Tech giants continue to follow the AI-generated road

9 Aug 2023

Image: © INK/

Microsoft, Google and Disney are taking more steps to make AI the cornerstone of their future products and services.

The AI rat race doesn’t appear to be slowing down, as tech giants are releasing more updates than you can shake a stick at.

AI has been the hot tech topic of 2023 since the advanced chatbot ChatGPT took the world by storm, becoming one of the most successful product launches in history in terms of user growth.

Since then, the sectors that are being impacted by AI has shifted in unique ways, spilling out from tech and making an impact on the Hollywood scene.

The US entertainment industry is facing strikes from writers and actors – the first time both groups have staged simultaneous walk-outs since 1960. One issue they have is the rise of AI – and the risk it presents to jobs in the industry.

Disney’s AI task force

These fears from writers and actors appear to be valid, as there are rumours that Disney has created a task force to study AI and see how it can be applied in the organisation.

Three sources told Reuters that this task force was launched before the writers’ strike and that Disney aims to form partnerships with start-ups and develop its own AI applications.

The entertainment giant has multiple job openings that are seeking candidates with experience in AI and machine learning.

AI has already been used in some of Disney’s entertainment. The opening credits for the Marvel show ‘Secret Invasion’ was made using generative AI tools, according to the company.

Microsoft’s AI endeavours

Microsoft has been one of the top pioneers of AI-generated services this year, with a significant involvement behind the creation of OpenAI’s ChatGPT. The tech giant used its partnership with OpenAI to bring the power of AI to various products and services.

One of those products was Bing, which Microsoft enhanced earlier this year with the power of ChatGPT. This AI-powered search engine was highly successful for Microsoft, giving it a boost in a market dominated by Google.

Six months since Microsoft brought out this AI-powered Bing, the company is now expanding access by taking it to mobile devices. Microsoft said this Bing app gives mobile users full access to the AI-powered Bing, including access to Bing’s own text-to-image generator.

Microsoft is also working on third-party browser support, to let users on computers and mobile use Bing from other browsers.

Meanwhile, the company has partnered with Kyndryl to bring “enterprise-grade generative AI” to businesses on Microsoft Cloud.

The two companies said they are working together to develop new AI innovations across their enterprises. Kyndryl said it plans to educate thousands of its employees on new Microsoft AI technologies.

Google’s AI code editor

Google stepped up to become a challenger to Microsoft in the recent AI rat race, launching its own wave of AI-powered products in various markets.

The tech giant has unveiled a preview of Project IDX, an AI-powered code editor that aims to help developers get their apps “from zero to production”.

Google said Project IDX is built on Google Cloud and powered by Codey, a foundational AI model that is trained on code and built on the PaLM 2 large language model.

The code editor appears to be designed for versatility, letting users import existing projects from GitHub and with support templates for various frameworks such as Angular, Flutter, Svelte and Vue.

The editor also has multiple AI-powered features to speed up app development, such as smart code completion and an assistive chatbot to answer coding questions.

“Our AI capabilities are in their very early days, and we’re working on making IDX AI even better at helping you as you work,” the company said in a blogpost.

There are also rumours that Google and Universal Music are working out how to license the voices of music artists for AI-generated songs. A report from The Financial Times said these talks are at an early stage, however.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic