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Google Cloud expands AI offerings with new tools, programs and partnerships

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 7, 2023
Google Cloud expands AI offerings with new tools, programs and partnerships

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Google Cloud is making another major push into generative AI with a slew of new tools, services and programs announced today aimed at helping businesses adopt and use the emerging technology.

The initiative includes expanded access to Google’s generative AI products like Vertex AI and Duet AI, new educational programs and consulting services, blueprints for specific use cases and expanding partnerships with companies like DataStax, Neo4j, Twilio and Typeface.

The company announced it’s making its Vertex AI platform more widely available, providing access to over 60 machine learning models that can generate images, translate between languages, summarize text and more. It also unveiled a new consulting services to help companies deploy generative AI and “activation packages” with sample AI applications for tasks like improving developer efficiency or speeding up content creation in marketing departments.

Google’s latest push into generative AI for business users comes as the technology is seeing wider interest and adoption. Tools like the company’s language model PaLM 2 can generate paragraphs of coherent text, while image generation software Imagen lets users create photorealistic pictures from scratch. But developing and deploying these complex AI systems requires significant expertise and resources, which Google is aiming to provide through its cloud services and partnerships.

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Google Cloud generative AI goes live

Vertex AI, Google’s machine learning platform, now provides full support for developing and deploying generative AI systems according to customers’ needs. Its Model Garden feature offers access to over 60 pre-trained AI models from Google and its partners that can translate between languages, summarize blocks of text, generate photorealistic images from descriptions and more.

Google believes its cloud services and partnerships can provide the expertise and resources needed to help mainstream businesses benefit from generative AI. The new availability of generative models and tools in Vertex AI points to an expanding role for artificial intelligence in office software and business automation.

A new offering called Generative AI Studio provides tools for customizing, improving and governing AI models in production use. This aims to give businesses more control and oversight of AI systems that directly impact their work and customers.

Google also said the enterprise version of Duet AI for Google Workspace, its office productivity suite, is now available for pre-order after months of testing. Duet AI uses generative models and other AI throughout Google’s collaboration apps to assist with tasks like writing documents, creating data visualizations, and improving productivity in meetings.

The announcements highlight Google’s broad strategy to infuse artificial intelligence throughout its software and services for business customers. By baking AI into platforms for developing software, creating marketing content or enhancing office productivity, Google sees an opportunity to drive more enterprise use of its cloud technologies.

New AI consulting and educational offerings

Google Cloud Consulting, the company’s professional services group, also launched several free learning programs covering generative AI for business executives, software developers, and Google Cloud customers. It also introduced four new consulting services focused on deploying generative AI for automating search, summarizing documents, streamlining business processes and generating personalized content.

The consulting offerings suggest that even as Google makes powerful AI systems more widely available, many companies still require hands-on guidance and support to fully benefit from the technology. Generative models in particular often need to be fine-tuned for specific customer needs and use cases. The learning programs aim to build up knowledge about generative AI and machine learning both broadly and for strategic business uses.

In addition, Google released the first set of “blueprints” demonstrating how to apply generative AI for tasks like improving productivity in software engineering, accelerating marketing content creation and enhancing customer experience in industries such as finance, retail, healthcare and media. These provide a starting point for enterprises to build customized AI solutions, with Google and consulting partners on hand to advise them.

The announcements highlight Google’s ambition to drive enterprise adoption of advanced and complex AI systems through its cloud business. By providing both technological and human resources to help companies deploy machine learning for strategic needs, Google sees an opportunity to further compete with top cloud rivals like Amazon and Microsoft.

Traditional companies looking to use emerging technologies often face challenges finding and building internal expertise. Google’s moves suggest that its cloud business, which accounted for $26.28 billion in revenue last year, aims not just to provide access to AI and other technologies but also the guidance on how to adopt them.

Google Cloud expands AI ecosystem partnerships

Google announced an expansion of several key partnerships as well, highlighting the company’s strategy to advance enterprise AI use through collaboration rather than competition.

Google said consulting firm partnerships with Deloitte, Capgemini and others will train over 150,000 people on leveraging Google’s AI platforms and tools, especially its generative models for tasks like generating images or summarizing text.

The company also released new “activation packages” providing templates for common AI applications such as improving search within organizations or accelerating marketing content creation. Google’s consulting arm will offer services to help companies apply AI for uncovering data patterns, summarizing information, streamlining business processes and generating personalized content tailored to customers.

The announcements signal Google’s belief that partnerships and expertise from outside firms will drive wider use of AI in traditional companies. By collaborating with large consultancies and technology providers, Google can extend its reach into new industries. The deployment partnerships also aim to demonstrate practical use cases of Google’s AI systems for enterprise customers.

The focus on partnerships and customer alliances contrasts with the strategies of Google’s largest cloud competitors, Amazon and Microsoft, which have built out their own large professional service groups to drive enterprise deals and technology implementations. By working with outside firms, Google can bring specialized expertise to new industries and use cases without building that knowledge in-house. The approach also allows Google to promote its AI and cloud services to the clients of major companies.

Still, Google continues to invest in expanding its own cloud consulting practice. The group now has thousands of employees working with customers on integrating Google’s technologies, highlight the mix of internal and external resources the company aims to provide for enterprise AI adoption. The latest announcements suggest that blend may prove an advantage as complex tools like machine learning become more widely available.

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