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Ex-CEO Kevin Mayer of TikTok says artificial intelligence excitement is currently peaking.

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Kevin Mayer, former Disney head of streaming, who was once in line to become CEO, experienced a surprising twist when Bob Chapek was announced as Bob Iger’s immediate successor in February 2020. This unexpected turn left Mayer and his colleagues in shock.

Bryan van der Beek | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Kevin Mayer, the former CEO of TikTok and current co-CEO at Candle Media, asserted that the excitement surrounding artificial intelligence has now reached its peak, leading to sky-high company valuations.

During a conversation with Karen Tso at the VivaTech conference in Paris recently, Mayer noted the intrinsic value of AI, exemplified in past innovations like the metaverse and Blockchain. However, he cautioned about an imminent “stabilization” in valuations.

“AI unleashes capabilities that have yet to be fully realized, proving to be immensely valuable. However, the frenzy surrounding it has been sensational,” mentioned Mayer.

He added, “I anticipate a climax in the hype surrounding AI, with soaring valuations and widespread discussions about its potential to revolutionize every facet of our economic landscape and personal lives.”

Since the introduction of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in November 2022, concerns about the risks associated with advanced AI systems have grown among regulators and tech leaders. Simultaneously, the sector has captured the interest of investors, resulting in substantial increases in valuations. Companies like OpenAI, Anthropic, Cohere, and Mistral have received massive funding from venture capitalists, while also attracting attention and investments from major tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon.

Several notable figures have endorsed the technology and its surge in popularity. JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is one of them, expressing his belief in the enduring significance of AI. He emphasized that AI goes beyond mere temporary trends and extends to areas beyond large language models like those utilized in ChatGPT. Dimon even drew a comparison between the current AI era and the tech bubble that emerged at the onset of the 21st century.

Contrary to these viewpoints, Mayer contended that AI is already “excessively hyped.”

“Numerous companies are securing excessive capital at valuations that are incredibly high. This trend will lead to a stabilization phase. While the benefits of AI across numerous industries will become more evident, the current hype levels are unprecedented,” noted Mayer.

—good’s Jesse Pound and Arjun Kharpal contributed to this story.


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