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Demis Hassabis, CEO of Google’s AI subsidiary Deepmind, estimates that the company will spend more than $100 billion on AI, given enough time.

He was responding to questions from the audience at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada. Someone asked about Google Deepmind’s response to the announced ‘Stargate’ supercomputer that tech magazine The Information reported on last month.

The article outlined a data center under construction, containing a computer that would contain millions of specialized server chips to provide DeepMind’s competitor OpenAI with even more computing power. Microsoft, which has a major stake in OpenAI’s success, would cough up the 100 billion that the mega-project is projected to cost. Microsoft has already invested 13 billion into OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT.

‘Superior computing power relative to competitors’

“We don’t talk about our specific numbers, but I think we’re investing more than that over time”, Hassabis replied. And he left it at that. He did add, however, that Google’s parent company Alphabet has superior computing power compared to competitors, including Microsoft.

“That’s one of the reasons we teamed up with Google back in 2014, is we knew that in order to get to AGI (Artificial General Intelligence – ed.), we would need a lot of compute”, he continued, according to Bloomberg. AGI is the supposed and controversial threshold at which AI outperforms humans in a wide range of tasks.

Investment race in Silicon Valley

Remarks like these are proof of the investment race gripping Silicon Valley when it comes to AI. Microsoft is not only the leading investor in OpenAI, but recently (and rather unofficially) acquired pretty much all of Inflection AI. Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of that company, became the new lead of Microsoft’s new AI division. Not only did he co-found Inflection AI, he also co-founded DeepMind at the time.

While Google managed to acquire Deepmind, Microsoft has now scooped up Inflection AI, or at least its people and product. Microsoft did pay the remaining husk $620 million for software licenses and LLMs, plus $30 million to ward off legal ramifications.

To the European Commission (EC), Microsoft argued that Google is the only company that can be at the forefront of AI without outside help. According to Microsoft, collaborations such as the one with OpenAI are necessary to provide Google with any competition.

Demis Hassabis founded DeepMind in 2010. Four years later, Google acquired the company.

Also read: ‘Claude 3 is better than GPT-4 and Gemini’: OpenAI has more and more competitors