The next tech giant to throw its hat in the generative AI ring is Dropbox, who has just today announced two new AI-focused offerings.
First up, we see the introduction of a venture fund dedicated to helping startups in the AI space.
Secondly, it announced two new features: Dropbox Dash and Dropbox AI — both drawing on generative AI-technology to help make users’ lives easier.
Is Dropbox Now a Venture Capitalist?
Apparently, yes. Joining the likes of OpenAI and Salesforce, Dropbox will provide financial support and mentorship to those building AI-powered products that “shape the future of work,” according to the company.
This is the platform’s first venture arm and they’re dedicating $50 million to the initiative.
As mentioned, they’re in good company, with corporations providing a major source of the $52 billion funding received by AI startups last year. Salesforce’s VC division is planning on investing $500 million into AI startups and OpenAI has a $175 million budget to do the same.
Introducing Dropbox Dash and DropBox AI
As well as funding AI technologies, Dropbox has been busy building them too.
The first new feature is called Dropbox Dash and is a universal search bar that aims to help users find and organize their content. The more a customer uses it, the more Dash will “learn, evolve and improve,” according to Dropbox.
It works by pulling information from all content, apps, and tools across third-party platforms such as Microsoft Outlook and Google Workspace, so users don’t need to sift through various internal links, documents, and files. Instead, they simply need to ask Dash to find it.
The second offering is Dropbox AI, which summarizes and extracts information from files that are stored in a Dropbox account.
This means users can get a snapshot understanding of their content — like contracts or meeting notes — without having to sift through the entire document. Similarly, if there’s a specific question a user has about a file, they can ask Dropbox AI, which will then share a response.
Dropbox AI is capable of reviewing and generating summaries from documents and video previews, taking information from meeting recordings, contracts, and research papers. It currently works with file previews and will be expanding to folders and entire accounts soon.
Is Dropbox's AI Technology Good Enough?
Dropbox appeared to alleviate any concerns that the technology may not be reliable or accurate — which in all fairness isn’t a concern solely reserved for its particular innovations.
“In this next era of AI, it’s more important than ever that we protect our customers’ privacy, act transparently, and limit bias in our AI technologies.” – Dropbox AI press release
As with all AI products, the more they're used and the wider the customer base, the more likely any tangles in the technology can get ironed out into something more sophisticated.
Dropbox Dash is currently available in English to select customers in beta. Dropbox AI for file previews is in Alpha, and available in the US to all Dropbox Pro customers.