When every third business story is about artificial intelligence, it is probably safe to say that AI is a thing. Blame Microsoft. When it unveiled ChatGPT, the AI chatbot developed by OpenAI that Microsoft has sunk billions into, press releases about AI had found their tipping point.
Now that Alphabet has taken the wraps off its Bard chatbot (even in a PR disaster), the AI genie will not go back in the bottle.
Speaking of genies, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) is reportedly working on its own AI chatbot. Alas, it lacks a moniker yet, but it is said to be based on the company’s DingTalk, an “intelligent” communication and collaboration platform similar to Microsoft Teams and Salesforce’s Slack. Alibaba had no comment on the report.
Another Chinese company, Baidu Inc. (NASDAQ: BIDU), announced Tuesday that it, too, is developing an AI chatbot dubbed Ernie, a sort-of acronym for “Enhanced Representation through Knowledge Integration,” a project the company has been working on for about three years. A Reuters report cited an unnamed source who said Ernie would launch next month. Baidu is often referred to as China’s Google. Its search engine accounted for 65% of all searches in China last month, compared to Google’s 2.5% share. Globally, however, Google grabbed 84% of all searches in December, while Baidu managed just 0.67%. Bing, with nearly 9% of global searches, ranked second.
JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD) also said in a statement Thursday morning that it is “accelerating AI applications powered by ChatGPT-related technological achievements.” JD.com is China’s third-largest e-commerce retailer and the world’s fifth-largest, with a market cap about a third the size of Alibaba’s. No details were provided, but there you go.
One company doing something visible is GE HealthCare Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GEHC). The newly public health care technology company announced Thursday morning that it is acquiring privately held Caption Health, a health care AI applications provider.
Caption Health’s AI applications help ultrasound imaging deliver “more precise diagnoses, improved treatment decision-making, and ultimately improved patient outcomes,” according to GE HealthCare’s Ultrasound President and CEO Roland Rott. He continued, “This tuck-in acquisition will help expand affordable access to ultrasound imaging to novice users and is aligned with a broader shift to precision care globally.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and GE HealthCare plans to pay for the acquisition with cash.
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