Google Cloud CEO on AI at Goldman Sachs event: ‘We have a 10-year head start on any competitor’

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Mark Haranas

“More than 50 percent of all funded AI companies are our customers on Google Cloud, and more than 70 percent of AI unicorns use Google Cloud. In other words, those who know how to do AI, understand our differences,’ says Thomas Kurian.






Thomas Kurian says Google is winning the artificial intelligence arms race with better cloud infrastructure for AI, “fewer security issues than rivals” and a massive head start against competition that includes the likes of Amazon Web Services and Microsoft.

“As generative AI has come, we have evolved our infrastructure portfolio. Remember, Google has been building massive infrastructure for AI for over 10 years,” said Google Cloud CEO Kurian at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia and Technology Conference. “So, we have a 10-year head start on any competitor.”

The Mountain View, Calif.-based technology company is the world’s third-largest cloud computing company with a $32 billion run rate. Google Cloud is growing revenue faster than AWS and Microsoft, thanks in part to new customers placing their AI bets on Google.

(Related: SADA CEO on Google’s AI ‘Distinct Advantage’ and Thomas Kurian’s Winning Strategy)

In particular, Kurian said many of the most innovative and successful AI startups are Google Cloud customers.

“More than 50 percent of all funded AI companies are our customers on Google Cloud, and more than 70 percent of AI unicorns use Google Cloud,” he said. “In other words, those who know how to do AI, understand our differences.”

Google Vs. Microsoft Vs. Amazon

Three of the biggest cloud companies on Earth — AWS, Microsoft and Amazon through Google — are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to build new AI software, developer tools and cloud infrastructure around the world. The acceleration comes after Microsoft-backed OpenAI launched ChatGPT in late 2022 to boost AI innovation for businesses. Generative AI has become the hottest buzzword in the industry, even though gen AI is driving real ROI for customers.

Kurian said Google has several advantages over its rivals in the AI ​​space: from its history in data analytics to cybersecurity through its $5.4 billion acquisition of security star Mandiant last year.

“The data speaks for itself. We have fewer security issues than competitors and so we start from a strong foundation,” he said. “We’ve been working on AI at Google since 2004. So it’s our twentieth year. We have learned a lot in creating not just building models, but products enabled by AI.”

CRN breaks down six bold comments Thomas Kurian made during the Goldman Sachs conference about why competition in AI is the best.

    Learn about Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas

Mark Haranas is an assistant news editor and longtime journalist now covering cloud, multicloud, software, SaaS and channel partners at CRN. While managing several CRN reporters, he speaks with world-renowned CEOs and IT experts as well as covers breaking news and live events. He can be reached at mharanas@thechannelcompany.com.


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