A new wave of companies join the AI rat race

27 Apr 2023

Image generated by AI: © MK online/Stock.adobe.com

AI is impacting multiple sectors, with companies including DocuSign, Atlassian, Artifact and Yelp revealing AI-powered updates to their services.

Artificial intelligence remains the hot topic in the tech sector, as more companies have announced their own AI-powered products and services to stay ahead of the curve.

The potential of AI has long been discussed, but last year’s launch of ChatGPT pushed these systems to centre-stage, with tech giants like Microsoft and Google using AI to try get an edge over the competition.

Recent reports have shown how dramatically the AI sector has grown and evolved over the years, as industry has overtaken academia in terms of AI development. It is also estimated that global spending on AI systems will reach $154bn this year and surpass $300bn by 2026.


US software firm DocuSign has launched its own AI-powered ID verification system, for the EU and UK.

The company – which has been expanding its Irish presence in recent years – said this system uses advanced AI technology to remotely verify a person’s ID. DocuSign said this offering will streamline identity verification and replace the need for video or in-person checks.

DocuSign claims this system met the requirements to be considered a qualified electronic signature, a rigorous digital signature standard in both the EU and UK.

“Providing a simple, secure and trusted way of signing important documents virtually is a top priority for DocuSign,” said Maxime Hambersin, the company’s senior director of international product management.

“With this innovative solution, organisations can significantly simplify the ID verification process, offering signers a far more frictionless experience without compromising the high-security standards these transactions require.”


The global software giant behind tools such as Jira and Confluence, Atlassian, recently announced an AI-powered virtual assistant, to help boost workflows among teams.

The company said this assistant – Atlassian Intelligence – is powered by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. The virtual assistant is built directly into the Atlassian platform and is able to analyse how company teams work together to create “custom teamwork graphs”.

Atlassian said these graphs show the types of work being done by each team and the relationships between teammates.

Like many AI-powered assistants, Atlassian Intelligence is able to answer questions, but the company said this system can also learn terms specific to a business, such as their projects, acronyms and internal systems.

“With the open approach of the Atlassian platform, the teamwork graph is also enriched with additional context and data from the third-party apps teams use,” the company said in a blog post.

Last month, Atlassian announced 500 staff layoffs due to a “changing and difficult macroeconomic environment”, which required the company to prioritise only the “most critical work for our current and future customers”.


Even new companies are adopting AI from the beginning, as Artifact, the news-based social app created by Instagram’s founders, recently launched a new feature to summarise articles using AI.

This app became publicly available in February and came equipped with AI and machine learning capabilities to help personalise news reading for its users.

With the new feature, users are able to see an AI-generated summary of any article before they click into it to read. Artifact said this feature lets readers understand the “high-level points of an article before diving in”.

“It’s important to note that summaries don’t replace the utility of having the full text of the article,” the company said in a blog post. “AI is powerful, but from time to time can make mistakes, so it’s important to verify the summary matches the article as you read the full text.”


Yelp is using the power of AI to revamp some of its services, describing a recent batch of new features as its “most significant update in recent years”.

The platform has launched an AI-powered search function, that uses the power of large language models (LLMs) to help users find businesses more effectively.

“We’ve long used AI to power solutions across our platform, including dish recommendations, organisation of photos and automating content moderation, among others,” Yelp said.

“With the recent advancements in LLMs, we’re continuing to invest in further enhancing the search and discovery experience on Yelp to make it even easier for you to find businesses that fit your needs.”

Yelp said it plans to build upon this feature in the future and to “further leverage advanced technology” such as AI and LLMs.

AI in healthcare

One of the biggest adopters of AI this year is Microsoft, through its ongoing partnership with OpenAI.

The company has added AI into various products in recent months and is looking to make an impact in the health sector.

The tech giant has partnered with Epic, a US medical software company, to integrate generative AI into the healthcare industry. The partnership aims to combine the Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s electronic health record system to automate elements of patient care.

Some US health organisations are currently using this combination to automatically draft message responses. Microsoft claims the partnership will help enhance patient care and address the sector’s workforce shortages and cost pressures.

“The urgent and critical challenges facing healthcare systems and their providers demand a comprehensive approach combining Azure OpenAI Service with Epic’s industry-leading technology,” said Eric Boyd, Microsoft’s AI platform corporate VP.

Open-sourced AI guardrails

As the AI sector ramps up, other companies are creating products to help developers fine tune these advanced systems.

Nvidia has released NeMo Guardrails, open-source software to help AI models stay accurate and safe in their responses.

The company said this application lets developers set up boundaries within their AI creations, to prevent them from veering off track in conversations, filter out unwanted language and restrict their access to third-party apps.

“Nvidia made NeMo Guardrails – the product of several years’ research – open source to contribute to the developer community’s tremendous energy and work on AI safety,” the company said.

“Together, our efforts on guardrails will help companies keep their smart services aligned with safety, privacy and security requirements so these engines of innovation stay on track.”

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic