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AI and Small Business Ownership

A recent study by the JPMorgan Chase Institute explored the intersection of small business ownership and liquid wealth, with a particular focus on racial disparities. The study noted that small business ownership is traditionally seen as a path to financial stability and a means of addressing the racial wealth gap. However, the evidence suggests that the wealth gap persists among small business owners. Black- and Latinx-owned small businesses typically have lower revenues, profits, and cash margins. They also have less access to credit, are more likely to close, and tend to have fewer employees compared to white-owned small businesses. The study leveraged voter registration data from Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana to analyze small business financial outcomes based on the race of the owner, finding higher exit rates among Black- and Latinx-owned businesses in the first three years. If these businesses survive past the third year, their exit rates become similar to those of white-owned businesses. Notably, Black- and Latinx-owned businesses with comparable revenues and cash reserves have survival rates similar to those of white-owned businesses​.

AI Innovations in the Tech Industry

In tech industry news, Meta is developing an internal AI chatbot called Metamate. This tool uses company data to help employees summarize meetings, write code, and debug features. Interestingly, the company plans to allow employees to create their own prompts and share them with colleagues. The chatbot, which is currently being rolled out to a small group within the company, is powered by Meta's own separate, in-house model, despite previous discussions with Microsoft and OpenAI​.

Additionally, Microsoft is introducing a voice mode to Bing's chatbot on desktop, following the feature's implementation on the mobile version of Edge. This update allows users to ask questions using their voice, to which the chatbot responds in kind. The chatbot currently supports English, Japanese, French, German, and Mandarin, with additional languages reportedly "on the way." This development comes as Microsoft plans to discontinue Cortana on Windows, directing users instead to Bing and its AI-powered Copilot integrated into Windows 11. Windows Copilot will be accessible directly from the taskbar and will be able to answer general questions, summarize content, adjust PC settings, and more​.

I'm still working on gathering more information on other AI advancements in the past week. So far, these developments reflect the increasing integration of AI in various industries, from financial research to everyday office and computer tasks. The use of AI to analyze complex societal issues like racial disparities in wealth also highlights the growing importance of this technology in generating insights that can potentially guide policy and decision-making.

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