Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc. launched on Thursday its AI chatbot, Bard, in Europe and Brazil, following regulatory scrutiny by the European Union (EU) for data protection.
The launch drove a 4% increase for the giant’s stocks, making their biggest one-day percentage since February 2023.
The launch, which was significantly delayed for months in Europe due to data protection regulatory frameworks, gave the search engine company the needed time and space to address any concerns the EU had and reassure its watchdogs of its collaboration to guarantee the highest protection of transparency, choice, and control over user data.
Alphabet’s Bard is to set to rival Microsoft’s ChatGPT by providing more human-like generated responses to users’ inquiries.
The positive response from the launch drove investors to believe that the European regulatory movement on users’ data is now at ease, driving the company’s stock to reach its highest point since mid-June of the current year. Since February, investor enthusiasm for generative AI has significantly bolstered Alphabet’s shares, leading to a notable increase of approximately 41% in value year-to-date. In parallel, Microsoft shares have also experienced substantial growth, surging by 42% during 2023.
“There were some concerns about data, about privacy. Clearly, they’ve been able to reassure European regulators about those issues, which just paves the way for further advantage really,” stated the head of financial analysis and investment firm AJ Bell, Danni Hewson, to CNN.
Earlier this week, Google was hit with a class-action lawsuit in the US over allegation of potentially missusing millions of Americans’ data to train its AI models and systems. The federal court filing, brought by Clarkson Law Firm, argues that the Big Tech giant’s unlawful harvesting of data from website on its search engine violates privacy and property rights.
It is worth noting that the federal lawsuit came a week after Google announced updates to its terms and services.
“Google needs to understand that ‘publicly available’ has never meant free to use for any purpose,” Tim Giordano, one of the attorneys at Clarkson bringing the suit against Google, told CNN in an interview.
“Our personal information and our data are our property, and it’s valuable, and nobody has the right to just take it and use it for any purpose,” he added.
At the end of the day, and while AI chatbots are taking the internet by a storm, the hype and the wide-spread attraction towards AI-based chatbots is slowly diminishing. This became evident with the first ever decline in traffic on OpenAI’s ChatGPT website. True, the use of AI is rapidly growing, but the future of AI remains a topic to be addressed, and a debatable one for that matter. The need for regulation, and eventually its implementation, will put all data privacy and protection concerns at ease and only then we will be able to determine the future of AI.
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