Aleph Alpha CEO Warns Big Tech May Use Dominance to Control AI

Major technology companies pouring money into artificial intelligence could come to dominate the emerging technology, Aleph Alpha GmbH Chief Executive Officer Jonas Andrulis said. 

 He criticized the European Union’s AI Act, one of the first major pieces of legislation to regulate the technology, which Andrulis said risks diverting founders’ energy away from innovation and into compliance.  

“We need a somewhat fair environment,” he said in an interview on Bloomberg TV on Wednesday. “And this is difficult because the big players run monopoly chains so they can use one monopoly to endlessly fund the fight for dominance in a new area, which is challenging for new players.”

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Cloud providers such as Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc. have invested significantly in AI in recent years. Microsoft’s $13 billion investment into OpenAI has allowed the tech giant to integrate AI technology into its software products. The companies’ relationship is being examined by the European Commission to decide if it should be investigated under the EU’s merger rules.  

Aleph Alpha’s customers have also expressed concern about data sovereignty — where AI platforms store and process data, Andrulis said. 

The company received €500 million ($545 million) in commitments from a consortium of German corporate and venture capital investors last year. Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Minister for Economic Affairs Robert Habeck at the time framed the investment in Aleph Alpha as a strategic national priority.

“The thought of having our own sovereignty in the AI sector is extremely important,” Habeck said at the press conference. “If Europe has the best regulation but no European companies, we haven’t won much.”

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