Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks on AI: 5 BIG power points from interview | Tech News

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks on AI: 5 BIG power points from interview

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recently gave an interview to Wired where he opened up about the company’s heavy investment in AI and the vision behind it.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Jun 14 2023, 10:37 IST
Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella on GPT: We didn't train it on just coding, but it got really good at coding. That's when I became a believer. (Bloomberg)
Satya Nadella
Satya Nadella on GPT: We didn't train it on just coding, but it got really good at coding. That's when I became a believer. (Bloomberg)

Microsoft, led by Satya Nadella, was one of the first to jump onto the artificial intelligence bandwagon and as a result, it finds itself with the early bird advantage in this emerging space. It was quick to invest upwards of $10 billion in OpenAI and it swiftly released its ‘Copilots' across the majority of its products and services to enable developers, businesses as well as individuals in leveraging AI capabilities. In a recent interview with Wired, Nadella opened up about the vision around AI, what made him pull the trigger, and the way forward in this nascent segment. Let us take a look at the top 5 big moments from the interview.

Nadella realizes AI can be transformative

At the start of the interview with Wired, he was asked when did he know for sure that artificial intelligence could be a transformative technology. Answering the question, Nadella pointed out the period when GPT 2.5 was upgraded to GPT 3.0. According to him, that is when the emergent capabilities began showing for the first time. “We didn't train it on just coding, but it got really good at coding. That's when I became a believer,” he told Wired.

Nadella's eureka moment

Narrating his first time with GPT-4 in the summer of 2022, the Microsoft CEO explained that while machine translation had been around for a while, it always did a surface-level job and never brought forth the subtleties of the text it was translating. He also said how he always wished to read the poetry of Rumi, which was originally written in Persian. It was first translated into Urdu and then into English. “GPT-4 did it, in one shot. It was not just a machine translation, but something that preserved the sovereignty of poetry across two language boundaries. And that's pretty cool,” he said.

The roadmap with AI

Nadella does not go into a larger vision of what AI can do in the future but rather stays focused on what Microsoft is building at present. He explains that for him, the road ahead is to bring the joy of development back into the developers' community and he believes Copilot can be the right tool in doing that. “As AI transforms the process of programming, though, it can grow 10 times—100 million can be a billion. When you are prompting an LLM, you're programming it,” he told Wired.

Nadella's opinion on pausing AI till regulations can be worked out

Nadella expressed his concerns when it comes to a runaway AI and highlighted that with such a powerful technology, humans always have to be in control. “Think back to when the steam engine was first deployed and factories were created. If, at the same time, we had thought about child labor and factory pollution, would we have avoided a couple of hundred years of horrible history?”

But he asserted that pausing is not a solution. Since AI was being built for the world, it was important to test it out in the real world and align the safety harnesses to build a safer technology.

Can AI destroy the world?

While Nadella acknowledged the dangers of AI, he believes that to admit to such a reality would be an abdication of one's responsibility since a technology should never just go out of hands. He gave examples of electricity and nuclear energy and said that both of them had unintended consequences but humans worked on making the systems safer so they could reap the benefits of the technology.

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First Published Date: 14 Jun, 10:13 IST
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