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AI must benefit everyone, not just the powerful and privileged
By Diane Coyle  |  Oct 10, 2023
AI must benefit everyone, not just the powerful and privileged
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AI is wreaking swift change in nearly all aspects of life and, while some have benefited tremendously, others risk being left behind unless AI becomes more inclusive and equitable, asserts Cambridge University Public Policy Prof Diane Coyle.

CAMBRIDGE, UK - Artificial intelligence (AI) is moving fast. People are using generative AI and large language models (LLMs) to build new services and perform existing tasks, and the underlying technology itself is advancing quickly. As the Nobel laureate economist Michael Spence observes, this wave of adoption could well yield significant productivity gains after almost two decades of lackluster growth. Every day brings news like Google’s recent announcement that its AI has helped American Airlines reduce contrails by 54 percent, reducing the carbon footprint of each flight.

Unfortunately, the news is not all good. If current trends continue, AI is more likely to help Big Tech companies cement their dominance, since they are the ones with the resources to develop and maintain the most powerful AI models and are already moving quickly to bundle LLMs with their existing services. These developments come at a time when antitrust authorities around the world are already growing increasingly concerned about the concentration of tech companies’ market power.

To be sure, some commentators - including one Google engineer in an internal memo - argue that this fear is overblown, given the presence of open-source LLMs that technically allow for anyone to compete in the market. However, even if there is a blossoming of smaller new entrants, they are unlikely to challenge Big Tech’s dominance anytime soon. A 

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