DAVOS, Switzerland – Microsoft Corp. MSFT 0.27% plans to integrate artificial intelligence tools like ChatGPT into all of its products and make them available as platforms for other companies to build on, Chief Executive Satya Nadella said.
Speaking Tuesday at a Wall Street Journal panel at the annual World Economic Forum event here in the Swiss mountains, Mr Nadella said his company would quickly move to commercializing tools from OpenAI, the research lab behind the ChatGPT chatbot and image generator Dall -E 2, which converts voice prompts into novel images. Microsoft was an early investor in the startup.
Microsoft announced Monday that it is giving more customers access to the software behind these tools through its Azure cloud computing platform. Mr Nadella said at Tuesday’s panel that the goal is to make Azure “the place for anyone and everyone thinking about AI,” both enterprise and end-user, including bringing ChatGPT to business users.
“Every Microsoft product will have some of the same AI capabilities to completely transform the product,” said Nadella.
OpenAI has been at the center of the tech industry’s recent excitement around AI, and Microsoft is in advanced talks to increase its investment in the startup, the Journal previously reported.
The lab has been in talks to sell existing shares in a takeover bid that would value the company at around $29 billion.
Mr Nadella said in the interview that the new excitement around the tools stemmed from the rapid growth of their capabilities over the past year, something he said he will continue to do. “By the way, I’m not suggesting that this is the latest innovation in AI,” said Mr Nadella. “This is not linear progression.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at a Wall Street Journal panel in Davos, Switzerland.
Photo: John Scrivener for The Wall Street Journal
The Microsoft boss also struck an optimistic tone about the broader commercial potential for tools like ChatGPT, which can quickly generate smooth-sounding text based on short queries or prompts. He said such tools are necessary to increase human productivity, which he says would increase economic growth and wages for lower-income jobs. “We need something that really changes the productivity curve so we can have real economic growth,” he said.
People with clerical jobs involved in so-called knowledge work should embrace the new tools rather than assuming they will steal their jobs, Mr Nadella said, citing the example of computer software developers currently using tools to help them create a part of generating code they write.
“The best way to prepare for this is not to bet against this technology, and this technology will help you in your work and your business processes,” said Mr. Nadella. When asked by a listener about the impact of these tools on The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Nadella replied, “I think that in the future, if they rely on GPT, they will be able to write great articles. ”
In the interview, Mr Nadella also defended the software giant’s $75 billion acquisition of games company Activision Blizzard Inc., which has drawn criticism from antitrust authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. The US Federal Trade Commission has filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking the transaction, while the European Union has launched an in-depth investigation into the transaction, a process that could potentially lead to a similar challenge.
Mr Nadella said his deal would boost competition. Microsoft has argued that it is a small player in video game development and is looking to ramp up its game development studio. It has said it will not favor its own games on its Xbox consoles.
“As the #4 player trying to add content and create more opportunities for more publishers and more players to enjoy – I mean, if you believe in competition, you should believe in this deal,” Mr Nadella said . “I hope the competition authorities focus more on competition and that would be a good day.”
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke to the WSJ’s Davos Journal House about the latest news surrounding the company’s proposed acquisition of video game maker Activision Blizzard.
Write to Sam Schechner at [email protected]
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