Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Draws Parallels Between AI And Internet Revolution

Microsoft Corp.’s MSFT focus on artificial intelligence and the massive $10 billion bet on OpenAI wasn’t a fluke. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that the impact of AI on the company as well as the industry, will be as big as that of the internet.

What Happened: Microsoft CEO said that the impact of AI would be profound on the company and compared its significance to that of the internet back in 1995 in an interview with Bloomberg.

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In 1995, Microsoft co-founder and then-CEO Bill Gates sent a memo to his staff. Titled “The Internet Tidal Wave”, Gates said, “The Internet is a tidal wave. It changes the rules. It is an incredible opportunity as well as incredible challenge.”

Nadella thinks he and Microsoft are at a similar stage now with AI. “The Bill memo in 1995, it does feel like that to me. I think it’s as big,” Nadella said.

While it’s too early to clearly understand the scale of AI’s impact on everyday lives, Microsoft thinks it is big enough to pour billions into it. The company invested $10 billion in OpenAI in January this year, and Nadella thinks Microsoft and OpenAI have a “great relationship”.

“These big, major partnerships between tech companies usually don’t work. This is an example of it working really well. We’re super grateful for it,” he said.

Microsoft has so far invested $13 billion in OpenAI, with the previous major investment being $1 billion in 2019. It believes so much in the company and its AI prowess that it even killed its own AI-powered assistant Cortana earlier this month.

‘Classic Experts Of Overhyping’: However, Nadella underlined that his feet are on the ground despite the immense hype and uncertainty surrounding AI and its impact on industries and the workforce.

“What motivates me is I want to use this technology to truly do what I think at least all of us are in tech for, which is democratizing access to it,” he said.

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