May 1, 2024
Google's Generative AI - Transforming Ads, Cloud, and User Experience edit

3 Key takeaways from Google's April earnings call: Promising advancements in advertising, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and user experience across Google products.

Google's recent earnings call offered a glimpse into their strategic focus on Generative AI (Gen AI) and its potential to transform their core businesses. From leadership commentary to product announcements, Gen AI is clearly a major priority.

One key takeaway is Google's leadership in AI research. They've established a unified team under DeepMind to streamline Gen AI development and make these models accessible to product teams across Google. This centralized approach will ensure consistent progress and faster integration of Gen AI into various products.

The impact of Gen AI is already being felt in Google Search. Early tests of generative features are showing positive results, with increased user engagement and satisfaction. This opens doors for new monetization opportunities through ads tailored to user queries generated by AI.

Vertex AI, Google's platform for building and deploying AI models, plays a central role in this strategy. Gemini, a powerful factual language model, is being made available through Vertex AI, empowering businesses to build AI-powered tools and leverage generative capabilities. The strong customer adoption of Vertex AI for diverse use cases like building chatbots and grounding AI with real-world data highlights its potential to become a game-changer in the AI development landscape.

While Google hasn't revealed specific revenue figures from Gen AI yet, they did point to its contribution to Google Cloud growth and its role in improving ad creation through Performance Max campaigns. This suggests that Gen AI is already having a financial impact, and its influence is likely to grow as Google continues to integrate it across its offerings.

Building on insights from the call – I focused on 3 key takeaways which I feel are worthy of note.

Leveraging Generative AI (Gen. A.I) to help advertisers be more effective:

• Gen. AI is integrated across the advertising ecosystem: It's being used in targeting, bidding, creative development, measurement, and across all campaign types.

• Gen. AI improves ad effectiveness: Existing AI solutions like smart bidding and Broad Match use AI to optimize ad targeting and delivery, leading to better results for businesses.

• Gen. AI unlocks new creative capabilities: Google is particularly excited about Gen. AI's potential to create ads that are highly relevant and personalized for each user, further increasing effectiveness.

In essence, Google is using Gen. AI to automate and improve various aspects of the advertising process, allowing advertisers to find the right audience, deliver the right message, and ultimately achieve a better return on investment (ROI).

Continuing rise in A.I Capital Expenditure reflects new opportunities across the company

• Supporting the development of the foundational Gen. AI model, Gemini.

• Expanding Google Cloud Platform (GCP) to meet customer demand.

• Applying Gen. AI advancements across Search, YouTube, and other Google services.

To fuel its initiatives in Generative AI (Gen. AI), Google is significantly increasing its capital expenditures. This investment secures the necessary computing power for these projects, reflecting Google's belief in Gen. AI's potential to unlock substantial revenue across various businesses. While strategic investments prioritize growth and future returns, maintaining efficiency in delivering this computing power remains a key focus.

Google's AI Strategy: Firmly built on 3 Pillars

• Horizontal AI Application: Google is moving beyond siloed AI development for each product. Advancements in foundational AI models like Gemini are designed to be integrated across Search, YouTube, Cloud Vertex AI, and other offerings. The idea being that this horizontal approach maximizes the return on investment in AI research.

• Focus on Generative AI: Google is placing a significant emphasis on Gen. AI, evident in the development of Gemini and its integration across products. They believe Gen. AI has the potential to revolutionize user experience (improved ad targeting, creative content generation) and drive advertising revenue growth

• Maintaining Efficiency and Prioritization: Leadership acknowledges the challenge of balancing bold innovation with cost-consciousness. Here's how they are addressing it:

 Focus on Efficiency: Google is constantly striving for efficiency gains in AI development. This includes leveraging their 20 years of experience in machine learning to optimize processes and potentially using Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) built in-house since 2016 to reduce compute costs

 Resource Prioritization: By identifying the most impactful AI initiatives across the company (e.g., Gemini integration with Vertex AI), Google can strategically allocate resources for maximum impact

Finally, it's worth noting that Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is growing steadily, fueled by the ongoing shift to cloud computing and its strategic focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI). While still trailing industry leaders, GCP offers a robust infrastructure and the powerful Vertex AI platform. This platform empowers businesses to integrate AI into various aspects of their operations, from data analysis to customer relationship management. This sets GCP apart, allowing businesses to leverage AI for tasks that can significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Google takes a unique approach by strategically introducing its AI offerings through Workspace, making them easily accessible for everyday tasks. I liken this horizontal approach with Vertex AI and Workspace, to Microsoft’s strategy with Microsoft 365 Copilot. By prioritizing AI integration and user-friendly platforms, Google positions GCP for continued growth in the cloud computing landscape – more on GCP’s growth, here.

Overall - strong quarter, good execution on creating value through the integration of Generative A.I across its consumer and commercial platforms. The focus on creating value through Gen AI, positions Google for exciting advancements in Search, Cloud services, and advertising. Their commitment to research, streamlined development processes, and early signs of user engagement paint a promising picture for the future of AI at Google.

Rotimi Olumide

Thought leader, speaker, multifaceted business leader with a successful track record that combines consumer & product marketing, strategic business planning, creative design and product management experience.

Connect on LinkedIn

Explore our other blog posts

View all blog posts