Can India build a ChatGPT-like LLM? Anand Mahindra meets Sam Altman, says OpenAI CEO was misunderstood | Tech News

Can India build a ChatGPT-like LLM? Anand Mahindra meets Sam Altman, says OpenAI CEO was misunderstood

Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra met OpenAI CEO Sam Altman at the state dinner hosted by US President Joe Biden on the occasion of Prime Minister Modi’s visit. The two discussed India’s ability to build a ChatGPT-like LLM.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jun 24 2023, 16:19 IST
Anand Mahindra
Anand Mahindra said that Sam Altman was misunderstood and remains “ far from sceptical about Indian abilities”. (Anand Mahindra Twitter)
Anand Mahindra
Anand Mahindra said that Sam Altman was misunderstood and remains “ far from sceptical about Indian abilities”. (Anand Mahindra Twitter)

Earlier this month, the OpenAI founder and CEO Sam Altman visited India to discuss artificial intelligence and spread awareness about both its potential and its dangers. During this period, he attended an event with prominent startup founders and business heads. A rather controversial moment also occurred in this event when answering a question on India's chances of building a ChatGPT-like large language model (LLM), Altman said it's “completely hopeless”. Now, yesterday, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra met the ChatGPT creator at the state dinner hosted by US President Joe Biden and discussed the latter's views on India's capability in tech innovation.

Anand Mahindra meets Sam Altman at the state dinner

The state dinner, which is also being called the ‘India-US Hi-Tech Handshake' event, saw some of the biggest tech leaders of the world, including Anand Mahindra, Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, Indra Nooyi, Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Sam Altman, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and others share a table with PM Modi and US President Biden to discuss cooperation in building technology infrastructure in both the countries.

Mahindra also had the chance to speak with Altman during the event and spoke about the ChatGPT challenge. But it turns out to be a misunderstanding. Clarifying in a tweet, he said, “The Tech Handshake meeting this morning at the White House, was refreshingly frank…On the sidelines of the meeting, I caught up with Sam Altman about the ‘challenge' that @C_P_Gurnani had accepted. Sam reiterated that he'd been misunderstood. He's far from sceptical about Indian abilities”.

Referring to the event itself, Mahindra mentioned, “My optimism about closer technology cooperation is because the mutual benefit is now involved rather than just a one-way request from India”.

Sam Altman's comment that started the controversy

Sam Altman was asked by venture capitalist and former head of Google India Rajan Anandan about how an Indian entrepreneur can go about building their own version of a foundational AI model.

Altman had said, “The way this works is, we are going to tell you that it's completely hopeless to challenge us in training foundational models, and you shouldn't even try it. And it's your job to still try it anyway. And I believe both of those things. I think it is pretty hopeless regardless”.

The comment resulted in many prominent tech leaders challenging Altman's response. Among them was CEO of Tech Mahindra, CP Gurnani, who said, “OpenAI founder Sam Altman said it's pretty hopeless for Indian companies to try and compete with them. Dear @sama, From one CEO to another.. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED”.

A day later, Altman explained in a tweet responding to Gurnani that he was misunderstood. He said, “This is really taken out of context! the question was about competing with us with $10 million, which i really do think is not going to work. but i still said try! however, i think it's the wrong question”.

“The right question is what a startup can do that's never been done before, that will contribute a new thing to the world. i have no doubt Indian startups can and will do that! and no one but the builders can answer that question,” he added.

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First Published Date: 24 Jun, 16:18 IST
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