The competition on the subject of AI puts a finger in a European wound
“ChatGPT, ChatGPT ChatGPT”, my LinkedIn feed is full and also every newspaper has to write at least one article per week about the AI model of Open AI. This media hype about the American flagship startup masks a European problem, and a very visible one at that. Have you ever heard of Aleph Alpha or Luminous? Probably not.
But I’d like to start with some data from Open AI and its AI language model ChatGPT. The website has, according to its own data, 616 million monthly visitors, processes 570 gigabytes of text data and costs around $100,000 per day, although experts estimating much higher costs. But well, even these amounts are utopian for many startups, because OpenAI actually spends several million a month just on marketing.
Aleph Alpha: the European answer to Chat GPT
No wonder so few people talk about Aleph Alpha and its solution Luminous. The Heidelberg-based startup is considered by international experts to be on a par with solutions from Google, Meta and Mircosoft. However, Luminous has about half as many (70 billion) parameters and exhibits twice as much efficiency at the same level of performance. However, the young company is currently limited to basic work and the focus on public administration and companies. The end customer would currently be unaffordable for the startup.
Nevertheless, the Heidelberg-based startup is supposed to be “the European answer to ChatGPT”. An answer that could be decisive in the future. Because today, around 73 percent of major AI models come from the United States and around 15 percent from China. Europe is in danger of being left behind in the next key digital industry.
But deep tech startups like Aleph Alpha are not only in the media shadow of the American companies, they also have to contend with completely different barriers.
Challenges for DeepTech EU Startups
On the one hand, there is the issue of venture capital. It is well known that European investors are much more reserved to invest, while in the USA the next unicorns are invested together with millions. In combination with the “funding confusion” that startups face here, this is a major disadvantage for the handicap of new ideas.
On the other hand, the AI Act of the EU Parliament could be the next brake for AI models. Comparable to the GDPR, the legislation here could have a significant influence on the further development of AI in Europe. Three topics are being discussed particularly:
- The classification of AI systems into risk classes,,
- the prohibition of biometric tracking, and, perhaps the real center of the discussion,
- the definition of AI.
What we can expect from AI in the future
AI will be a central building block of the economy in the future, and practically all companies will need it. In this context, the promotion of innovation is just as essential as the independence of technologies for the European economy. In concrete terms, this means that we are already offering the right framework conditions to founders in Europe. Then a European startup will also be in the news around the world just as ChatGPT is today.