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Microsoft, Google and Amazon are all showcasing new Chatbot features to remedy sluggish growth.

US cloud giants are pushing new artificial intelligence (AI) tools that they say “will revolutionize work, learning and creativity”. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal the motivation behind the move is to try and “rejuvenate” sales in their cloud-computing sector.

The sales push revolves around the new technology of “generative AI”, the technology behind the wildly popular ChatGPT platform. That chatbot was launched by start-up tech company OpenAI last November, and has since taken the industry by storm. Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI, and “has wowed users with its ability to perform functions like drafting memos and producing computer code at near-human levels of sophistication”.

The generative AI chatbot space is seeing new competitors arise, such as Google’s Bard and Anthropic’s Claude. Both Microsoft and Google are also adding chatbot technology into their office productivity software programs like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace.

Leveraging AI to offset slowing growth

This major sales push on generative AI comes as these tech companies deal with sharply slowing growth in their cloud-computing businesses. According to the WSJ, analysts expect an anemic 18% growth in cloud revenue this year – down by almost half from the growth they had last year.

In fact, Amazon Web Services, the largest cloud provider, reported sales growth of only 20% last quarter, its lowest on record. AWS also plans to lay off 9,000 workers, also in its cloud computing division.

The cloud providers are targeting current and prospective customers who are starting to use generative AI with aggressive sales pitches including free-service promotions.

“AI is going to be a big market opportunity,” Thomas Kurian, CEO of Google Cloud Platform, told the WSJ. “We are in the very early stages of it.”

Judson Althoff, the chief commercial officer at Microsoft, said: “You’re seeing a ton of energy from the Microsoft sales force because this leap forward in generative AI is real”.