Microsoft CEO on the future of AI: will become the most powerful tool for humans

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Satya Nadella, CEO of tech giant Microsoft, believes that artificial intelligence (AI) is evolving at such a rapid pace that "society as a whole" must come together not only to seize the opportunities it presents, but also to mitigate its potential dangers.

According to an interview published in the press on Tuesday (May 16), the ChatGPT's biggest moneymaker said, "We definitely want to profit from this technology, but we also want to mitigate the unintended consequences that can occur." Nadella added that getting all parties to work together in unison is challenging, but it's something that has to be done.

Late last year, Microsoft-funded AI research firm OpenAI unveiled ChatGPT, a chatbot that brought the concept of generative AI virally into the public eye, and while multiple parties have pressed hard for regulation of the technology, the pace of legislation continues to lag far behind the technology.

In response Nadella said that the development of AI is proceeding rapidly, but that humans remain integral to the process and that "it is moving rapidly in the right direction, with humans in the loop, not out of the loop. It's a choice by design."

Many companies have previously compared the emergence of ChatGPT to an "iPhone moment" in AI. Nadella agrees that as soon as a new disruptive technology emerges, there will be a "substantial shift" in the job market, and he believes AI will also create new jobs.

"I think there could be a billion developers, and in fact there could be a need for that many," Nadella said, explaining that AI is a tool that can be tailored to make it easier for people to access new technologies and knowledge, thus making it easier to improve the learning curve.

Nadella added that this feature will inevitably affect the education industry as well, as children will have access to an "AI tutor" that will help them break down information and eliminate their fear of learning.

Nadella referred to Apple founder Steve Jobs' famous quote, "A computer is like a bicycle for the human brain," and "now we have an upgrade, we have a steam engine for the human brain."

When asked about Elon Musk's statement that "OpenAI is controlled by Microsoft," Nadella said that was not actually true. "I have a lot of respect for Musk and everything he's done, but what he said is not actually true."

"OpenAI is controlled by a nonprofit board of directors. We have a non-controlling stake in it, and we have a great business partnership in it."


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