There is No OpenAI Without Microsoft Leaning In: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Opens Up About The Manic Weekend – News18


Last Updated: November 21, 2023, 15:17 IST

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Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella shares his views on the saga related to OpenAI and Sam Altman

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella played his cards expertly which has got him AI whiz Sam Altman to the company with OpenAI stuck in a mire.

It has been a hectic 48 hours for Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella as he juggled between India-Australia World Cup final, and the continued soap opera at OpenAI. Microsoft seems to have come out of the Sam Altman-OpenAI episode with more feathers in its cap, but the story isn’t done.

However, we finally have Nadella speaking publicly about the saga and whether he would be trying to buy Australia now that they have won the cricket World Cup for the record 6th time. The Microsoft chief was speaking in a podcast on Tuesday, where he shares his equation with Altman that goes beyond his time at OpenAI.

Nadella says he always wanted to work with Sam, Greg and his team, not get splinted. “We have the compute, the data and everything to take AI into the next phase which gives us significant rights on OpenAI,” Nadella explained during the episode with noted journalist Kara Swisher. “It is a joint project between Microsoft and OpenAI. We are self-sufficient in all of this. These kinds of turnovers have risks,” Nadella referring to OpenAI’s decision to fire Altman, which has not gone down well with hundreds of OpenAI employees.

He also talked about the need to manage the situation and solely focus on working towards advanced AI systems. Nadella explains that Microsoft was doing this with Altman at OpenAI on Friday, now they will have Altman working with them in the same company. “My message over the weekend is, we were trying to build great products around AI safety and for that we need the people. I am not part of the board, so I told them not to compromise the mission of the organisation in which we have invested and the people we have bet on.”

Next up, Nadella was asked about his equation with Altman and how it has panned out. ”Have known Sam for a very long time, and have been working closely for the past 4-5 years. His ability to bring teams together. He is able to continue to push advanced AI work that he and Greg and team,” he highlighted. “They will work at Microsoft on the same mission and continue to build on it,” Nadella confirms.

Ever since the news about Altman joining Microsoft for its new AI Research team came out, people have been lauding Nadella for getting an AI Whiz for free but he doesn’t believe that’s true. “We are not trying to get anything for free like many people are saying and overestimated. Nothing has changed from Friday when I was more productive than during the weekend,” he mentioned in the podcast.

Nadella also affirmed that his company won’t be caught off guard like this weekend ever again. “We never want to be in a situation where we get surprised like this ever again.”

Also, he was quizzed if he sees Sam as someone who could replace Nadella as the CEO of Microsoft? He laughed off that question saying, “it is fantastic to have a lot of capable people who can lead Microsoft.”

And finally, will Nadella try to buy Australia (after winning the World Cup 2023). He laughed once again and said, “(buying Australia) that will be like buying OpenAI, none of them can be accomplished but we can partner with OpenAI and enjoy Aussies playing cricket.”

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