Is the US Monopolizing the AI Industry?

The top investors right now in AI are Microsoft, Google, etc. What do all of these companies have in common? They are all US companies.

Microsoft has been heavily invested in AI for years. They’ve developed various AI-powered products and services, including Azure AI, Microsoft Cognitive Services, and AI capabilities integrated into products like Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics. They are now focused on AI development and offer tools for developers to create responsible AI solutions. Microsoft is known around the globe to empower startups. Its most famous AI startup is OpenAI, creators of the famous ChatGPT. Microsoft invested a whopping $10 billion in OpenAI. OpenAI isn’t the only startup Microsoft has invested in; in May it announced an investment of $2 billion in Malaysia’s AI industry. It also partnered with G42, a leading Middle Eastern AI company.

Google has made investments in AI across various domains, including research, development, and applications. From improving search algorithms to developing self-driving technology and virtual assistants like Google Assistant, AI is deeply integrated into many of Google’s products and services.

Google’s AI research division, Google AI, is known for its contributions to the field through publications, open-source projects, and collaborations with academia. Google has also invested $2.2 billion in AI startup Anthropic, creator of the groundbreaking Claude Chatbot. It has also invested in Danfoss, a Danish multinational company looking to improve with generative AI.

Amazon is not left out; it has been heavily investing in AI across various aspects of its business. It has churned out AI products and services like Amazon Alexa, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon Go (cashier-less convenience store which uses AI technologies like computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning algorithms to automatically detect when products are taken from or returned to shelves, allowing customers to shop without checkout lines), and Amazon Robotics.

These big three are not the only US companies investing in AI; others include IBM, Apple, Meta, Salesforce, Intel, Nvidia, Oracle, and Cisco. These companies are actively seeking to invest in AI startups to be at the helm of technological innovation and to use innovative AI technologies for their products and services.

If you take a look at the products and services of the companies above, they dominate the market in their different niches, and you can’t help but conclude the US is monopolizing the AI industry, especially with its juicy financial support. But there are still companies not in the US that are big sponsors in the AI industry.

Companies from China, Israel, Germany, and the UK have been particularly active in this space. Tencent, Alibaba, and Baidu from China, for instance, have significant investments in AI startups both domestically and internationally.

Similarly, companies like Samsung, SoftBank, and Sony from Japan have also been involved in AI startup investments. Even though their products and services are not as widespread, they are a strong non-US presence in the global AI industry.

It may seem as if the US is monopolizing AI, and even that there are many factors that make it almost impossible for it to be otherwise. One of these is the tech ecosystem in the US; Silicon Valley, in particular, has a robust ecosystem of tech companies, startups, venture capitalists, and skilled talent, creating a conducive environment for AI innovation and investment.

Another major factor is market size and resources; the US has a large market with significant financial resources, making it an attractive destination for AI investment. Its huge technology-literate population also makes it a very attractive market for AI products and services. Also, in research and development of AI, it’s safe to say the US leads, and I say this as a non-US citizen. Take a look at the economics chapter of this year’s Stanford HAI index report and the message is clear.

So, is the US monopolizing AI? Yes, it is, but this is not due to draconian policies or a world domination agenda, but the result of some favorable factors combined.