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1. Google AI Chatbot’s Costly Fail
Google Chatbot Blunder Costs Company 8%
Alphabet's (GOOGL) share price tumbled 8% after an advertisement for Google's AI chatbot Bard provided an incorrect answer. The ad showed off the LaMDA technology, which allows chatbots to engage in free-flowing conversations. Despite the misstep, Google announced plans to roll out AI-powered search results and maps.
Microsoft Leading the AI PR Race
Microsoft, a major stakeholder in OpenAI, is leading the AI PR race with the success of its chatbot ChatGPT. However, Baird analyst Colin Sebastian says Google is well-positioned to benefit from the next generation of AI, due to its scale, engineering, cloud resources, and AI capabilities.
AI Chatbots Worry Google
An unnamed Google executive raised concerns that text-heavy query results could impact its ad and e-commerce revenue, which accounted for 77% of sales last quarter. Competitors Baidu and Alibaba are also working on their own AI chatbots, causing their share prices to drop.
Our Opinion: The sharp market reaction to Alphabet’s stock price notwithstanding, the gold rush in recent years by various tech giants towards implementing AI chatbots will be marred with teething issues. Error rates will be high, to begin with but with the passage of time and more data to work with, such AI models should ultimately become more robust and realistic. There is no doubt that AI is the future for a host of applications and large tech companies are working at a feverish pace to make this a reality for the human race.
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2. U.S. Eyes India Chip Deal
U.S. and India to Collaborate on Semiconductor Manufacturing
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo announced the U.S. is considering a partnership with India on manufacturing semiconductor chips. She will visit India in March with U.S. CEOs to discuss the alliance. Raimondo said India is making "a lot of the right moves" and must comply with labour standards before any deal can be reached.
Boosting Competition Against China
Raimondo told CNBC's "Mad Money" that the U.S. stopped making chips in 1990, which led to a decline in the chip industry workforce. Biden's CHIPS and Science Act provides $52 billion for U.S. companies to invest in chip manufacturing. The U.S. semiconductor industry is looking to collaborate with India to increase competition against China.
India Must Comply with Labor Standards
She also stressed that India must comply with labour, environmental, anti-corruption, and rule of law standards. In return, the partnership will unlock U.S. business and capital jobs in India.
Tweet this story: The U.S. semiconductor industry is looking to collaborate with India to increase competition against China.
Our Opinion: The semiconductor industry is a huge opportunity for India and ties well with the “Atmanibhar Bharat” goal of the government. India possesses large quantities of competitively priced skilled labour that will be critical in scaling the semiconductor opportunity. Further, the holy trinity of good quality infrastructure, cheap capital and targeted government incentives can ensure the successful birth of the semiconductor industry in India.
3. Coca-Cola Aims for Maaza Billion
Coca-Cola Targets Maaza for $1 Billion Sales
Coca-Cola India is aiming to make Maaza its next brand to reach $1 billion in annual sales by 2024, following Thums Up and Sprite. The company has invested in marketing for the second half of FY23 and has raised its bottling capacity by 30-40%.
Sprite and Thums Up Reach $1 Billion Sales
Sprite and Thums Up have become the first Indian brands from Coca-Cola's portfolio to reach $1 billion in annual sales. The growth in sales was driven by smaller pack sizes and a focus on occasion-based drinking. Coca-Cola raised its stake in the Indian market after the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.
Coca-Cola Invests in India Market
Coca-Cola has raised its bottling capacity by 30-40% and will invest more in marketing in the second half of FY23. The company is trying to avoid passing inflationary pressures on to consumers. Sanket Ray, President for India and South-West Asia, said the company's goal is to have Maaza reach the $1 billion milestone by 2024.
Our Opinion: India’s extremely low per capita consumption of soft drinks at 20 litres per annum has a huge scope for growth led by key growth drivers such as under-penetration of the segment, growing middle-class population, rising affordability, rapid urbanization and improvement in power availability. Further innovation in product packaging and sizing will also be a significant growth driver in the years to come.