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Ranked: The Most Popular AI Tools



This visual is part of our 2024 Global Forecast Series. For full access to the series, learn more here.

Chart of most popular AI tools in 2023

Ranked: The Most Popular AI Tools of 2023

Artificial intelligence had its breakout year in 2023, with large language models (LLMs) and text-to-image generators capturing the attention and imagination of technologists and investors alike.

Similar to other recent breakthrough technologies like the internet and the smartphone, the early stage of AI’s tech adoption cycle has already seen the creation of highly-used software products.

This visualization from our 2024 Global Forecast Series report uses data from Writerbuddy and Coatue to rank and visualize the most popular AI tools of 2023 along with key recent tech adoption cycles and the software products that defined them.

The Most Visited Artificial Intelligence Websites of 2023

Not surprisingly, ChatGPT, OpenAI’s product that sparked the artificial intelligence boom in late 2022, emerged as the most popular AI tool of 2023.

ChatGPT dominated the industry’s web visits with more than 60% of visits from September 2022 to August 2023, racking up 14.6 billion visits to their website.

Following ChatGPT is another chatbot, Character.AI, which rather than being a singular LLM for general and productivity-related user queries is a collection of characters (also known as “dialog agents”) that users can freely converse with. These range from popular characters from TV shows and video games to dating coaches and interactive strategy and text-based games.

AI ToolTotal Web Visits (Sept 2022 to Aug 2023)Share of Industry Total
Hugging Face316.6M1.3%
Google Bard241.6M1.0%

Another writing tool, QuillBot, rounds out the top three most popular AI web products of 2023, with these top three collectively accounting for more than 80% of visits to AI product websites.

Besides LLMs, leading AI image generator Midjourney was the fourth-most popular AI tool in 2023 and is followed by Hugging Face, an open source community which features hundreds of unique AI models that include LLMs, image generators, and other freely accessible AI tools.

This visual is from our 2024 Global Forecast Series Report:

Global Forecast Series 2024

Get full access to the series, which compiles insights from 700+ expert predictions for what will happen in 2024, by becoming a VC+ member today.

Software Creation in Tech Adoption Cycles

Despite still being in the early stages of its adoption, artificial intelligence has already produced tools that have garnered billions of visits and thousands of paying users for premium versions of AI products.

The launch and propagation of software products is a key driver for the user adoption of breakthrough technologies. Apps like Uber and Airbnb helped define the utility of smartphones as a technology, similar to what early websites like Google, Amazon, and YouTube did for the internet.

While this first wave of AI tools is already beyond what the world could’ve imagined even just a couple of years ago, as the public adoption of AI continues we’ll only see more powerful and unique AI tools and products.

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Can Data Centers Be Sources of Sustainable Heat?

Data centers produce a staggering amount of heat, but what if instead of treating it as waste, we could harness it instead?



Diagram showing how waste heat from data centers could be recaptured and recycled to provide sustainable heat in residential and commercial settings.



The following content is sponsored by HIVE Digital

Can Data Centers Be Sources of Sustainable Heat?

Data centers support the modern technologies on which we rely, but also generate incredible amounts of heat as waste. 

And since computers tend to be very sensitive to heat, operators go to great lengths (and expense) to get rid of it, even relocating to countries with lower year-round average temperatures. But what if instead of letting all that heat disappear into thin air, we could harness it instead?

In this visualization, we’ve teamed up with HIVE Digital to see how data centers are evolving to recapture and recycle that energy.

How Much Heat Does a Data Center Produce?

To get an idea how much heat we’re talking about, let’s imagine a mid-sized cryptocurrency operation with 1,000 of the most energy-efficient mining rigs on the market today, the Antminer S21 Hydro. One of these rigs needs 5,360 watts of power, which over a year adds up to 47 MWh.

Multiply that by 1,000 and you end up with over 160 billion BTU, which is enough energy to heat over 4,600 U.S. homes for a year, or if it happens to be Oscar season, enough heat to pop 463,803 metric tons of popcorn. Less if you want melted butter on it. 

How Waste Heat Recycling Works?

At a high level, waste heat is recaptured and transferred via heat exchangers to district heating networks, for example, where it can be used to provide sustainable heat. Cool air is then returned to the data center and the cycle begins again.

Liquid cooling is by far the most efficient means of recapturing and transporting heat, since water can hold roughly four times as much heat as air.

Data centers around the world are already recycling their waste heat to farm trout in Norway, heat research facilities in the U.S., and to heat swimming pools in France.

A Greener Future for Data Centers?

Waste heat recycling has so far been voluntary, led by operators looking to put their operations on a more sustainable footing, but new regulations could change that. 

Amsterdam and Haarlemmermeer in the Netherlands require all new data centers to explore recycling their waste heat. In Norway, they require it for all new data centers above 2 MW, while Denmark has taken a carrot approach, and developed tax cuts and financial incentives. And in late 2023, the EU Energy Efficiency Directive came into force, which will require data centers to recycle waste heat, or show that recovery is technically or economically infeasible. 

With Europe leading the way, could North America be very far behind?

HIVE Digital Provides Sustainable Heat

HIVE Digital is already recycling waste heat from its data center operations in Canada and Sweden. 

Their 30 MW data center in Lachute, Québec, is heating a 200,000 sq. ft. factory, while their 32 MW data center in Boden, Sweden, is heating a 90,000 sq. ft. greenhouse, helping to provide sustainably grown local produce, just one degree short of the Arctic Circle.

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Learn how HIVE Digital is helping to meet the demands of emerging technologies like AI, sustainably.

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