Microsoft CEO: AI Will Go Mainstream In ‘Months’ Not Years
January 18, 2023
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sees the AI revolution going mainstream in “months” compared to the decades it took for the internet, cloud and mobile technologies to become broadly diffused globally.
In a fireside chat with Klaus Schwab, chair of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nadella shared this and other thoughts about AI, the metaverse, quantum computing, hybrid work and cybersecurity.
The conversation comes as Microsoft gets ready to lay off 10,000 employees – around 5% of its total workforce – as it seeks to rein in costs in a slowing economic environment. In a blog, Nadella wrote that as belt-tightening occurs throughout the global economy, Microsoft nevertheless is positioning itself for the future.
“The next major wave of computing is being born with advances in AI, as we’re turning the world’s most advanced models into a new computing platform.”
Meanwhile, Nadella also revealed that Microsoft is planning to incorporate the AI capabilities of ChatGPT and those developed by the chatbot’s parent OpenAI into all its products, in a separate interview with The Wall Street Journal in Davos. “Every product of Microsoft will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,” he said.
1. Artificial intelligence is at the beginning of a new S curve, signaling rapid growth ahead.
The technological life cycle is often depicted along an S curve: It starts with nascent growth, then accelerates into exponential growth until it matures and levels off.
“We have essentially an emergence of a completely new set of technology, which I think is going to be a revolution,” Nadella said.
The internet took 30 years to go mainstream globally while the cloud and mobile took 15 years. As for AI, “we’re talking months,” he said.
Nadella cited the case of Andrej Karpathy, Tesla’s former autopilot director, who tweeted that he used GitHub’s Copilot to write 80% of his code. (Copilot is being sued for alleged copyright infringement.)
Meanwhile, Nadella said he also saw a demo of a rural farmer in India accessing a government program by speaking to a GPT-trained bot in an app in his regional language.
These two are examples of the wide reach of AI, he said.