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The Great AI Race: Understanding the Artificial Intelligence Landscape

The Great AI Race: Understanding the AI Landscape

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just limited to science fiction anymore; it’s a growing industry shaping the way businesses run operations and conduct business across the globe. From helping to revolutionize healthcare to powering self-driving cars, AI is everywhere, altering the way we work, communicate, and live. Dive in with us to learn about the history of AI, current market dynamics, and key players driving the innovation forward, and what AI could look like in the future.

The History of AI

The roots of AI can be traced back to the 1950s when the concept emerged as a field of study. Pioneers like Alan Turing laid the groundwork with his famous Turing Test, which gauged a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior indistinguishable from that of a human. However, progress was slow due to costs, limited computing power, and data availability. The cost of leasing a computer was up to $200k a month! Only prestigious universities and technology companies could afford the costs and used the compute power for other tasks.

In 1956, John McCarthy hosted the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence with Marvin Minsky. During the open-ended discussion on artificial intelligence, attendees disagreed on standardized methods, but everyone agreed with the notion that AI was achievable. Many regard this event as catalyzing the next twenty years of AI research.

As the ability of computers grew and costs decreased through the late 1900s, AI began to set its roots and grow. The subfield of machine learning was introduced and grew alongside. Expectations for the field were high, the Japanese government heavily funded the industry with investments totaling $400M from 1982 to 1990. But as funding ran out, AI fell out of the limelight too.

Surprisingly, despite a lack of government funding and public hype, AI thrived. Landmark goals were achieved in the 1990s including IBM’s Deep Blue defeating world chess champion Gary Kasparov. The compute power problems of the 1950s were behind us, and AI had room to run[1].

Current Market Dynamics

The AI market has experienced strong growth in recent years. Valued at only $108.42B in 2020, the global AI market is projected to reach $305.9B in 2024 and is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 15.83% until 2030, reaching $738.8B[2]. The growth has been catalyzed by a number of key players we will outline in the next section, who have been pushing the boundaries, releasing new features, and participating in the “Great AI Race”.

Several sectors stand to benefit from AI adoption. Healthcare can leverage AI for diagnostics, drug discovery, and personalized medicine[3]. Finance can utilize AI for fraud detection, algorithmic trading, and risk assessment[4]. Retail can harness AI for customer analytics, supply chain optimization, and personalized marketing[5]. We are only scratching the surface on potential use cases for AI which could optimize the way we live and work.

Key Industry Players

There are multiple key players in the AI industry participating in what some could say is the “Great AI Race”. The companies are securing contracts, releasing new technology, and attempting to gain the largest portion of market share. It could be fascinating to see which player comes out on top in this developing race. Focusing solely on AI companies that have released AI chatbots for simplicity, the following are some key players in the space:


Founded in 2015 with the mission to ensure artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity, OpenAI is one of the most well-known AI brands. It launched its AI chatbot, ChatGPT, in November 2022 and was estimated to have reached 100M monthly active users just two months after launching[6]. Since then, it has grown to over 180.5M users as of April 2024[7] and OpenAI surpassed $2.0B in annualized revenue as of February 2024[8]. OpenAI has been a key player in the AI space from the chatbot ChatGPT, the image generator DALL-E, and the recently announced video generator, Sora[9].


Founded in 2021 with the mission of building safe and beneficial AGI, Anthropic is another key player in the AI space. With a focus on aligning AI systems with human values and intentions, Anthropic’s research aims to address existential risks associated with AGI development. Its progress has not gone unnoticed, and it banked $4B from Amazon in the form of two investments that came in September 2023 and March 2024[10]. Its competitor to ChatGPT, Claude, saw 54.4M monthly users in March 2024[11] and its latest iteration, Claude 3, outperformed OpenAI’s GPT-4 on Chatbot Arena in March 2024[12].


Google’s AI initiatives are vast, for example, Google Brain’s research in machine learning and practical applications in products like Google Search, Assistant, and Photos. Focusing solely on their chatbot, Google announced Bard in February 2023 as a direct response to the belief that OpenAI’s ChatGPT would threaten Google’s market position as a search leader[13]. Bard was renamed to Gemini in February 2024[14] and saw 3.2M visits in March 2024.


Elon Musk founded Explainable AI (xAI) in March 2023 with a focus on transparency and interpretability for AI systems. At the end of 2023, its chatbot, Grok, was released to Premium+ subscribers of X (formerly Twitter) and it was released to all Premium subscribers of X in April 2024[15]. While not available on a mass scale yet, xAI is still very much in the great AI race

AI in the Future

It’s impossible to predict the future of AI, but it could hold boundless possibilities and challenges. The following are some key aspects to keep an eye on as the AI race progresses.


Achieving artificial general intelligence is considered to be a holy grail in AI research. While progress has been made, the journey towards AGI is fraught with ethical, technical, and societal implications. Overcoming these challenges may require collaborative efforts and responsible innovation.

Ethical AI

As AI permeates every aspect of society, ethical considerations become even more important. Addressing biases, ensuring transparency, and safeguarding privacy could be essential for building trust and acceptance of AI systems.

AI-Augmented Workforce

AI is poised to augment human capabilities rather than replace them entirely. Future workplaces might see humans and AI collaborating synergistically, with AI handling repetitive tasks, augmenting decision-making, and freeing up human creativity.

AI Governance and Regulation

With AI’s transformative potential come concerns about its misuse and unintended consequences. Robust governance frameworks and regulations may be necessary to ensure AI development and deployment align with societal values and goals.

AI for Social Good

Harnessing AI for social good may be a key focus in the future. From tackling climate change to addressing healthcare disparities, AI-powered solutions could drive positive impact and create a more equitable world.

Final Thoughts

The trajectory of AI may be poised to redefine the fabric of society in profound ways. By understanding its historical journey, current dynamics, and future projections, we can navigate the AI landscape with foresight and responsibility, with the goal of helping to ensure that AI serves as a force for good in shaping our collective future.

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[1] https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/history-artificial-intelligence/

[2] https://www.statista.com/outlook/tmo/artificial-intelligence/worldwide

[3] https://www.foreseemed.com/artificial-intelligence-in-healthcare

[4] https://cloud.google.com/discover/finance-ai

[5] https://retalon.com/blog/ai-in-the-retail-market-shaping-an-industry-examples-use-cases

[6] https://www.reuters.com/technology/chatgpt-sets-record-fastest-growing-user-base-analyst-note-2023-02-01/

[7] https://www.namepepper.com/chatgpt-users

[8] https://www.reuters.com/technology/openai-hits-2-bln-revenue-milestone-ft-2024-02-09/

[9] https://openai.com/

[10] https://www.aboutamazon.com/news/company-news/amazon-anthropic-ai-investment

[11] https://www.similarweb.com/website/claude.ai/#overview

[12] https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2024/03/the-king-is-dead-claude-3-surpasses-gpt-4-on-chatbot-arena-for-the-first-time/

[13] https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/06/google-announces-bard-ai-in-response-to-chatgpt.html

[14] https://searchengineland.com/google-renames-bard-gemini-unveils-paid-version-advanced-437321

[15] https://techcrunch.com/2024/04/05/x-makes-grok-chatbot-available-to-premium-subscribers/


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