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Google co-founders gain $17 billion as AI boost lifts stock

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By Biz Carson | Bloomberg

Google’s co-founders are reaping the rewards of the artificial intelligence frenzy, adding more than $17 billion to their combined wealth as the company unveiled a revamped search engine.

Larry Page’s net worth increased by $8.7 billion this week to $106.2 billion, while Sergey Brin’s rose $8.3 billion to $101.5 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That puts them on track for their biggest weekly gain since February 2021.

Google will start experimenting with a more conversational search engine and has made its AI-powered chatbot available more broadly, the Mountain View, California-based company said at its annual developer conference on Wednesday. That’s helping the firm assert dominance in an increasingly competitive field. Shares of its parent, Alphabet Inc., were little changed at 10:57 a.m. in New York after surging 8.6% in the two days through Thursday.

Page and Brin, who’ve been helping with the AI push and are more involved in the company than they’ve been in years, are among the biggest gainers of 2023 after adding more than $22 billion to their wealth. They rank as the eighth- and ninth-richest people in the world, respectively.

Google’s former chief executive officer, Eric Schmidt, is another beneficiary of the AI boom. He’s invested in many startups in the field and has rejected public calls to slow down the speed of research, citing concerns over China’s advances in tech.

Most of his $23.5 billion fortune remains tied to Alphabet, where he’s the third-largest individual shareholder. His net worth has gained $1.7 billion this week.

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