In an interview with Reuters, president of Germany’s Cartel Office and chair of the International Competition Network, Andreas Bundt, has warned that AI may accelerate Big Tech’s dominance over other companies.
“For us as a competition authority, it is crucial that this new technology does not further strengthen the dominance of the large corporations,” Bundt stated, “The danger is very great because you need two things above all for AI, powerful servers and vast amounts of data.”
Tech giants such as Google or Meta, Bundt points out, have both.
Human activity on sites such as Facebook or X (formerly Twitter) generates vast amounts of data and many industry insiders have speculated that by 2025 over 175 zettabytes of data will have been generated.
A zettabyte is as much information as there are grains of sand on Earth.
This large volume of data gives Big Tech companies two advantages. Firstly, there is a large amount of potential training data that will help make LLM (large language model) generate more accurate human-sounding responses. Secondly, AI has the potential to automate the sorting of this data into analytics and profitable insights.
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Traditional data analytics vendors, such as IBM, worked primarily on a descriptive analytics route which analysed past data and find patterns within it. Descriptive analytics was primarily used to understand a past event or trend. AI is disrupting this by creating prescriptive based analytics.
By sifting through data, AI can use this data to advise organisations on what their next actions should be rather than just explaining why past trends occurred.
According to research analyst GlobalData, the total global data analytics market could be worth around $188bn by 2027, implying a compound annual growth rate of 13%.
Robin Röhm, CEO of German AI software building company Apheris, explains the relationship between data and AI.
“In simple terms, AI is nothing without the data that is used to feed its machine learning algorithms,” Röhm stated, “We must ensure that we democratise access to data.”
“Big Tech stands to be one of the main beneficiaries as they have the funds and the firepower to buy access to data. There is a monopoly of power that comes with AI and data accessibility,” he said.