Welcome to The Week in Generative AI, a weekly column for marketers from Quad Insights that quickly sums up need-to-know developments surrounding the rapidly evolving technology.
Amazon turns AI loose on product reviews
Amazon is now experimenting with using artificial intelligence to summarize customer feedback on products, potentially reducing the time shoppers spend reading reviews before purchase. The AI-generated summaries draw from thousands of user reviews, noting the positive and negative aspects of a product. Other e-commerce companies including Shopify, Instacart and eBay are also integrating generative AI into the shopping experience.
In her report on the Amazon news, CNBC’s Annie Palmer quotes Fortress Brand CTO Mark Wieczorek, who thinks AI-generated product review summaries could help guide customers toward newer, potentially superior products, reducing the dominance of established products with large numbers of reviews because “it’s long been known that aged products — that have had the time to build up large numbers of reviews — have had an unfair advantage against newer (potentially superior) entrants.”
This development could have a significant impact on e-commerce marketing, with implications for product positioning and consumer decision-making. It also raises concerns about the accuracy of AI-generated content and the handling of fraudulent reviews.
• “Amazon is trying to make it simpler to sift through thousands of user reviews” (CNN)
• “A leaked document of Amazon’s ideas for using ChatGPT and AI at work lists 67 ways to take advantage of the ChatGPT boom” (Insider)
• “Exclusive: Amazon’s cloud unit is considering AMD’s new AI chips” (Reuters)
OpenAI courts China
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has been on a strategic global tour, bringing his take on the future of AI to international policymakers. On Saturday, he delivered a speech that was streamed live at a conference hosted by the Beijing Academy of Artificial Intelligence, urging China to spearhead the formation of AI safety guidelines.
Altman’s mission is clear: When it comes to the future of AI, fostering global cooperation is not just a lofty ideal, but an urgent necessity. “The U.S. imposed sanctions last October on China to prevent it from accessing the most popular cutting-edge chips needed for AI development,” Karen Hao notes in The Wall Street Journal. “In Washington, anxieties of China challenging U.S. dominance have loomed large in regulatory discussions.”
It’s worth noting that Altman previously met with Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (in person, in April) and spoke at the Singapore Management University (also in person) on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, OpenAI continues its “awkward partnership” with Microsoft, as Tom Dotan and Deepa Seetharaman report, also in The Wall Street Journal. They chronicle the various trials and tribulations that go into the relationship, noting that “some researchers at Microsoft gripe about the restricted access to OpenAI’s technology,” adding that “despite Microsoft’s significant stake in the company, most employees have to treat OpenAI’s models like they would any other outside vendor.”
• “What to expect if the EU passes the AI Act” (Silicon Republic)
• “OpenAI, DeepMind and Anthropic to give UK early access to foundational models for AI safety research” (TechCrunch)
• “Google Warns Employees About Chatbots—Including Its Own Bard—Out Of Privacy Concerns, Report Says” (Forbes)
AMD ups the ante with new ‘superchips’
The pick-and-shovel business of AI comes in the form of silicon chips, and industry-leading (and Wall Street darling) chip-maker Nvidia has been getting all the press lately. Enter AMD, the primary competitor to Nvidia, with its most advanced GPU yet, the MI300X, which will start shipping to customers later this year. Kif Leswing from CNBC says that “AMD’s announcement represents the strongest challenge to Nvidia, which currently dominates the market for AI chips with over 80% market share.”
It’s important to note that AMD’s software ecosystem is not as mature as Nvidia’s, which might represent a hurdle for widespread adoption. Karl Freund writes in Forbes that “in the software arena, I think we have to give AMD a hall-pass: given the AMD AI hardware performance to date, there hasn’t been much serious work on the software stack.”
• “AMD’s new A.I. chip won’t be enough to knock Nvidia off its throne” (CNBC)
• “AMD’s Superchips Face a Trillion-Dollar Hurdle” (The Wall Street Journal)
• “Generating mania: Month-old Paris-based startup Mistral AI raises $113M in seed funding” (Silicon Angle)
• “AI-powered church service in Germany draws a large crowd” (Ars Technica)
• “Paul McCartney Says A.I. Helped Complete ‘Last’ Beatles Song” (The New York Times)
• “I’ve Been Using Google’s New AI Search. Here’s What I’ve Learned” (CNET)
• “Asana CEO: ‘The way we work right now will soon look vestigial. Here’s how A.I. will make work more human’”(Fortune)
Thanks for following along as we continue coverage of the generative AI beat. We’ll see you next Friday.
Previously: “The Week in Generative AI: June 9, 2023 edition”