By Jeffrey Dastin

DAVOS, Switzerland, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Business titans trudging through alpine snow can’t stop talking about a San Francisco chatbot.

Generative artificial intelligence, technology that can invent virtually any content someone can think of and type into a text box, is generating not just venture capital in Silicon Valley, but also interest in Davos at the World Economic Forum annual meeting this week. .

The definition of the category is ChatGPT, a chatbot that the startup called OpenAI launched in November. The technology works by learning from vast amounts of data how to respond to any user request in a humane way, offering information like a search engine would or prose like an aspiring novelist.

Executives have floated a wide range of applications for the nascent technology, from its use as a programming assistant to a stepping stone in the global race for AI and military supremacy.

Among the conference attendees with a major stake in the development of the technology is Microsoft Corp, whose chief executive, Satya Nadella, will take the stage in Davos on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Microsoft has a $1 billion investment in San Francisco-based OpenAI that it has considered increasing, Reuters reported. In an announcement to coincide with the conference, Microsoft said it plans to commercialize ChatGPT for its cloud computing customers.

Later on Tuesday, the political sphere gets to weigh in on the madness. French politician Jean-Noël Barrot planned to join a panel discussion with a Sony Group Corp executive on the impact of technology.

Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare Inc, a company that defends websites against cyberattacks and offers other cloud services, believes that generative AI is good enough to be a junior programmer or a “real idea partner.” well”.

In an interview, Prince said that Cloudflare was using such technology to write code on its Workers platform. Cloudflare is also exploring how such technology can answer queries faster for its free-tier customers, she said on the sidelines of the annual meeting.

Alex Karp, chief executive of Palantir Technologies Inc, a provider of software that helps governments visualize the movements of an army or companies examine their supply chains, among other tasks, said such AI could have military applications.

Karp told Reuters in Davos: “The idea that an autonomous thing could generate results is basically obviously useful for warfare.”

The country that advances the fastest in artificial intelligence capabilities “is going to define the law of the land,” Karp said, adding that it was worth asking how the technology would play a role in any conflict with China.

Companies, including CarMax Inc, have already used Microsoft technology and OpenAI, for example, to generate thousands of customer review summaries when trading used vehicles. The proposed venture capital investment has also exceeded what some startups want to take.

Such a rumor was kept up during meetings in Davos, such as talking about a slide-generating bot named ChatBCG after the management consulting firm. The service said on its website that it was in too much demand to continue operating.

Generative AI is “a game changer that society and industry must be ready for,” an article on the World Economic Forum website stated. (Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Davos, Switzerland; Editing by Kenneth Li and Gerry Doyle)