Racing to Control AI

Source: NYTimes, Mar 2016

Many of the tech industry’s biggest companies, like Amazon, Google,IBM and Microsoft, are jockeying to become the go-to company for A.I. In the industry’s lingo, the companies are engaged in a “platform war.”

If true believers in A.I. are correct that this long-promised technology is ready for the mainstream, the company that controls A.I. could steer the tech industry for years to come.

“Whoever wins this race will dominate the next stage of the information age,” said Pedro Domingos, a machine learning specialist and the author of “The Master Algorithm,” a 2015 book that contends that A.I. and big-data technology will remake the world.

Some start-ups, like Diffbot in Palo Alto, Calif., are willing to jump into the fray with industry giants under the assumption that there is still plenty to figure out.

“Our goal is to capture all human knowledge,” he said. “I would like for Diffbot to build an iconic company around data. There are companies focusing on computing, but there is no Amazon of data.”

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