AI as a platform vs AI as the product?

Triggered by Marc Andreessen’s recent interview on the future of tech with AI, aTwitter discussion erupted last night with my friends and former colleagues Matt Wichrowski and John Henderson on whether high profile companies leveraging AI were using AI to improve/accelerate/revolutionise a process (my stance) versus the notion of AI as *the* company (John’s stance).

This led to a back and forth on naming companies that rely heavily on AI and arguing whether AI is the company or whether they are made possible or better because of AI. Is Google becoming an AI company or AI now powering services that help it retrieve information before you even need it (a long-stated vision of where the leadership sees Google going)

Eric Schmidt in 2011

The initial thread is below, but the question that I wanted to pose via this post was a broader one: Companies like Siri, Viv, Tesla, X.ai make better digital assistants, connected cars, calendar management because they leverage algorithms.

Could any of them achieve success at scale without AI? And if so should they be seen as companies where AI is the company rather than AI as a technological enabler.

Please share examples of companies you feel represent the notion of AI as *the* company in the comments…