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Is there space for innovation in AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the hot topic of 2023, but with large tech companies like Google and Microsoft already using it to developing their new tech, where in the world does innovation fit in?

At the Christchurch Innovation Expo in September, Dr Jonathan Reichentel travelled from Silicon Valley to talk about how AI will be utilised to make the ‘Garden City’ the next hub for innovation.

During the expo, Reichentel talked about how AI is captivating the world, with countless companies now trialling the technology to see how they can implement it in their workplace.

For some, there is a big “AI-fatigue” already; everywhere one looks the topic of technology arises, but it is no surprise that news sites are filled with the latest AI news given how fast it is getting developed.

But if every company is experimenting with AI, is there still space for AI to develop something new?

“When technology becomes so common, it becomes a commodity, and therefore [there’s] no longer innovation. People can participate, and they can try to win market share, but they’re not growing space necessarily,” he says.

“[But] when there is rigorous competition, there’s much more innovation.”

Right now, Reichentel says AI is still at the beginning stages of its development, with so much more to be “surfaced”.

Though the bigger companies like Google (Bard) and OpenAI (ChatGPT) have the money and resources to experiment, these are limits that don’t stop the future of the development of AI.

Read more: A glimpse into the future of AI from the EU envoy of Digital

“These are platforms but isn’t there a lot of innovation on top of them,” he adds.

“There’s still so much space that I think there can be rigorous competition.”

He says it is obvious that companies such as Google and Microsoft will come out of this as winners, but there is still space for innovators to join the race or even, build on top of it.

Already, many innovators are building on what is accessible now, such as RoomGPT, who are making use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT to create a free premium service to help people redesign their room by taking a photo of the space and adding prompts.

Reichentel says this is an example of them “carving out their own innovation”.

“The potential for innovation is enormous, and it will be that way for a long time,” he says.

What is driving the innovation as well is the investment opportunities that are arising, with investors big and small keeping an eye on the space.

This is already being seen with Silicon Valley, who were quick to jump ship from Metaverse to AI when they saw the money-making opportunity.

Those who are able to win when it comes to AI are looking at a potential “billion-dollar business” and a boost in both economy and productivity, Reichentel says.

“Those that aren’t making this a priority could be held back in the medium to long term.”

For the past 20 years AI has been a part of our lives, from music suggestions to predictive text on emails, but there is still a lot of space for innovation with the tech from where we are now.

What is certain is that we live in a world where AI has a big role to play.

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles. To get in touch with her, email [email protected]

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