You Really Need to Understand This AI Tech Stack Graphic (1.5 of 5) (Tech Strategy)

Everyone is talking about the emerging AI tech stack.

Here is the version from Andreesen Horowitz, which a lot of people are using. I keep seeing it in conference presentations.

You can break the AI tech stack into the app layer (light blue), the model layer (medium blue), and the compute layer (dark blue). And you can see the different types of vertical integration by different players.

  • Midjourney and Runway are highly specialized in image and video generation. And they have integrated their app with their own proprietary foundation models.
  • Most B2B and B2C apps are being built on proprietary foundation models (GPT) or on open-source models (Pangu, Wenxin, Stable Diffusion).
  • Cloud platforms (where I focus) are offering a combination of big compute and open-source models that can be customized.

There is another version of this from Huawei, which I think does a better job.

They have broken the model layer into 2-3 layers. There are generalizable foundation models (like GPT). That is L0. From these, you can build industry-specific models (L1). And also, scenario-specific models (L2).

Huawei also adds a separate data management and coordination layer to the tech stack. That is important.

I also like the version of this tech stack from McKinsey & Co. We can see a lot more of the operating activities associated with the industry picture. I think this is much more helpful.

They also separate the compute layer (green) from the data layer (light blue). They also look at this in terms of a value chain. That is helpful. They also separate the models from the tools.

And they have created a preliminary value chain for generative AI. Which is really what most businesses care about. Most businesses are not going to compete to be part of the AI tech stack.

Make sure you understand these. When we talk about building Digital and AI Cores in Management and Operations (DOB3), this is what we are talking about.

Now on to Part 2.

Cheers, Jeff

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Related articles:

From the Concept Library, concepts for this article are:

  • Generative AI
  • AI Strategy
  • AI Tech Stack and Value Chain

From the Company Library, companies for this article are:

  • OpenAI / GPT / DALL-E
  • Google / Bard
  • Huawei Cloud

Photo by Sanket Mishra on Unsplash

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I write, speak and consult about how to win (and not lose) in digital strategy and transformation.

I am the founder of TechMoat Consulting, a boutique consulting firm that helps retailers, brands, and technology companies exploit digital change to grow faster, innovate better and build digital moats. Get in touch here.

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