Super Micro growth, NVIDIA chip disappoints

79: In a survey of more than 3,000 video game developers, 79% had ethical concerns about the use of generative AI in their work. Among the ethical concerns were that the technology could lead to layoffs in the video game sector as well as that it could “supercharge copyright infringement.”

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Amrapali Gan, CEO at OnlyFans, addresses the audience during the second day of the Web Summit 2022 in Lisbon.

(Photo by Bruno de Carvalho / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Hard Numbers: OnlyAI, Raw deal for media companies, AGI approaches, Less work and more money

10: OnlyFans CEO Amrapali Gan said in an interview that verified creators on the platform need to provide 10 different pieces of personal information in the US — nine everywhere else — including government ID, which she claims will help prevent the site from being overrun by AI porn bots. She admitted that sex workers may use AI tools on the platform but emphasized that their work can't be “wholly AI.”

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CFOTO/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Hard Numbers: NVIDIA rising, the magician’s assistant, indefensible budget lags, Make PDFs sexy again

3: NVIDIA is now the third-most valuable company in the U.S. after reporting rosy financial returns. The AI-focused chipmaker’s market capitalization is now $1.812 trillion, surpassing Google parent company Alphabet, and trailing only Microsoft and Apple. How things change: just one year ago, NVIDIA’s market cap was a paltry $580 billion.

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People visit the stand of NVIDIA during the 11th China Digital Entertainment Expo and Conference, known as ChinaJoy 2013, in Shanghai, China, 25 July 2013.

Nvidia rally lifts markets – and struggling political leaders

AI chipmaker Nvidia dropped jaws on Wednesday with earnings estimates that surged past even the most optimist expectations, sending a charge through global markets on Thursday. The firm’s stock price has surged almost 700% in the past 18 months to pass Amazon as the third-largest stock listed on the NASDAQ after Microsoft and Apple.
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Courtesy of Midjourney

Sam Altman’s wish on a $7 trillion star

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, needs more chips. He needs a lot more chips. The only thing stopping his $100 billion startup — if you can still call it a startup — may be the current supply of powerful chips.

The semiconductor fabrication process is notoriously slow and expensive, and the global supply chain runs through a few big, highly specialized firms. There are only a small number of companies that actually design chips made for generative AI — AMD, Intel, and Nvidia. And they’re pricy: Nvidia, which is set to take 85% of the market next year by one estimate, sells its H100 chips for about $40,000 a pop.

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Semiconductor chips are seen on a circuit board of a computer in this illustration picture taken February 25, 2022.

REUTERS/Florence Lo/Illustration

The great chip divide

The chip industry is surging on the back of insatiable demand for artificial intelligence. While AMD and NVIDIA have doubled and tripled their stock prices respectively in a single year, there’s reason to believe that AI’s rising tide isn’t lifting all ships.

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The logo of OpenAI is seen displayed on a mobile phone screen with the Nvidia logo in the background.

Idrees Abbas/SOPA Images/Sipa/via Reuters

The rise of AI giants (and their challengers)

Two winners have emerged from the AI boom’s first year, but others are in hot pursuit.

Within a few days of ChatGPT’s launch on Nov. 30, 2022, the chatbot attracted millions of users, proving that the world was ready for consumer-grade AI. This made OpenAI, the parent company, a clear victor on the software front. On the hardware front, NVIDIA grabbed the spotlight. The company’s graphics-processing chips have become the industry standard for fueling powerful AI models, making NVIDIA a trillion-dollar company this year.

Wannabe contenders, however, are trying to catch up.

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