Microsoft's prescient bets and aggressive investments in AI have propelled the software giant to become the world’s most valuable company. Yet Satya Nadella, its typically reserved chief executive, couldn’t resist landing a gloved jab at the rest of the industry.
"We have the best model today ... even with all the hoopla, one year after, GPT4 is better," Nadella said at a company event in Mumbai on Wednesday. "We are waiting for the competition to arrive. It will arrive, I'm sure, but the fact [is] that we have the ... leading LLM out there."
Nadella’s rare bit of reality-check came as he pitched Microsoft’s increasingly powerful lineup of AI offerings to the leaders of some of India’s largest companies. In a 35-minute keynote address, Nadella implored businesses to begin exploring ways to deploy AI to boost productivity and refine their products, while urging them not to fall behind.
The Microsoft executive urged India to ramp up its efforts and focus on AI. "This new capability, AI, is going to have an impact on GDP," he said.
Nadella at Microsoft's Mumbai event on Wednesday. Image Credits: Microsoft
Born in India, Nadella said the South Asian nation has already become the second largest talent base for AI developers on GitHub. Puneet Chandok, who quit a top role at AWS India last year to join Microsoft to lead the company's India and South Asia business, added: "India is not just incredible anymore. We are credible as well. India is starting to dream big, and going after this dream like our lives depend on it."
The company also announced that it will offer AI skilling opportunities to 2 million Indians in smaller cities and towns by next year. "I hope consensus emerges and that is what really helps, in some sense, (with) the diffusion of this technology," he said of the socio-economic progress.
"This is first time I feel what is happening in India and the rest of the world there is no gap. If anything, the use cases here are so unique and paving their own path," Nadella added.
One such unique offering, Nadella later highlighted, is Karya, an "ethical data company" that creates datasets in multiple Indian languages to train AI models while providing jobs and education to people in rural areas.
Great to be in India this week meeting with changemakers like the team at Karya, who are doing the critical work of building high-quality datasets for AI—and expanding economic opportunity at the same time. https://t.co/jJUDjnBUEo
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) February 7, 2024