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CEOs of Tech Companies Praise AI, but Acknowledge that it will take Time for it to Significantly Impact Sales

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Microsoft and Google tout AI investments, but substantial sales growth slow

Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be a top priority for tech giants Microsoft and Google, with both companies emphasizing their investments in the technology for the second quarter in a row. Although sales growth from AI-powered products has been slower than expected, both companies are committed to investing heavily in the technology.

During conference calls with investors, both Microsoft and Google highlighted the strategic importance of AI. S&P 500 companies mentioned “AI” twice as often in conference calls compared to the previous quarter, indicating a growing interest in the technology. Both companies have also launched products with generative AI, which uses machine learning algorithms to create new content from past data.

According to Google’s Q1 earnings report, AI was mentioned 52 times, up from 45 in Q4 of 2022, while Microsoft mentioned AI 36 times. Despite both companies claiming that AI is boosting sales, neither has disclosed if or when they will release sales, costs, or profits from their AI investments.

Despite the slower sales growth, both companies are committed to investing heavily in AI. Google reported quarterly profits and revenue above estimates, and the company plans to buy back $70 billion in stock. Additionally, Google plans to combine its AI research units, Google Brain and DeepMind, to work on multimodal AI that combines multiple modes of input, such as text, speech, and images, to create a more sophisticated AI system.

Microsoft also beat estimates for quarterly revenue and profit, driven by growth in its cloud computing and Office productivity software businesses. CEO Satya Nadella reported that Bing downloads increased significantly after adding AI features, and the search engine now boasts 100 million daily users.

Other tech companies, such as Meta Platforms Inc and Amazon.com, are also investing heavily in AI and are expected to report their results soon. However, industry analysts caution that significant results from AI investments may take more than a year to materialize.

Despite the slower sales growth, the potential benefits of AI are significant. AI is expected to have a larger impact on enterprise software than on search, as businesses seek to streamline operations and increase efficiency. AI-powered tools can automate tasks like data analysis and customer service, freeing up employees to focus on more complex tasks.

However, ethical concerns surrounding AI remain a key issue. As AI becomes more advanced, questions arise about how it will be used and who will be responsible for its actions. There are concerns about bias in AI algorithms and the potential for AI to be used for malicious purposes.

In conclusion, Microsoft and Google continue to prioritize investments in AI, recognizing the importance of the technology to their business strategies. Despite slower-than-expected sales growth, the potential benefits of AI for enterprise software are significant. However, ethical concerns surrounding the use of AI must be addressed by these companies as they continue to invest in the technology.

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